Oncofertility: insights from IVF specialists—a worldwide web-based survey analysis

Gon Shoham*, Rachel Levy-Toledano, Milton Leong, Ariel Weissman, Yuval Yaron, Zeev Shoham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This research sought to understand IVF-physicians’ knowledge of, experience with, and attitudes toward fertility preservation for cancer patients. Methods: A 35-question, self-report survey request was emailed to IVF providers who were registered on the IVF-Worldwide.com network (3826 clinics). Physicians submitted responses on the IVF-Worldwide.com website. Survey results were reported as a proportion of the responding clinics. Results: Survey responses were completed by 321 (8.4%) globally distributed IVF clinics, representing 299,800 IVF cycles. Of these clinics, 86.6% (278) performed fertility preservation, treating approximately 6300 patients annually. However, 18.4% of the centers reported that patients sought advice independently, without an oncologist’s referral. Ovarian tissue cryopreservation was performed by 37.7% of the clinics, yet 52.6% considered the procedure experimental. IVM was performed by 16.5% of responding clinics. A majority (63.6%) of the clinics selected treatment protocols based on each patient’s malignancy. Most respondents (76.3%) disagreed that fertility preservation was not yet successful enough to make it an available option. However, 44.2% believed that pregnancy rates following oocyte cryopreservation could not be determined because not enough oocyte cryopreservation patients had completed embryo transfer. Conclusions: Most clinics performed fertility preservation, tailoring protocols to each patient’s disease and condition. Almost 20% of patients sought advice independently, indicating that more effort is needed to encourage oncologists to refer patients. Most survey respondents believed that data was not yet available on either live birth outcomes or the best protocol for each disease. Therefore, long-term study must continue, with the establishment of interim milestones and an outcome-tracking registry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1013-1021
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 15 May 2019


  • Cryopreservation
  • Fertility preservation
  • IVF
  • IVF-Worldwide
  • Oncofertility
  • Survey


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