‘Why have women not returned to use their frozen oocytes?’: a 5-year follow-up of women after planned oocyte cryopreservation

A. Tsafrir*, H. Holzer, T. Miron-Shatz, T. Eldar-Geva, M. Gal, I. Ben-ami, N. Dekel, A. Weintruab, D. Goldberg, O. Schonberger, N. Srebnik, J. Hyman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research question: What are the reproductive choices and retrospective reflections of women at least 4 years after planned oocyte cryopreservation (POC)? Design: This was an internet survey, using the REDCap application, of women who underwent POC, at a single-centre university-affiliated IVF unit, 4–8 years before the survey. The questionnaire addressed reproductive choices and outcomes following POC. Results: Seventy-nine women who underwent POC during 2011–2014 were invited to participate, and 70 (89%) responded. Mean age at cryopreservation was 37.1 ± 2.4 (range 30–41) years, mean age at study participation 42.6 ± 2.6 (range 35–48) years, and mean time from first cryopreservation cycle to study participation 5.5 ± 1.3 (range 4–8) years. The main retrospectively reported reason for POC was not wanting to become pregnant without a partner (59, 84%). During the follow-up period, 44 women (63%) attempted to conceive either naturally or by assisted reproductive technology using fresh or cryopreserved oocytes. Of those, 28 women achieved a live birth (64% of those who tried to conceive). Fourteen respondents (20% of all respondents) reported using their cryopreserved oocytes, and three (21%) achieved a birth using those oocytes. Fifteen women (34%) of those who tried to conceive used donor spermatozoa. Conclusions: The most common reasons for not using frozen oocytes were achieving pregnancy without frozen oocytes or preferring not to have a child without a partner. A considerable proportion of women who had POC and were not interested in being a single parent by choice eventually try to conceive using donor spermatozoa several years later.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1137-1145
Number of pages9
JournalReproductive BioMedicine Online
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Elective oocyte cryopreservation
  • Fertility preservation
  • Planned oocyte cryopreservation


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