Public opinion survey: age limits for infertility treatments?

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Takeaway

  • Limits on fertility treatments for people over the age of 55 years receive majority support in a public opinion survey.

Why this matters

  • Fertility providers are generally opposed to governmental regulation on age restrictions.
  • The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recommends that fertility treatments for women over the age of 55 years be "discouraged."

Key results

  • 4% felt doctors should not be allowed to offer in vitro fertilization.
  • 9% believed egg donation is an unacceptable practice.
  • 15% believed that sperm donation was an unacceptable practice.
  • 46% felt that 45-54 years was the oldest age range that should be allowed for carrying a pregnancy.
  • 64% felt the age limit should be 55 years.
  • 32% felt the oldest age for a woman to adopt was 55-64 years.
  • 33% felt the oldest age a man should become a father was 55-64 years.
  • 55% supported placing age limits on men and women seeking fertility treatment.

Study design

  • Survey designed to assess public opinion on age limits for people seeking infertility treatments (n=1427 completed survey).
  • Funding: Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Biology, Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Limitations

  • Certain groups may be underrepresented in this survey.