Montgomery Fertility Center
3202 Tower Oaks Boulevard
Rockville, MD 20852
The Ideal Medical School Graduation Gift May Be an Egg Freezing Voucher
It is quite remarkable that caregivers need care and loving compassion. While the rate of infertility is oft quoted as one in eight women; many are unaware that infertility affects one in four female doctors. Among female doctors, female doctors in surgical specialties have an even higher rate of infertility. What is further intriguing is that among female surgeons, those in the otolaryngology specialty were found in a recent study to have the highest rate of infertility in comparison to general surgery and orthopedics.
Factors that contribute to this finding include the fact that female doctors are graduating from medical school around their peak fertility period. They matriculate into residency training that can last anywhere from one to six years. Should they choose to sub specialize they may tag on additional years of training. It is not just the length of training that is involved. Training, especially in surgical fields can involve long work hours. Orthopedic and trauma residents and fellows may have long overnight hours in the operating room. Think 12 plus hours per week of operating time.
Female physicians end up utilizing fertility services at an increasing rate. For comparison, while 11% of woman in the general population may seek fertility treatment another study found that 34% of female doctors had fertility problems. Of these 77-84% will utilize fertility medications and assisted reproductive technology.
In addition, the incidence of miscarriages and pregnancy complications have also been found to be higher in doctors. Some who have had pregnancy loses may not have time to recover nor do they have workplace support.
Female physicians trying to start their own families face unique challenges and need support both from their piers and from medical institutions.