Support for embryonic stem cell research among infertility patients

Tarun Jain*, Stacey A. Missmer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the opinions among infertility patients regarding embryonic stem cell research and to investigate the relationship between patients' choice and their demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. Design: Cross-sectional, self-administered survey. Setting: University hospital-based fertility center. Patient(s): A total of 1,350 consecutive women who presented for infertility care. Intervention(s): None. Main Outcome Measure(s): Patient opinion regarding embryonic stem cell research, and correlations to their demographic and socioeconomic background. Result(s): Of respondents with a definitive opinion, 73% felt that the use of left-over embryos for stem cell research should be allowed. After adjustment for observed predictors favoring embryonic stem cell research, we found significantly lower support for such research among patients who were younger, African American, Hispanic, less wealthy, Protestant, single, or trying to conceive for a longer duration. Those who in the past had or were currently undergoing assisted reproductive techniques were significantly more likely to approve, whereas reproductive history was not associated with the opinions about the use of spare embryos for stem cell research. Conclusion(s): The majority of infertility patients studied favor use of left-over embryos for stem cell research. Several demographic and socioeconomic factors, however, are significantly associated with patient opinion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)506-512
Number of pages7
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • ART
  • IVF
  • Stem cell research
  • cryopreservation
  • embryos
  • ethics
  • infertility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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