Site:  Northwestern University and University of California, San Diego

Principal Investigators: David Dranove, PhD and Andrew Sfekas, PhD


This project is an economic analysis that weighs the costs and benefits of possible infertility and fertility preservation treatments in young adult women and parents with young children.


  • Understand the economic factors, decision-making rules, and risk-benefits analyses of  accessing fertility conserving options when the outcomes (e.g., survival and infertility) are not known.
  • Estimate the value of child bearing to 2 distinct populations: women of childbearing age (defined as 18-25) and parents of young girls (aged 5 to 17).

Indices of Scholarship 

  • Develop, validate, and implement a 4-stage survey to measure the direct medical costs as well as the indirect costs of choosing to pursue fertility preservation measures
  • Following standard methods in cost-benefit analysis, evaluate the estimated value of child bearing using the concept of willingness to pay
  • Based on variance in treatment costs and success rates outside of a clinical trial, construct a “break even” curve to depict the increase in probability of conception necessary to make treatment worthwhile at a particular cost

Consortium Support and Impact

This project draws on other parts of the Oncofertility Consortium in developing a social science inquiry that is informed by scientific innovation and insight.  It relies on clinical and medical perspectives and advances and application of oncofertility technology (see Follice Cryopreservation, Bioengineering Primate Follicles, and Human Follicle Maturation In Vitro) to develop surveys, focus group guidelines, and interviews while serving as an integrated link to interdisciplinary biomedical research in ovarian follicle harvesting, cryopreservation, maturation, and fertilization.  Insights regarding the psychosocial impact of infertility on the lives of cancer patients and their families will be applied to the training, education, and advocacy mission of the Consortium.

This research was supported by the Oncofertility Consortium®, funded by the National Institutes of Health through the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research, Grant UL1DE19587 and RL1HD058296.