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Egg donation in European clinics: Why do women do it?

all donors had a child of their own. Why do donors go through a demanding IVF treatment cycle to donate eggs? The study firstly found that, while altruism was the principal motive overall, the majority of donors did receive financial compensation. "The fact that a person receives compensation or money does not mean that she is motivated by that money," said Professor Pennings. However, the study made it clear that financial compensation is still an important motivation for many donors, especially in certain countries. For example, 40% of donors in Greece said their motivation was purely financial, and the dominant incentive in Russia and Ukraine was financial.

How much do donors get? The amounts varied greatly throughout Europe - from zero in France to 2000 euro in Belgium, with most countries noting sums between 500 and 1000 euro.

These sums were recalculated as purchasing power in individual countries - for example, multiplied by four in Ukraine or two in Russia to assess their real value. "In these countries egg donation may be very attractive to unemployed or poor women," said Professor Pennings.

For its final analysis, the study divided the motives for donation into five groups: pure altruism (helping infertile people, a family member or a friend), altruism and financial in combination, purely financial, altruism and for one's own treatment (as in egg sharing), and purely for one's own treatment. For all donors, results showed that:

  • 46% were motivated by pure altruism
  • 32% by altruism and financial combined
  • 10% were purely financial
  • 5% motivated by altruism and own treatment
  • and 2% by treatment alone

In addition, high levels of pure altruism were found in Belgium (86%), Finland (89%) and France (100%), and high levels of purely financial motivation in Greece (39%), Russia (47%) and Ukraine (28%). Both Poland and UK had high proportions of egg sharers. Commenting on the results, Professor

Contact: Christine Bauquis
European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology

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