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Boom in Older-Mom Trend Drives Bay Area IVF Experts to Launch Shared-Egg Program
Date:2/25/2008

Infertility specialists hope sharing donated eggs will ease shortages,

especially among Asian-Americans

SAN RAMON, Calif., Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- An upturn in the numbers of older women who want to become mothers has prompted infertility specialists at the Reproductive Science Center of the Bay Area (RSC) to announce an innovative approach in helping more women get pregnant: sharing eggs from one female donor among two recipients. Doctors hope that sharing of donated human eggs will narrow the gap between donation demand and supply among women of all ethnicities but especially Asian Americans, for whom the shortage is most severe.

Donation has been the only option for many women wanting to become mothers in their mid-40s and older and is sometimes is a last resort for younger women as well. RSC doctors say they cannot keep pace with demand for donated eggs due to a national trend toward older mothering.

To ease the shortage, RSC doctors will now allow a patient undergoing IVF to share eggs with other patients in need at greatly reduced costs. This is made possible by the IVF process, in which ovulation-inducing hormones given to a donor cause production of up to several dozen healthy eggs.

"We especially feel the urgency for Asian American patients," said Dr. Susan Willman, director of RSC's donation program, where the wait list for Asian Americans donations has grown from two to six months or more in the last two years.

"Matching Asian American recipients with suitable donors has been harder due to complex cultural attitudes about fertility as well as geo-political and historical issues," Willman said.

RSC's online donor database of 61 donor profiles currently includes six of Filipino and one of Japanese descent; fewer than 10 percent are of Asian descent.

A press backgrounder is available online, http://www.rscbayarea.co
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SOURCE Reproductive Science Center
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