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Most women report satisfaction with egg donation; some claim problems
Date:12/17/2008

Two-thirds of women who donated eggs to fertility clinics reported satisfaction with the process, but 16 percent complained of subsequent physical symptoms and 20 percent reported lasting psychological effects, according to the first study to examine the long-term effects of donation.

The research by scientists at the University of Washington included women who donated eggs at clinics in 20 states and is the largest study to explore the effects of donation in the United States, where the practice is not regulated.

"We don't know how many egg donors there are because no official records are kept and reporting is on a voluntary basis to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," said Nancy Kenney, UW associate professor of psychology and women studies and lead author of the study.

The researchers were surprised at the low number of women who reported an awareness of possible physical risk prior to donation. Nearly 63 percent viewed the potential physical risk as minor and 20 percent did not recall being made aware of physical risks at the time of their first donation.

"Many of these women may be forgetting that they were warned of the lesser risks, such as bloating and the discomfort from hormone injections," said Kenney. "It has been quite a while since they read the material handed out by clinics or heard the risk lecture and it could be that they simple forgot. The age of the women also could be a factor. Risks don't mean much to young women. They may be discounting the risk. If you are 25 and are told that something may cause cancer when you are 45 that may seem to be forever."

Of those women who reported physical problems in the donation process, bloating, pain and cramping, ovarian hyperstimulation, mood changes and irritability, and weight gain or loss were the most common complaints. Several women claimed infertility or decreased fertility or damage to their ovaries.

However, most of the w
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Contact: Joel Schwarz
joels@u.washington.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert

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