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New England Area Fertility Experts Issue Call for Ethnic Egg Donors
Date:3/12/2008

LEXINGTON, Mass., March 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Swelling numbers of infertile couples are turning toward egg donation as a means to become pregnant and are in turn creating an acute shortage of ethnic minority donors, say physicians at the Reproductive Science Center (RSC) of New England.

As a result, RSC doctors are calling for young women of Jewish, Asian Indian and other Asian ethnic groups in New England to consider becoming egg donors as an altruistic act for couples who may have no other options for conceiving.

"Due to the shortage in New England, Asian donors are traveling to Boston from as far away as California," said Dr. Samuel Pang, medical director of RSC. "That puts additional financial strain on a recipient, who is responsible for paying for the donor's transportation and hotel fees."

Cultural, religious and social traditions are often a barrier to egg donation in certain ethnic communities, Pang said. For instance, in some cultures, infertility is seen as a failure, which hinders couples from going to their friends and family about becoming possible egg donors. Traditional Asian communities might reject the idea of egg donation, because of the importance of bloodlines within their culture.

The increasing demand for egg donors is in part due to the recent success of egg donation rates. About 12 percent of IVF attempts in 2005 involved the use of donated eggs in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The number of IVF attempts that involved either donated eggs or donated embryos increased from about 5,000 attempts in 1995 to more than 16,000 attempts in 2005.

"In order to have children who resemble them, some couples have gotten creative and chosen donors outside of their ethnic group based on similar physical attributes," said Amy Demma, Director of Donor Programs at Prospective Families, a Boston-based donor agency that works closely with RSC. "For example, Indian donors sometimes seek out Mediterranean donors, because of their dark hair and skin tone."

"In order to keep up with demand, egg donation clinics need to develop strategies to increase the awareness of the need for egg donors among all racial groups," Pang said.

About Reproductive Science Center of New England

With 11 locations throughout New England, Reproductive Science Center is the seventh largest medical practice of its kind nationwide, known coast to coast for its innovative patient care, advanced laboratory capabilities and for success rates that are among the highest in the United States. Founded in 1988, RSC is led today by a team of six physicians -- four of whom are women, making it one of the largest groups of female reproductive endocrinologists in the Northeast. RSC is a member of IntegraMed, a national network of 29 fertility centers in 95 locations across the United States. Over 20 percent of all IVF procedures in the United States are performed in an IntegraMed fertility practice. For more information, visit http://www.rscnewengland.com.


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SOURCE Reproductive Science Center of New England
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