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Risks and Benefits of Egg Donation Reported
Date:12/26/2008

Most women expressed satisfaction with process, but long-term data lacking, study says,,,,

FRIDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Women who choose to donate eggs to help infertile couples should know the procedure comes with both psychological and physical risks, the first study to examine the long-term effects of donation shows.

Women also need to know that little data is available to assess whether donating eggs when young has any effect on fertility later in life, experts said.

A new study in the December issue of Fertility and Sterility found that almost one in five women reported lasting psychological effects as a result of egg donation -- some positive and some negative. Some women felt a sense of pride in helping an infertile couple, while others developed concerns about the people who were raising their genetic offspring.

Still, two-thirds of women who donated eggs reported satisfaction with the process, the study found.

"Women need to look at the risk involved very carefully, and pay attention to what they're being told about risks, not just to what they're being offered to do it," said study author Nancy Kenney, an associate professor of psychology and women's studies at the University of Washington in Seattle.

The process of egg donation isn't tightly regulated by the U.S. government, as it is in western European countries and Canada. For example, in the United Kingdom, egg donation is viewed in the same manner as organ donation, and is done without compensation to the woman providing the eggs, according to background information in the study.

To get an idea of what the egg donation process is like for a woman in the United States, the researchers administered questionnaires to 80 women -- average age 30.6 years old when surveyed -- who had donated their eggs at least once. The researchers wanted to know what a woman experiences during the process, and to answer such q
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