February 3, 2011

Donor Oocyte Part III

If a couple decides to pursue donor oocyte IVF, it is important to insure that other clinical components of the process are in good working order. This includes the function and genetic make-up of the sperm as well as the integrity of the recipient’s uterine environment and surrounding hormones. Transferring a donor oocyte embryo to an unhealthy uterus will not fix the problem.

An oocyte donor is either known or anonymous. Some couples choose an oocyte donor genetically related to the recipient; a sister or cousin may be used in these cases. The genetically commonality may be a positive influence in choosing this option. Other couples wish to pursue an anonymous oocyte donor. An anonymous oocyte donor is usually obtained working with an outside agency that specializes in screening and matching couples with an anonymous donor. The final choice of the anonymous oocyte donor is completely up to the recipient couple. The agency is paid for their time in screening efforts to obtain a given donor. In one reported study, only 4% of initial applicants to the oocyte donor program completed the screening process and actually donated a cohort of oocytes. Although anonymous oocyte donors are reimbursed for their time, altruistic motivations may equal or surpass their financial incentives.

Oocyte donors, whether known or anonymous, are informed that donation will sever all legal rights and duties to rear or have contact with any resulting children.

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Medical Director, Fertility Centers of New England