WEDNESDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Most women who serve as
egg donors retain a positive take on their experience a year later,
new research indicates.
Researchers polled 75 egg donors at the time of egg retrieval
and one year later, and found that the women remained happy, proud
and carefree about their experience.
"Up until now we've known that donors are by and large very satisfied by their experience when it takes place," said study lead author Andrea M. Braverman, director of complementary and alternative medicine at Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey in Morristown. "And now we see that for the vast majority the positive experience persists."
Braverman and colleagues from the Robert Wood Johnson Medical
School in Piscataway, N.J., were scheduled to present their survey
findings Wednesday in Denver at a meeting of the American Society
for Reproductive Medicine.
A year after donation, the women said they seldom worried about
either the health or emotional well-being of the children they
helped to spawn. They said they only think about the donation
occasionally and rarely discuss it.
The donors also reported that financial compensation was not the
number-one motive for facilitating another woman's pregnancy.
Rather, a desire to help others achieve their dreams was pegged as
the driving force, followed by money and feeling good.
Women who said the donation process made them feel worthwhile
tended to be open to the notion of meeting their offspring when
they reach adulthood. And most donors were receptive to the idea of
meeting the egg recipients and participating in a donor
"These findings are only one year out, and this is part of a five-year ongoing study," cautioned Braverman. "And life changes a lot in five years, so it'll be interesting to see if this lasts that far out. We can't say yet. But so far we're seeing that the feelings persisted during the beginning of the journey. A year out, we're not seeing a change in donors' experience. And that's kind of a good thing."
Linda Applegarth, director of psychological services at the
Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility at the New York
Presbyterian Hospital--Weill Medical College of Cornell University,
described the study as "very useful," but expressed little surprise
with the findings.
"I actually routinely meet with donors a year post donation, particularly with donors who want to donate again," she said, noting that about 65 percent of her center's donors choose to repeat the process. "And I would say anecdotally that my experience matches the study findings," she added.
"Many do choose to donate again because they have had a very positive experience," Applegarth explained. "And in addition to whatever had motivated them to donate in the first place, after they've donated, the experience often takes on new meaning for them, in a positive way. So their motivation becomes more multi-faceted, because they really do know that they've made a difference."
Donors don't obsess about the experience, Applegarth said. "They
move on with their lives. And this, I think, speaks well to the
fact that there are any number of us who work with donors and try
to be very sensitive to them and what they're doing, and want to
make sure that they have a good experience with the donation," she
"We consider the donors as patients, and in that respect they're as important as anyone involved in the experience," Applegarth added.
Touching on the issue of egg donation from a different
perspective, a second study to be presented at the conference found
that women who serve as donors have a significantly different
psychological profile than women who actually provide the service
of carrying a baby to term.
Compared with egg donors, the so-called "gestational carriers,"
or surrogate mothers, were found to have a higher degree of "belief
in human goodness" and "contentment with life," researchers from
Northwestern University in Chicago found.
Carriers were also observed as having a stronger sense of
For more on egg donations, visit the
N.Y. State Department of Health.
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