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Demand for Young Egg Donors Continues to Rise

While infertility clinics often target college students to become egg donors, experts are now arguing that older women who have already had children are likely to be better choices for donors, citing their previous experience with childbirth and assumed level of responsibility and maturity. Still, many infertile couples prefer the eggs of younger women, especially those who are highly educated. While college costs continuing to rise, infertility clinics have targeted college students who are eager to pay off their student loans with a sudden windfall. According to the Washington Post, some couples have taken ads out in Ivy League newspapers promising $50,000 to an “intelligent, athletic egg donor who must be at least 5’10” and have 1400 SAT score.” Young women may make better donors biologically, but psychotherapists who counsel would-be donors argue that they may not be as psychologically or emotionally prepared, despite the extensive application process, which includes psychological testing.

With more couples delaying childbirth, the demand for young donors continues to rise, causing fees to increase as well. Donors are paid roughly $3,000 – $7,000. In addition, couples must also pay $8,000 – $20,000 for the cost of in vitro fertilization. Donors must undergo daily hormone injections to mature the eggs, daily monitoring of their development, and more intense hormone treatment to release the eggs before they are extracted through the vagina. Some women can experience egg retrieval complications, such as lacerations, ovarian trauma, infection, and anesthesia-related complications. In rare cases, hormone treatment may cause hyper-stimulation of the ovaries that can lead to infertility.

Sources:

Kaisernetwork, 12/4/01; Washington Post, 12/4/01

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