Sunday, June 3, 2007


Here is a report that tries to defuse some of the hysteria surrounding egg donation. Finally, an explanation of why egg donors are paid such a piddling amount for risking their lives to help someone else have a family: only the hours spent at the doctor's office are counted. That is utterly ridiculous. What about the hours spent taking painful injections? Or the hours of discomfort from these extremely strong medications and the huge number of egg sacs inside your body?

I have never donated eggs for money and never will but the amount women are paid for this is piddling. You can die while taking the egg meds, or on the operating table, or you can die later due to the meds increasing your risk of future ovarian cancer.

Donating sperm is NOTHING compared to donating eggs. This is another example of women earning less than men for doing more work.

"Survey belies tales of donor egg market gone awry

By Anne Harding

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Media reports of an out-of-control market for human eggs fueled by desperate couples willing to pay large sums are exaggerated, results of a survey suggest.

The average donor compensation for 191 fertility clinics surveyed nationwide was $4,217, well within the $5,000 limit established by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) in 2000, Sharon N. Covington of the Shady Grove Fertility Reproductive Science Center in Rockville, Maryland and Dr. William E. Gibbons of the Women's Center for Reproductive Medicine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, found.

"I think that's what gets headlines is to look at an industry that's kind of out of control and gone awry, and we don't believe that that's the case," Covington, who conducted the survey for the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), told Reuters Health.

"One of the purposes of a study like this is to give consumers information to empower them so that they can make choices," she added in an interview.

The ASRM had established $5,000 as the upper limit for standard egg compensation, with payments above $10,000 "beyond what is appropriate." But there remains no objective way to put a price on human ova, the researchers note in a report in the journal Fertility and Sterility.

The ASRM had suggested a formula based on multiplying the average number of hours an egg donor spends in a medical setting -- 56 -- with the standard payment for a sperm donation. Based on a sperm donor payment of $65 to $70 in 2000 dollars, the ASRM came up with a "justifiable" price of $3,360 to $4,200 per egg.

In the current study, the researchers contacted 394 SART member clinics, and 191 responded. Eighty percent said they paid the same fee to all donors. There was some regional variation in compensation, ranging from roughly $5,000, on average, for the northeastern and western US to $2,900 in the northwestern part of the country.

Covington and Gibbons admit their analysis does not cover the entire field of donor egg payment; one western agency had told SART it couldn't comply with the society's guidelines and compete in the marketplace. And the researchers did not survey donor egg agencies, they note, which represent a "burgeoning, consumer-driven industry." Such agencies must agree to comply with ASRM and SART standards in order to be listed on their Web sites, the researchers add, but "it is unclear whether they are in fact doing so."

Nevertheless, Covington and Gibbons conclude, their "reassuring" findings indicate that the "vast majority" of fertility clinics are complying with ASRM guidelines on donor egg compensation.

SOURCE: Fertility and Sterility, May 2007."