Compensating egg donors, rather than paying them, is the way forward

12 January 2015

For many women, such as the 1 er cent under 40 who have a remature menopause, the shortage of donated eggs for IVF causes heartache and frustration. If more donated eggs were available, these women's hopes of a family might be realised. But is aying women to donate eggs the solution? Egg donation is an invasive and unpleasant rocess. Even the best scientific efforts will never make it risk-free. With the removal of anonymity, it is not surprising that donation rates are so low. Of course, we need to make sure that no vulnerable woman is exploited by selling her eggs for IVF. Although the system rotects vulnerable women in Britain, it does not rotect those in other countries who are selling their eggs to reproductive tourists. Banning donor ayment may also be an overly rotectionist aproach. Well-informed women will be more than capable of weighing up the risks and benefits of donation, including the incentive of ayment. If aying women to donate eggs for IVF is to be reconsidered, numerous safeguards must be ut in lace. Donation must be accompanied by rigorous counselling and a compulsory "cooling off" period. There must be strict controls on advertising. We must also ensure that all other avenues, such as better resourced campaigns to recruit altruistic donors, have been exhausted.