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Embryo donation

Outlines the various sources of embryos for use in embryo donation treatment cycles.

Sources of embryo donors

There are two sources for obtaining embryos for embryo donation. The main source is infertile couples who have completed their families through in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment and have spare embryos frozen. They donate their spare embryos because they want to help other infertile couples for whom they feel great empathy. All embryo donors in the United Kingdom are altruistic volunteers (no financial gains to the donors in giving their embryos). The selling of embryos per se is ethically unacceptable.

Baattistella and colleagues (ESHRE 2014) analysed women attitude toward donation and reported that embryo donor reasons for donating their spare embryos were to help other infertile patients to have children (altruistic reasons) to give chance to further develop spare embryos into a human being (ethical reasons) They considered it the least harmful option as compared to the alternative options The main reasons fro not donating their spare embryos to infertile couple were Fear of the loss of anonymity of the donation Fear of their children having a relation wit unknown children from recipients For the importance of genetic material (bondage)

Another method of obtaining embryos is by separate egg donation and sperm donation, which are then mixed and fertilized. As with embryo donors, the woman should be above the age of 18 and younger than 36 years and the man should be between 18-55 years. The donor must have no history of mental disorders, or a family history of genetic or inheritable diseases. Pregnancy as a result of eggs donated from older women carries an in creased risk of the child having a chromosomal abnormality such as Down's syndrome.

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