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Can we improve recruitment of oocyte donors with loss of donor anonymity? A hospital-based survey

Sanora Brett, Rosada R Sacranie, Giles E Thomas, Rima Rajkhowa
Human Fertility: Journal of the British Fertility Society 2008, 11 (2): 101-7
18569065

BACKGROUND: Loss of donor anonymity, as a result of an amendment to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, has led to concerns regarding continued recruitment of gamete and embryo donors. This survey aims to examine the impact of loss of anonymity on willingness to donate oocytes and strategies to improve recruitment.

METHODS: Five hundred anonymous self-report questionnaires were randomly allocated to hospital staff between September and December 2004.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: To determine public awareness of gamete donation, preferred information sources for potential donors, and affect of loss of anonymity on willingness to consider gamete donation.

RESULTS: One hundred and sixty-six responses (33%) were received. Only female respondents (n=143) were analysed. Awareness of gamete donation was high (90%), with 34% willing to consider donation. Removal of donor anonymity reduced this figure to 17%. For women under 35 years of age, the corresponding figures are 43% and 19%, respectively. Potential donors may utilize multiple sources of information prior to reaching a decision about donation.

CONCLUSIONS: Loss of donor anonymity reduced by half those willing to consider donation in all age groups. The future of this service depends on recruitment of donors willing to be identified. Consideration of older donors may be an option if adequate counselling occurs.

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