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Examining willingness to donate frozen oocytes among women of reproductive age.

RESEARCH QUESTION: What are the predictors of willingness to donate frozen oocytes among women of reproductive age in Australia?

DESIGN: An online survey involving 303 women of reproductive age (18-49 years) in Australia who had not frozen their oocytes or planned to freeze their oocytes in the next 12 months. The survey assessed demographic variables, prototype willingness model variables (attitude, subjective norm, prototype similarity and prototype favourability) and additional variables (altruism, empathy and infertility awareness) as predictors of hypothetical scenarios of willingness to donate frozen oocytes. A multivariate repeated measures analysis of variance explored differences in willingness to donate frozen oocytes. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis examined predictors of donor willingness.

RESULTS: Women's willingness to donate their frozen oocytes was higher for donating to a friend or family member and to research compared with an egg bank or fertility clinic, or a couple advertising online for an egg donor (all P < 0.001). The prototype willingness model variables were significant predictors of willingness to donate showing slightly varied patterns across four scenarios. After accounting for demographics, regression models including prototype willingness model variables and additional variables accounted for 45-64% of variance in donor willingness.

CONCLUSIONS: Frozen oocyte donation may be facilitated by improving attitudes towards donation and establishing positive images of donors. Professionals requiring frozen oocytes for research could focus on creating a sense of social approval for donating in this context. Encouraging frozen oocyte donation could increase access to oocytes for IVF treatment and aid in reducing the psychological burdens associated with involuntary childlessness.

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