The Majority of Women Donate Their Eggs for Altruistic Reasons

England 19/07/2013 – A recent survey, covering eleven countries reveals that the majority of egg donations are made to help people.

The survey asked 1,423 women who had donated eggs to what motivated them to get involved in egg donation. Bio News published the results of the survey, and they reported that over 50% of respondents stated that the only reason they were donating eggs was that they wanted to help infertile couples to have children. Of the remaining respondents, one third of them said they had donated eggs for altruistic reasons, but stated that the fact that they would be compensated financially had also played a role in their decision to donate.

Professor Guido Pennings led the original study and he said that, ‘Altruism is the main motivation why donors donate but financial compensation certainly helps to persuade a number of donors’. The study also revealed that the younger the donor was the more likely it was that they would be influenced by the fact they were to receive financial compensation. Only half of donors aged under 25 reported that they were giving their eggs for purely altruistic reasons. For those aged 39 the level of purely altruistic donors was 79%. Overall, only 10% of women donated their eggs purely for financial gain.

The profile of egg donors
The study also showed that women with higher than average levels of education are also more likely to want to donate for altruistic reasons. However, that is not to say that the majority of egg donors have degrees. The kind of women who donate eggs varies. Interestingly, it is common for women in their late twenties, who already have a family, to donate their eggs. The majority of women who took part in the study were aged around 27, living with a partner and had children of their own.

Fertility clinics like the UKCFA (UK Cypriot Fertility Association) have strict standards when it comes to donors. They only accept egg donations from women aged between 20 and 30, and all donors have to pass extensive medical tests. They also require their donors to be highly educated and intellectual, because they find that this is what the vast majority of their fertility clients want from their egg donor.

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