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Shortage of Sperm and Egg donors

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  • Shortage of Sperm and Egg donors

    I was wondering if anyone had any ideas about how to best manage the limited donor sperm and eggs available for people undertaking IVF.

    Personally I don't think we should limit same sex couples or single parents. Since these resources are so limited, perhaps limiting patients to one live birth could be a way to go?

    what do others think?

  • #2
    That to me is right on par with banning same sex couples or singles. All its doing is telling someone how many children you think they are entitled to, be it one or none.

    Inappropriate.

    I think they should allow payment for donation. Capped of course so people dont use it as a career!
    And a limit on how many times a woman can donate, same as vic laws on how many times a man can donate.
    The laws of donation shouldnt change.. Counselling and things like that should remain tightly controlled, but I bet that donations would increase if payment was involved.

    I understand the issue of donating to do a good thing, and that payments 'flaunt/abuse/exploit women, but in this country we could regulate things SO well.

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    • #3
      Not to mention, would it be fair to allow one couple to use a donor 10-15 times before a live birth occurs, but tell a couple who were lucky to have live birth on their first or second cycle that they only get those 2 shots at it?


      Using a donor isnt a choice made willy nilly. Chances are the couple has been to hell and back before landing in a donor situation. Why add to that heartbreak?

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      • #4
        There are limits on how many times a woman can donate RWS. A woman can only contribute to make 5 families in VIC (I think it is upto 10 in some states, but 10 is the max).
        I think the answer is not payment for donation, but to make the process more known about. The blood bank does regular advertising to get more donors, I think that egg and sperm donation needs to be advertised too.
        When I told people I was donating to my IPs, so many people didn't know that you could donate eggs, let alone there being a need for them.
        Also, for sperm donation, I don't know what the rules are like for a certain IVF clinic in Melbourne now, but 4 yrs ago when DH looked at donating, the rules were too harsh (have to complete a minimum of 10 donations, over a set period of time). This turned DH off as he did not have the time to jump through their hoops.
        Limiting who can access donations or how many donations they can have is not the answer. If we start limiting anything like that, it will only be a matter of time before it gets out of control (ie. fertile people who want more kids getting sterilised after they have had their 'allotted' children.

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        • #5
          Also, if limiting live births, to whom is the limit applied?
          I know of several couples who have sought egg donation, where only one partner has never had a live child. So if it is a second marriage, do they get to start over? even if one member of the couple has multiple live children?

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          • #6
            I think the laws need to change to encourage more donations. While it remains possible for the adult offspring resulting from a donation to track the donor down the number of donors will remain low. I am sure more would do it if it was truly anonymous for life and only family medical history got passed on.

            That way no restrictions would be required.

            I also think the age for egg donors should be raised for people who are happy to use a donor who has had a baby successfully over 38 as obviously their eggs are still ok.

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            • #7
              I didnt know the limit applied to women

              Both sexes have to jump through hoops to donate, its like they make donating hard on purpose!
              Like you said, your DH tried to donate and it was too hard with time and expectation placed on him when what he wanted to do was the greatest gift of all.
              Perhaps monetary gain would have made a difference to him?

              Donor (both sexes) have to have blood tests, give many personal details, attend counselling before the donation even takes place. Its a long drawn out procedure.
              Then they need to take time off work for donation. Women need to take drugs that affect their moods and no doubt their family.

              The system is tough ;(

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              • #8
                Very good points all. For the record I was not sold on the idea of limiting - I don't think it's for me to tell anyone that they can or can't have a baby. I just know that there is such a limited supply of eggs and sperm that thought if there DID have to be limits, then one baby from donor egg and or sperm might be a way to go. Let me make it clear though that I don't think any of us have to right to say who can and can't have a baby.

                I know in the US you can be paid for being an egg donor - I know quite a few women who have done it for some cash. Not sure how I feel about that.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by RunningWithScissors View Post
                  Not to mention, would it be fair to allow one couple to use a donor 10-15 times before a live birth occurs, but tell a couple who were lucky to have live birth on their first or second cycle that they only get those 2 shots at it?


                  Using a donor isnt a choice made willy nilly. Chances are the couple has been to hell and back before landing in a donor situation. Why add to that heartbreak?
                  I never for a moment assumed that using a donor is a choice made willy nilly. I am more than aware that some people have been through many many many other options and or procedures before going the donor route just as many go that way first cab off the rank due to MFI. Its wonderful that these options are open to people who cannot conceive naturally

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                  • #10
                    I also think the answer is some kind of monetary compensation for donors. . . which should be limited and tightly controlled by the clinics.

                    The difficulty in donating HAS to be there to protect the recipients. Who would accept donor oocytes where the donor had not been properly screened for diseases for example.

                    I don't think that a "one live birth" limit is appropriate firstly because of the reasons already mentioned and secondly because well. . . children created via donor eggs and sperm are in a unique sitation and it is one they may struggle with as they grow up and even as adults, to deny them siblings is to deny them comfort on their journey if you like. They will always have their sibling to share that experience with throughout their life and will be better adjusted because of it i think.

                    I will admit that on our journey using donor sperm i have at times struggled with my own selfish thoughts of "if they only made the lesbians and the single girls find their own sperm donor there would be enough in the bank to go around for the rest of us creating more conventional families" . . . i should add that i quickly catch myself and know that those are just my selfish and irrational thoughts when i was in my darkest moments. That is NOT the answer to the shortage.

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                    • #11
                      Payment is not the answer. Yes it seems like a great idea, because people would donate if paid, it ends up making it damn expensive for the recipients, and would make it totally unaffordable for many.
                      You see, particularly with egg donation, the couple pays for a full cycle for themselves and a half cycle for the donor. I saw the numbers that my recipient had to fork out for our cycles and it was staggering. Yes they get some back from Medicare, but they have to pay up front. And on top of that, what if the cycle doesn't work? Does the donor get paid on a per egg basis? or perhaps on a per embryo basis. Maybe on a per child basis.
                      My first donor cycle resulted on 0 eggs. The second only 4, of which 1 was transferred but didn't stick, 2 frozen and one arrested. So is it fair to charge my IP for the cycle that didn't yield any eggs, because I had to take meds? Is it fair to charge for an embryo that arrested, so is therefore not giving a possiblity of a child? Is it fair to charge for a failed pregnancy?
                      The answer to these questions is NO.
                      Also, how would a child feel when they grow up knowing that their biological parent only gave up their DNA for cold hard cash? I hope that if a child eventuates from my donation that they grow up knowing that I gave my eggs selflessly to their parents with only the sole purpose of their creation.
                      Last edited by mrsdj1234; 14-04-2011, 14:36. Reason: to fix a spelling mistake that was glaring at me :p

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cocosmum View Post

                        I will admit that on our journey using donor sperm i have at times struggled with my own selfish thoughts of "if they only made the lesbians and the single girls find their own sperm donor there would be enough in the bank to go around for the rest of us creating more conventional families" . . . i should add that i quickly catch myself and know that those are just my selfish and irrational thoughts when i was in my darkest moments. That is NOT the answer to the shortage.
                        Thanks for your response cocosmum. I agree with you 100%. I wonder how many others actually do. I have often heard people saying that gay couples or singles should find their own donors and it was actually that which made me come up with the question about limiting live births. So we shouldn't limit based on sexual orientation, marital status or number of children. Does anyone think there are any reasons to limit? What about health? Age? I can't think of any good reason but am open to the discussion.

                        I understand why egg donation is so low - the physical toll can be difficult. I wonder why more men don't donate - is it that they don't know or is it an emotional thing?

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                        • #13
                          My opinion is that only hetrosexual couples with medical problemd should be allowed to access the donor registry unless the government recinds the laws that were brought in that made the donors disappear in droves and the supplies increase
                          Last edited by TNTDAD; 22-04-2011, 19:25.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TNTDAD View Post
                            My opinion is that only hetrosexual couples with medical problemd should be allowed to access the donor registry unless the government recinds the laws that were brought in that made the donors disappear in droves and the supplies increase
                            Interesting. Why only heterosexual couples? What, in your opinion, makes them more deserving than anyone else?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by pinkymcg View Post
                              Interesting. Why only heterosexual couples? What, in your opinion, makes them more deserving than anyone else?
                              Probably because he is in a heterosexual couple with medical problems and used sperm donation to get pregnant.
                              TNTdad seems to only care about himself and his own family.


                              Sent from my GT540 using Bubhub

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