Egg donation, what's the problem?

Woman getting ultrasound with partner by her side
Dr Jon W. Hausken

March 31, 2015

Woman getting ultrasound with partner by her side

We at clinic Hausken say YES to egg donation! If society accepts sperm donation, we must also say yes to egg donation. I do not see any fundamental difference in this. If one believes that egg donation is something other than sperm donation, then it means that the father is not as important as the mother.

What is the problem? It is claimed that it is much easier to give semen than eggs. It is not true. What is difficult about donating is the process in advance. Deciding if you want to donate to help others. Think about the consequences this has for the couple who receives, the child that is born, themselves and their surroundings. Future consequences in a possible meeting with the child when/if this makes contact. How to deal with this with your own family and children? These basic value choices will be the same for a man and for a woman.

Yes, the woman must go through a hormone cure, yes she must go through an egg retrieval. So what? This is a simple standardised process and is nothing compared to the difficult choice of choosing to donate your own eggs/sperm to help other couples.

What IS difficult is to make a sensible plan for implementation. Who will be offered egg donation? It is first and foremost women who have reached an age where egg quality is in luck who need egg donation. What age limit should we set? Do we not have to accept that the biological clock has set foot? Egg donation here differs from sperm donation and challenges our ethical norms. Sperm donation is an option for men who have significantly reduced and or no sperm production. This is often discovered early, and you, therefore, do not get the same age pressure as with egg donation.

Couples who choose egg donation today travel abroad and receive treatment. They have usually been through a long process before making such a choice. Years of studies and assisted reproduction, hopes and disappointments. The choice has matured over time and is very well thought out. The expecting parents have made a reflective choice and have a lot of love to give. Norway can choose to ban egg donation, but the offer/activity does not disappear for that reason! It will be much better for Norway to say YES and thus have an influence on the regulation of this activity. Makes an offer of egg donation with a non-anonymous donor that society can accept and seems sensible.

Egg donation is in many ways better than sperm donation for the couple! The woman gets the pregnancy, and the birth and the father is the biological father, at the same time, the woman influences which genes are expressed throughout the pregnancy and thus also has a genetic relationship with the child. With sperm donation, the woman gets all this, but here the man stands a little aside and is "not" genetically involved either.

The debate rages. In its recommendation, the Biotechnology Council has recommended YES to egg donation. This does not mean that the proposal is adopted. You can think what you want, and there are arguments for and against. BUT, that the vast majority of countries accept egg donation in the same way as sperm donation. This does not mean that the proposal is adopted. We welcome egg donation and believe this will be a good solution for both the couples but not least important; the children.

Dr Jon W. Hausken

Specialist in gynaecology and obstetrics.

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