Egg donation and "just in case" cryopreservation

The results of several studies answering why women become egg donors and their relation to the freezing of their own biological material were presented at the last conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology ESHRE.

Examining reasons of eggs donation, the researchers came to the conclusion that determining factors were the country of residence and age of the donor. Thus, "female donors after 30 years are guided mainly by altruistic motives, while more young ladies don’t hide their material interest in the procedure."

The second, equally important factor, was the donor’s country of residence: according to Professor of Bioethics Institute of Ghent (Belgium), Guido Pennings, "citizens of France, Belgium and Finland had a desire to help other women to experience the joy of motherhood. But citizens of countries of the former CIS took this procedure as an income. "


I think, it’s not so difficult to explain the differences here: the quality of life of an average woman in Finland, shall we say, is different from the one in the CIS country, so it’s quite logical that women from CIS pay more attention to the financial part of the issue than donors from Northern Europe.

However, a group of researchers admitted the fact that, regardless of their financial, social status and citizenship, overwhelming number of women became donors because of the hope to be helpful. A financial reward was considered only as a nice addition.

Another issue, discussed at the conference, is the women’s relation to the freezing of their own biological material. It is known that European women do this procedure more and more often to postpone their pregnancy. However, based on the findings of Belgian scientists, many of them are simply not sure if they want to become mothers in the future, so they freeze their eggs “just in case”. However, most of them "are not going to use frozen biological material for the fertilization in future."

Well, in recent years, the effectiveness of oocyte cryopreservation has developed strongly: from purely theoretical thing the method moved into the category of widely used, the probability of “coming to life” eggs after defrosting has become higher. Despite this, cryopreservation of sperm and embryos is still considered to be much more effective around the world because of its easy and reliable technology. Furthermore, the procedure of embryos’ and sperm’s freezing doesn’t require high skills of physicians and can be carried out in almost any clinic. As for Russia, in my opinion, there are little more than a dozen of professionals who are capable to make cryopreservation of oocytes qualitatively. So, contrary to the "fashionable" trends from Europe, I would suggest, if there is a choice, to freeze embryos, as the probability of success is much higher.

As for cryopreservation "just in case", then, I hope, readers, who choose to take European experience, fully realize that besides the existing risk of a poor service (because of reasons given above), there are other questionable sides of the procedure, such as stimulation of superovulation. After all, if you have a chance, try to do your "demographic" tasks in the young, most favorable for the reproduction, period of life: it’s important to organize priorities in life.