Blyth, Eric (2003) ‘It’s not about the money. It’s about becoming parents and trying to help other people as well’: Experiences of an ‘egg sharing’ programme in the UK. In: British Andrology Society British Fertility Society for Reproduction and Fertility 3rd Joint Meeting, 13th-17th July 2003, Aberdeen, Scotland. (Unpublished)

Introduction: The HFEA has authorised egg sharing since 1998;
however it remains a controversial service. This paper reports
on the first empirical study in the UK of the experiences of
women who have considered egg sharing and their partners.
Methods: Retrospective semi-structured interviews with 20
female patients - and 18 husbands/partners - attending one UK
licensed treatment centre, all of whom had received counselling
with a view to participating in the centre’s egg sharing
Results and Discussion: After counselling, 12 women proceeded
with egg sharing (seven of whom were successful with their
own treatment and five remained unsuccessful at the time of
interview). Six women decided to proceed with egg sharing but
did not produce enough oocytes to enable egg sharing to take
place; two women decided not to proceed.
Interview data included: (in)fertility history and motivation for
egg sharing; treatment experiences; attitudes regarding
recipients of donated oocytes, towards receiving information
about outcomes of recipients’ treatment and regarding any
children born following egg sharing; information management
within their own family and social networks and responses of
others within family and social networks.
Egg sharing was supported as an acceptable means of family
creation for involuntarily childless people with limited options.
No participant regretted undertaking egg sharing. The majority
of respondents distinguished egg sharing from remunerated
donation, citing both altruism and self-interest as significant
motivating factors. Almost all participants thought donor
information should be updated periodically, in particular any
new medical information. Participants were evenly divided
whether they would wish to learn the outcome of a recipient’s treatment. Two thirds believed any child born following egg
sharing should be told about their origins and half thought that
the child should be able to learn the donor’s identity. A majority
would continue to donate if they were identifiable to any child

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