Egg Donation Brokers: An Analysis of Agency Versus in Vitro Fertilization Clinic Websites

Holwell, Eve; Keehn, Jason; Leu, Cheng Shiun; Sauer, Mark V.; Klitzman, Robert L.

Objective: To compare websites of agencies that broker the services of women who provide human eggs for in vitro fertilization versus clinics that recruit egg providers.

Study design: We examined 207 websites, of which 128 were egg provider agency 40%) or clinic (60%) websites that recruited providers online. We compared them regarding several variables related to adherence to American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) guidelines.

Results: According to their respective websites, agencies were more likely than clinics to mention ASRM guidelines, be located in the West/Pacific, indicate compensation, offer a fee range, set their minimum > $5,000, specify preferable traits, cap provider age at 31, require an education minimum, allow both parties to meet, discuss short-term risks, and not acknowledge a possible cancer risk. Only 25.5% of agencies and 19.5% of clinics mention psychological/emotional risks, and 11.8% and 5.2%, respectively, mention risk to future fertility.

Conclusion: This research, the first to systematically compare several key aspects of egg provider agencies versus clinics, suggests it significant differences in adherence to guidelines, raising several concerns and suggesting needs for consideration of improved monitoring and regulation by ASRM or others.


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Journal of Reproductive Medicine

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June 9, 2020