Saturday, 14 November 2009

Double Standards?

I have a rather blasé approach to sperm donation. Why shouldn't our virile men crack one off in order to enable less fortunate folk conceive? And sure, pay them for it. Afterall they are probably skint college students who don't know where their next pint is coming from.

Egg donation though. Completely different story. I start thinking about it and I find myself in a moral quagmire.

I think it is because sperm is almost infinite, out it comes and by the next day the pot has been topped up. Eggs, however, are far more finite. You get what you are born with and, with each passing month, they start to disappear (in fact the lions share disappear whilst still in the womb).

My latest post on Fertility Authority discusses egg donation, read here.

I don't have an answer. And I'm not really sure where the post goes but (as the comments on the last post show - thanks for that I was expecting a far more negative response), you're a thoughtful bunch and I'd be interested to hear your take.

By the way, I know the opening sound like something that I have exaggerated for effect but I promise, it was totally unexpected and word for word what happened.


  1. And donating eggs is a LOT more intensive than donating sperm...

  2. Well written, taking into account more than the monetary value of the action. I'm not sure where I stand on this issue. If I was the healthy, young female who had the option to donate eggs, would I? And would it be the opposite of what you said..I would only donate to family or a friend? If I was in the position of needing donated eggs, would I? Or would I walk away? Wow. Too early in the morning for me to think....

  3. If I was still young, I may donate - except that it's a lot more than just "cracking one off". There are a lot of risks associated with ovary stimulation. I do sincerely applaud those women who do donate.

  4. Your friend is very thoughtful.....

    After I had my kids I asked my Ob about egg donation. He was surprised to say the least. Apparently I wasn't a good candidate as I was already near the upper end of their age cut off and given that I was planning on breastfeeding for at least the next year, it put me above the 35 year cut off.

  5. We really cannot compare having a wank into a cup to egg donation. We're just giving up what would end up on our sheets (most of the time) anyway :-)

    Egg donation is not only invasive, but risky. The women who donate their eggs should be seriously rewarded.

  6. Coming from the US, I have to say that I do see the arguments on both sides of the issue (re paying for egg donation). If you really need money badly, you are not likely to take into account all of the risks to yourself, and potentially your own future fertility, no matter how clearly a Dr. explains it. If you are young enough, and/or don't really want a baby at the time, you are just not in a position to fully understand what it is you are doing.

    But then again, how many people would decide to do this out of the kindness of their hearts? I know I wouldn't, unless it was for a dear friend or relative. And maybe not even then...I am a surgery-phobe.

  7. As someone who has considered donor eggs (and used donor sperm) I've thought about a lot of it. My sister offered to donate for me which made it cheaper which is nice. That said I admit to feeling some bit of skepticism over having that close of a connection to the donor. A fear I guess that some day my child may wish he/she had a different parent. I don't have a problem with the idea of someone being paid for the eggs and if I were younger and my eggs better I'd happily share anything I got. It just turns out I don't get much.

  8. it's a tough one. The processes are very different - much more intensive and riskier for women - but the end result is the same: the possibility of a child who is genetically yours but whom you will not have any contact with.

    I wrote about this a while back, as a thought experiment for myself, and concluded while I'd happily donate eggs to my sister for free, or for research if I was paid, I couldn't donate for other reasons, because of the results.

  9. This is true Barb
    Yeah that’s not the kind of thing yu want to think about first thing in the morning Rambler!
    That was something I didn’t really touch on, Pregnant Yuppy, thanks for raising it. Ovary stimulation syndrome, hormones flying round your body, invasive procedures …

    Lovely idea Corymbia

    Ewwww. On your sheets Mick !

    Thanks for your comment Anonymous, I think you’re right, I wonder how many donors really understand how difficult it is.

    I suppose the difference with using your sisters, Batty, is you would then have some biological link. But tough.

    Thanks QueenOf Birds, I found your post really interesting.

  10. Nothing insightful to add, just wanted to say I liked your article. Your poor colleague! She must have some awful pain. I can but imagine.

    And what a touching thing that she would think of helping someone, even when considering her hysterectomy.

  11. Hello! I'm quite grateful I found your blog because A) its awesome, and b) you're like a British version of me. If you happen to lose the left half of your brain, I believe I could donate mine to you with little disruption. I'm just starting out with the whole infertility blogging, but as far as the trying part goes its been 5 years and 4 miscarriages. I have elected to think of it as funny, like one big FUCK YOU from Mother Nature with a wry grin.

    In any event, please come by to visit. Http:// If you don't mind, I've linked to your blog as well... if you have a blog button please send my way. Fingers crossed for both of us, hopefully we'll get lucky together soon and can blog about how F-ed up pregnancy is :-)

  12. Hi Kate, what a lovely comment (if a little creepy about the brain swap!). I'll check out your blog.

  13. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!


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