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Guidelines on Mental Illness and Egg Donation in the US

February 28, 2013

Fertility clinics in the United Kingdom routinely turn down egg donors with a history of bipolar disorder, according to a recent news investigation. Guidelines from the Human Embryology and Fertilization Authority in the UK state that prospective donors should not be accepted into the egg donor program if “they are known to have a particular gene, chromosome or mitochondrial abnormality that, if inherited by any child born as a result of the donation, may result in that child having or developing a serious physical or mental disability”. However, there is not currently a government ban on accepting eggs from women with the disorder and the guidelines are enforced on a clinic by clinic basis.

Fertility patients in the United States who are considering a donor egg in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle might have similar concerns about the physical health and psychosocial history of their prospective donor.

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