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Egg Donation in Women 50 and Older
The Ethics Committee of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has updated its opinion on egg donation and embryo donation to women over the age of 50. While pregnancy with egg donation extends the ability for a woman of advanced age with a normal uterus to get pregnant, regardless of ovarian function, is it ethical? According to the document, “Physicians should obtain a complete medical evaluation before deciding to attempt transfer of embryos to any woman over the age of 50. Embryo transfer should be strongly discouraged or denied to any woman over age 50 with underlying issues that could increase or further obstetrical risks, and discouraged in women over age 55.”
The committee opinion raises other points about egg donation and embryo donation for women between the ages of 50 and 54, including :
- Women should be counseled about increased medical risks of conception and pregnancy at an advanced age.
- Single embryo transfer should be strongly considered due to risks associated with multiple pregnancy.
- Prospective parents should be counseled to consider parenting issues specific to their age and the age and health of their partner.
According to the Committee, “The central ethical issue is whether the interests of women and children are served by the use of this technology.”