Fertility and pregnancy

Egg donors to receive £750 compensation

Egg donors to receive £750 compensation Covers loss of earnings and expenses

Women who donate eggs to help infertile couples have a child will now receive a fixed compensation of £750, under new proposals agreed by the UK fertility watchdog.

Donors currently receive compensation for lost earnings, capped at £250 and also have their expenses paid.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) says the new sum means that "clinics will in the future be able to offer donors compensation which better reflects their expenses."

Critics of the new figure argue that women may be encouraged to donate eggs for money.

Professor Lisa Jardine, Chair of the HFEA, said: "My Authority has set a level of compensation which will not deter those interested in donation but will retain donors already in the system, without attracting those who are merely financially motivated.

"In looking at donation we have focused on what it means to people – to those born of assisted reproduction, to donors, to patients wanting desperately to have a baby and to the public in general.

"We are convinced that it is right to look at compensation not in terms of crude sums but in terms of the value of donation."

Under the new arrangement, men will receive a single payment of £35 each time they visit a clinic to donate sperm.

Women who decide to donate eggs will receive the fixed sum for each cycle of donation.

Couples can wait for up to five years for donor eggs, and many end up travelling abroad for treatment.

Egg donation is an invasive procedure. After being screened for a range of infectious and genetic diseases, the donor is given hormone injections to help the eggs mature in the ovaries. The eggs are collected under general anaesthetic.

Side-effects can include mood swings, tiredness, bloating and stomach pain. On rare occasions, the donor may suffer a severe over-reaction to the hormones used.

This article was published on Thu 20 October 2011

Image © Monkey Business - Fotolia.com

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