ASRM Statement on Egg Donation for Post-Menopausal Women By Sandra Carson, MD

ASRM Statement on Egg Donation for Post-Menopausal Women
By Sandra Carson, MD | November 12, 2002
President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine

“Thanks to innovative treatments like in vitro fertilization and egg donation, we are able to help thousands of infertile patients build their families.

It is very important to make clear that the women in this study used donor eggs to achieve their pregnancies. Medically documented cases of women in their fifties becoming pregnant with their own eggs are very rare.

If there is one thing we are particularly good at in medicine, it’s looking at treatments developed for one condition and determining how they could be extended to alleviate another related condition. In this case, a treatment, using donor eggs and IVF to help the medically infertile, can also be used to provide options for post-menopausal women.

The Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has examined the use of egg donation for post-menopausal women and concluded that the practice, while not unethical in all cases, should be discouraged.

The fact is, some patients are going to want this treatment option. Therefore, conducting research into its safety and efficacy is not only ethical, it is very important. Only by conducting this research can we help our patients come to informed decisions about their own treatment.

In addition to its expertise on ART issues, the ASRM is a preeminent organization of researchers and clinicians involved with menopausal and post-menopausal women's health care. Its members are very interested in the processes of menopause, the changes it effects, and ways in which the difficulties of this transition can be eased for patients. We emphasize that every patient must be evaluated individually and any treatment must be designed to meet her own needs.

The ASRM encourages families to make decisions about having children early in life when medical intervention is less likely to be needed, and if needed, more likely to be successful.”

The study, “Pregnancy in the Sixth Decade of Life: Obstetrical Outcomes in Women of Advanced Reproductive Age,” Paulson, et al, will appear in the November 13, 2002 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association—Vol. 288, No. 18 and is embargoed until 4 pm, Tuesday, November 12.

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