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Attitudes towards embryo donation among infertile couples having frozen embryos
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health. (Klinisk och experimentell reproduktionsbiologi/Olovsson)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health. (Reproduktiv hälsa/Sundström Poromaa)
2013 (English)In:  , 2013Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Background: IVF-treatment often results in surplus embryos that can be cryo-preserved and used for later personal purposes. In Sweden these embryos are allowed by law to be cryo-stored for five years and if not used when this time expire, the couples are left with the decision to discard or to donate them for medical research. The Swedish law does not approve embryo donation, but there are some other countries in Europe and in the world that does. In these countries the procedure is allowed in purpose to help infertile couple to have children where conventional adoption otherwise should be the only way. The purpose of this study was to investigate attitudes towards the donation of surplus embryos among couples with cryo preserved embryos i.e. potential embryo donors in Sweden. Methods: Semi-anonymous questionnaires were sent to 471 infertile couples from an official and a private clinic with stored embryos for 2 or more years. Results: A total of fifty-eight per cent (544/942) responded to the questionnaires. A majority of the respondents, seventy-six percent (416/544) of the participants, supported the donation of embryos to other infertile couples, but divided opinions were identified regarding the disclosure of the biological parents’ identities. About sixty percent of the participants indicated that donations of embryos should be allowed for research and forty-five percent of the participants approved donations of embryos to single women. Conclusions: Embryo donation, from a medical perspective, is a relatively simple procedure, where the difficulty lies mainly in its complexity in terms of legal, moral and ethical aspects. This study demonstrates that nearly three quarters of infertile couples with surplus embryos are in favour of embryo donation. Some of these couples can be considered to be potential embryo donors. A majority of respondents are also in favour of embryos being donated for research. The result from the study indicates that cryopreserved embryos are available for donation to other infertile couples.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
attitudes, embryo donation, infertile, ethics, disclosure
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-214608OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-214608DiVA: diva2:685141
15th World Congress on Human Reproduction, Venezia, Italy, 13-16 March 2013.
Available from: 2014-01-08 Created: 2014-01-08 Last updated: 2014-01-16

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Wånggren, KjellSkoog Svanberg, Agneta
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