Can I be a donor if I am overweight?

Posted On May 31st, 2019

We all know that egg donors need to be in excellent health, and you can be healthy with an extra 5 or 10 pounds on your frame. But will it disqualify you as a donor? Kathy Benardo explains in this YouTube video.


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Surrogacy Mythbusting: The Surrogate Cannot Keep the Baby!

Posted On May 21st, 2019

The most common misconception about surrogacy is that the surrogate can change her mind and keep the child. In this video I discuss the origins of this idea in the notorious Baby M case, and explain the difference between traditional and gestational surrogacy.


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The Known Unknown: The future of anonymous egg donation

Posted On May 17th, 2019

About 10,000 babies are born every year via egg donation: a process in which a woman agrees (typically for a fee) to have her eggs retrieved and used by another family to conceive a child. Some hopeful parents (“recipients”) choose known donors, that is, family members or friends to serve as their donors. But the vast majority are unknown, found through donor pools at IVF clinics, independent agencies, or frozen egg banks.

For medical purposes, doctors and the FDA make clear black-and-white distinctions between known and unknown donors. But the growing reality among recipients and donors is that “known” has many shades of gray.
Twenty or so years ago when clinics were the only source for egg donors, complete mutual anonymity between donors and recipients was the standard. Anonymity was one of the factors that allowed egg donation, then still new and unfamiliar, to flourish in the US. [In countries where anonymity is not allowed (such as Great Britain), egg donation is very limited (compensation is restricted there, too).] Guaranteed privacy and confidentiality encouraged women to participate.

Basic medical information was presented to recipients, but not current photos. Photos were off limits not only because they could theoretically breach confidentiality, but they could also “irrationally” sway the recipients’ preferences beyond the criterion of medical eligibility, the primary concern of their doctors. From a clinical point of view, any kind of openness, even photos, could threaten the whole arrangement. Anonymity kept clinics in control of the process.


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What is IVF? IVF Mythbusting

Posted On May 13th, 2019

Sensational stories such as “Octomom” make a misleading impression of IVF on the general public. Kathy Benardo explains the basics of in vitro fertilization and how it is normally employed by infertile patients. Assisted Reproduction technology is actually highly regulated.


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Age Limits for IVF: the ASRM Guidelines

Posted On May 6th, 2019

A recent article in Fertility and Sterility publishes the result of a survey that measures public attitudes toward an age limit for the use of assisted reproduction.


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