The objective of the study is to examine attitudes towards aspects of donation treatment based on a national Swedish sample of gamete donors and couples undergoing assisted reproductive techniques (ART).
The present study was part of the Swedish study on gamete donation, a prospective longitudinal cohort study including all fertility clinics performing gamete donation in Sweden. The sample comprised 164 oocyte donors, 89 sperm donors, 251 people treated with their own gametes (in vitro fertilisation (IVF)), 213 oocyte recipients and 487 sperm recipients. A study-specific questionnaire was used.
Attitudes vary widely between couples using their own gametes for IVF and those receiving or donating oocyte or sperm. The groups differed in their responses to most questions. Oocyte and sperm donors were more likely to agree with the statements "The donor should be informed if the donation results in a child" and "Offspring should receive some information about the donor during mature adolescence" than recipients of donated gametes and couples treated with their own gametes.
Donor recipients, IVF couples and donors expressed different attitudes towards openness and information when it came to gamete donation, and those differences seemed to depend on their current reproductive situation.
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What are oocyte donors and sperm donors' attitudes towards disclosure and relationship to donor offspring?
Oocyte and sperm donors in an identity-release donor programme support disclosure to donor offspring and have overall positive or neutral attitudes towards future contact with offspring.
There is a global trend towards open-identity gamete donation with an increasing number of countries introducing legislation allowing only identifiable donors. While women and men who enrol in identity-release donor programmes accept that they may be contacted by donor offspring, there is limited knowledge of their attitudes towards disclosure to donor offspring and how they perceive their relationship to potential donor offspring.
The present study is part of the 'Swedish study on gamete donation', a prospective cohort study including donors at all fertility clinics performing donation treatment in Sweden. During a 3-year period (2005-2008), donors were recruited consecutively and a total of 157 oocyte donors and 113 sperm donors (who did not donate to a specific 'known' couple) were included prior to donation. Participants in the present study include 125 female (80%) and 80 male donors (71%) that completed two follow-up assessments.
Participants completed two postal questionnaires 2 months after donation and 14 months after donation. Attitudes towards disclosure to donor offspring were assessed with an established instrument. Perceptions of involvement with donor offspring and need for counselling was assessed with study-specific instruments. Statistical analyses were performed with non-parametric tests.
A majority of oocyte and sperm donors supported disclosure to donor offspring (71-91%) and had positive or neutral attitudes towards future contact with offspring (80-87%). Sperm donors reported a higher level of involvement with potential donor offspring compared with oocyte donors (P = 0.005). Few donors reported a need for more counselling regarding the consequences of their donation.
While the multicentre study design strengthens external validity, attrition induced a risk of selection bias. In addition, the use of study-specific instruments that have not been psychometrically tested is a limitation.
The positive attitudes towards disclosure to offspring of female and male identity-release donors are in line with previous reports of anonymous and known donors. While our results on donors' general positive or neutral attitudes towards future contact with potential donor offspring are reassuring, a subset of donors with negative attitudes towards such contact warrants concern and suggests a need for counselling on long-term consequences of donating gametes.
The 'Swedish study on gamete donation' was funded by the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, and the Regional Research Council in Uppsala-Örebro. There are no conflicts of interest to declare.
BACKGROUND: Oocyte donation has been permitted by Swedish legislation since January 2003. While donors are anonymous to the receiving couple, offspring have the legal right to receive identifying information about the donor when they reach adult age. Our aim was to investigate factors of potential importance for women's willingness to donate oocytes. METHOD: A questionnaire regarding attitudes towards oocyte donation was sent to a randomized sample of 1000 women aged 25-35 years (73% response). RESULTS: Seventeen percent would consider donating oocytes, whereas 39% opposed this, and 44% were doubtful. Potential donors were less likely to have children of their own and thought the genetic link was of less importance. Potential donors would feel happy about helping a childless couple, and 38% would be glad to be contacted by the offspring. Factors that would increase women's willingness to donate were being able to talk to experienced donors, proximity to the clinic and availability of counselling. CONCLUSION: The results indicate considerable interest in donating oocytes among a subset of women in Sweden. Potential donors associated donation with altruistic motives. The issue of offspring's right to know about their origin appears to be complicated. This suggests that information about the consequences of donation is of great importance.
Do heterosexual parents of young children following oocyte donation (OD) and sperm donation (SD) tell or intend to tell their offspring about the way he/she was conceived?
Following successful treatment with oocytes or sperm from identity-release donors in Sweden, almost all heterosexual couples intend to tell their offspring about the way he/she was conceived and some start the information-sharing process very early.
Although the Swedish legislation on identity-release gamete donors has been in effect since 1985, there is a discrepancy between the behaviour of donor-insemination parents and the legal intention that offspring be informed about their genetic origin. The present study contributes data on a relatively large sample of oocyte and sperm recipient couples' intended compliance with the Swedish legislation. DESIGN AND DATA COLLECTION METHOD: The present study constitutes a follow-up assessment of heterosexual couples who had given birth to a child following treatment with donated oocytes. Data collection was performed during 2007-2011; participants individually completed a questionnaire when the child was between 1 and 4 years of age.
The present study is part of the Swedish Study on Gamete Donation, a prospective longitudinal cohort study including all fertility clinics performing gamete donation in Sweden. For children conceived via OD, 107 individuals (including 52 couples and 3 individuals) agreed to participate (73% response). For children conceived via SD, the response rate was 70% (n = 122 individuals, including 59 couples and 4 individuals). Mean age of participants was 34 years (SD 4.4) and they reported a high level of education.
The majority of participants (78%) planned to tell the child about the donation, 16% had already started the information-sharing process and 6% planned not to tell their child about the donation or were undecided. Many were unsure about a suitable time to start the disclosure process and desired more information about strategies and tools for information sharing. Agreement on disclosure to offspring within the couple was related to the quality of the partner relationship. BIAS AND GENERALIZABILITY: There is a risk of selection bias, with gamete recipients preferring secrecy and non-disclosure declining study participation. The results may be regarded as partly generalizable to heterosexual couples with young children following treatment with gametes from legislatively mandated identity-release donors in an established donor programme.
Study funding by Merck Serono, The Swedish Research Council and The Family Planning Fund in Uppsala. No conflicts of interest to declare.
BACKGROUND: Postponing childbirth is becoming increasingly common in Western countries, especially among groups with higher education qualifications. It is relatively unknown to what extent women and men are aware of the age-related decline in female fertility. The aim was to investigate university students' intentions and attitudes to future parenthood and their awareness regarding female fertility. METHODS: Postal survey of a randomly selected sample of 222 female (74% response) and 179 male (60% response) university students. RESULTS: Female and male university students in Sweden have largely positive attitudes towards parenthood and want to have children. Women, in comparison to men, were significantly more concerned about problems related to combining work and children. Both women and men had overly optimistic perceptions of women's chances of becoming pregnant. About half of women intended to have children after age 35 years and were not sufficiently aware of the age-related decline of female fecundity in the late 30s. CONCLUSIONS: University students plan to have children at ages when female fertility is decreased without being sufficiently aware of the age-related decline in fertility. This increases the risk of involuntary infertility in this group, which is alarming in view of the great importance they put on parenthood.
To study parenting stress in lesbian parents and to compare that stress with heterosexual parents following in vitro fertilisation (IVF) or spontaneous pregnancies.
This survey took place during 2005-2008 and was part of the Swedish multicentre study on gamete donation. It comprised 131 lesbian parents, 83 heterosexual IVF parents, who used their own gametes, and 118 spontaneous pregnancy parents. The participants responded to the questionnaire when the child was between 12 and 36-months-old and parenting stress was measured by the Swedish Parenting Stress Questionnaire (SPSQ).
Lesbian parents experienced less parenting stress than heterosexual IVF parents when it came to the General Parenting Stress measure (p = 0.001) and the subareas of Incompetence (p
STUDY DESIGN: Matched patient/staff study. OBJECTIVES: To investigate spinal cord lesion (SCL) rehabilitation staff perceptions of SCL patient problems, coping efforts, and well-being, and to compare these evaluations with patient self-reports of the same aspects. SETTINGS: Spinal Unit, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden. METHODS: In all, 29 persons with SCL and 24 members of the caring staff participated. Each patient was matched to a staff person actually involved in his or her care. The participants completed a study-specific questionnaire containing 45 SCL-related problems covering six problem areas: somatic symptoms, functional limitations, role problems, family-related problems, psychosocial problems, and emotional problems. Coping activities were assessed by a self-report 47-item questionnaire covering eight aspects of coping: self-trust, problem focusing, acceptance, fatalism, resignation, protest, minimization, and social trust. The patients were instructed to respond to the items included in the questionnaires according to their situation during the last week, while staff members were instructed to reply as 'they thought that their matched patient would answer'. RESULTS: Moderate but statistically significant correlations were demonstrated between patient and staff ratings of most investigated problem areas. However, the staff systematically overestimated patients' emotional as well as family problems, and tended to underestimate patients' reported coping ability and mental health. Staff were most accurate in assessing patients' physical symptoms, functional limitations, and role problems, but less accurate in their perception of less visible symptoms. CONCLUSION: Relatively high agreement between patients and staff concerning patients' problems and states is possible to obtain in a caring setting. This may be more related to the quality of caring in the studied unit than to the study methodology used. Small units with high staff density and a long stay and/or prolonged contact with the patients probably facilitate communication with and knowledge about the patients. Interventions aimed at increasing staff awareness of patients' coping efforts may further improve staff ability to understand and support patients in their adaptation process.
To study the personality characteristics of identifiable oocyte donors in a national sample in comparison with normal values.
All Swedish donation programmes.
In total, 181 women out of 221 donors recruited during 2005-2008.
Standardised questionnaires were used to measure personality characteristics.
Demographics, temperament and character inventory (TCI).
The majority (69%) of the donors had biological children of their own. The results from the TCI indicate that the oocyte donors were all within the normal range of character. With regard to personality, a significant difference was evident between the two groups: oocyte donors showed lower means for harm avoidance and higher scores for persistence than the controls. This indicates that the donors felt less worried, and displayed a lower level of fear of uncertainty, shyness and fatiguability, and a higher level of persistence, than the controls. In the present sample, 29 (16%) of the donors were so-called 'known donors', that is the recipient couples and the donors were known to each other. 'Known donors' displayed a mature and stable character.
We found that the women who had been accepted for inclusion in this nationwide oocyte donor programme were all well adjusted and mature.
The aim of this study was to investigate practice behaviours of Swedish physicians with regard to discussing the impact of cancer treatment on fertility with paediatric oncology patients and their parents, and to identify factors associated with such discussions.
A cross-sectional survey study was conducted targeting all physicians in Sweden working in paediatric oncology care settings. Participants responded to a questionnaire measuring practice behaviour, attitudes, barriers, and confidence in knowledge. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine factors associated with seldom discussing fertility.
More than half of the physicians routinely talked with their patients/parents about the treatment's potential impact on fertility (male patients: 62%; female patients: 57%; P = 0.570). Factors associated with less frequently discussing fertility with patients/parents were working at a non-university hospital (male patients: OR 11.49, CI 1.98-66.67; female patients: OR 33.18, CI 4.06-271.07), concerns that the topic would cause worry (male patients: OR 8.23, CI 1.48-45.89; female patients: OR 12.38, CI 1.90-80.70), and perceiving the parents as anxious (male patients: OR 7.18, CI 1.20-42.85; female patients: OR 11.65, CI 1.32-103.17).
Based on our findings, we recommend structured training in how to communicate about fertility issues in stressful situations, which in turn might increase fertility-related discussions in paediatric oncology.
Cites: Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2015 Dec;44(4):799-820 PMID 26568494
Oocyte donation has been permitted by Swedish legislation since January 2003. According to the law, offspring have the right to receive identifying information about the donor when they reach a mature age. The aim of the present study was to investigate public opinion regarding different aspects of oocyte donation.
A study-specific questionnaire regarding attitudes towards aspects of oocyte donation was sent to a randomized sample of 1000 women (73% response) and 1000 men (56% response).
A majority of respondents supported treatment with oocyte donation. Seventeen per cent of the women considered donating in the future, whereas 56% of the men would support their partner. While nearly half of the respondents considered that offspring should receive identifying information of the donor, one-third were opposed to this. Overall, women were more positive towards disclosure to the offspring than were men (P