Original Investigation

Oocyte Donors’ Awareness on Donation Procedure and Risks: A Call for Developing Guidelines for Health Tourism in Oocyte Donation Programmes


  • Pınar Tulay
  • Okan Atılan

Received Date: 09.08.2018 Accepted Date: 08.10.2018 J Turk Ger Gynecol Assoc 0;0(0):0-0 [e-Pub] PMID: 30299264


In the recent years, oocyte donation programmes have widely spread worldwide becoming the drive of health tourism. In some countries the donation programmes are tightly regulated; whereas in some, the guidelines or regulations are not well defined. The aim of this study was to evaluate the donors’ awareness of the donation programmes and the ethical consequences in enrolling these programmes.

Material and Methods:

A detailed questionnaire-based survey was conducted to evaluate the donors’ main drive to get involved in the donation programme and the donor’s knowledge and awareness of risk factors.


Majority of the donors (70%) were undergoing donation programmes for financial gains through compensation. The donors were especially not aware of the long-term medical risks and the possibility of identity exposure through genetic screening.


The health professionals have the main duty to counsel the donors about the basic procedures and any possible problems they may face during the donation programmes. Reimbursement of oocyte donors is a slippery slope path in oocyte donation programmes. High compensation may make women to think that donation is a profession without considering possible risks. Furthermore, with the wider use of direct-toconsumer genetic testing, genetic anonymity may be at risk, thus the donors have to be counselled properly. Therefore, in this era of health tourism, it is crucial to set up well-defined counselling bodies in all oocyte donation centres and enable the donors to make an informed choice in becoming oocyte donors.

Keywords: Oocyte donation, donor programme, donors, ethics