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Perception of pain and the oocyte donor experience: a retrospective analysis of commercial US donors

      Highlights

      • U.S. commercial oocyte donors were well informed about the risk of pain
      • Donors informed of the risk of pain were less likely to experience unexpected pain
      • Report of unexpected levels of pain was highly related with low donor satisfaction.

      Abstract

      Research question

      What is the relationship between oocyte donor characteristics and their pain perception, their expectation and experience of pain, and the interaction between pain and overall satisfaction with the donation process?

      Design

      Institutional Review Board approved, retrospective survey of commercial, US oocyte donors was emailed to recent donors recruited through Donor Egg Bank USA before 2020.

      Results

      Of the 503 opened emails, 246 individuals responded (48.9%). Most donors ranked their pain between minimal and moderate at all time points analysed. Altruistically motivated donors and parous donors were less likely to experience unexpected levels of pain. A high proportion (93.9%) of donors reported being informed of the risk of pain. Those who recalled being informed of the risk of pain were less likely to report higher levels of pain than expected. Although 94.2% of donors reported having an average to positive experience overall, 92.3% (12 out of 13 donors) in the group reporting a negative overall experience said they felt more pain than expected.

      Conclusions

      Donors were well informed about the risk of pain. Altruistically motivated donors and parous donors were less likely to experience unexpected levels of pain. Report of unexpected levels of pain was highly related to low donor satisfaction.

      KEYWORDS

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      Biography

      Abigail L Combs, MD, is a resident physician in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tennessee, where she also attended medical school. She is pursuing a career in reproductive endocrinology and infertility.
      Key message
      US commercial oocyte donors were well informed about the risk of pain. Donors who recalled being informed were less likely to experience unexpected levels of pain. An unexpected level of pain was highly related to low satisfaction. These findings will be useful to improve anticipatory guidance for counselling future donors.