Oocyte donation: lessons from the past, directions for the future
Oocyte donation has extended the advances of assisted reproduction and has helped thousands of couples with ovarian dysfunction. It has also provided us with unique scientific insights, which are discussed.
Volume 110, Issue 6, Pages 979–980
Steven R. Lindheim, M.D., M.M.M., Susan C. Klock, Ph.D.
Oocyte donation has its origins in the clandestine use of donated sperm more than 140 years ago. Since first described in 1983, oocyte donation has resulted in more than 50,000 births in the United States alone and today now accounts for more than 10% of all IVF cycles performed yearly in the United States. The use of donated oocytes has changed the human reproductive landscape, challenging the traditional norms of conception and parenthood. Oocyte donation has also provided a unique scientific model that separates the egg from the uterus, allowing the independent study of each in normal physiologic and pathological conditions and providing insights into the fundamental aspects of reproduction, cell biology, and genetics. This Views and Reviews takes us through the historical development of oocyte donation, its scientific insights, and its application to daily practice and management, as well as insights into what the future may hold for this field.