Third-party reproduction in the Internet Age The new patient centered landscape

The rise of the Internet Age has brought significant change to third-party reproduction. The implications of the freer informational exchange between third-party participants are examined. Recommendations are made regarding strategies fertility programs can use to navigate this new landscape.

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Julia T. Woodward, Ph.D.

Volume 104, Issue 3, Pages 525-530


The rise of the Internet Age has brought a host of sweeping changes to the landscape of third-party reproduction. What began as a dyadic relationship between doctor and patient has evolved into a more complex system in which patients are able to access information online from a variety of external sources. Patients often seek to play a more active role in their third-party reproductive care, and the Internet allows them to do so. Further, demand for both medical and psychosocial information about donors and donor-conceived siblings, available online through patient forums and genetic registries, has altered the perception of gamete donation from a one-time event to an ongoing relationship. The advantages and disadvantages for patients and providers of this freer flow of information between third-party participants are examined. Search motivations of recipients and offspring, as well as types of information sought, are detailed. Recommendations are made regarding strategies fertility programs can use to optimally support their patients and navigate this new landscape.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.