|Oocyte Retrieval for Donation or Preservation: Exploring Impacts on Physical and Emotional Health|
Research Allocation Program/UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women's Health Research Jan 1, 2020 - Dec 31, 2020
Role Description: This research is a comparative study of two different groups that undergo controlled ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval—egg donors and elective egg freezers. Our aims are: 1) To understand the economic and social factors that influence people’s decisions to provide eggs for pay compared to those who elect to freeze their own eggs; 2) To understand how ovulation induction and oocyte retrieval affect individual health and well-being, depending upon how the oocytes will be used.
This preliminary investigation will examine how different people come to view their eggs as materials to be shared, sold, or frozen, and how socio-economic status, race/ancestry, and gender identity intersect with individuals’ positions vis a vis their eggs. It will also build an essential collaboration for initiating long-term data collection on health outcomes for people who have undergone COS. This research could benefit prospective, current, and former egg providers/donors, people considering freezing their own eggs, people considering using an egg donor to create their families, and professionals working in the field of infertility and third-party reproduction. The work will also contribute to broader feminist social science debates surrounding technology, the body, and reproductive health and justice.
|The Effects of Socio-Cultural Context on Human Biomarkets|
National Science Foundation 1828783Aug 1, 2018 - Jul 31, 2021
Role: Principal Investigator
Role Description: The research supported by this award will investigate the effects of socio-cultural context on the governance of human bio-material donation and sale. Over the past few decades, medical science has increased the potential uses of human bio-materials. However, as innovation has increased, so have questions about costs, outcomes, and ethics. In response, a variety of different regulatory policies have been adopted globally. This variation across countries provides an excellent opportunity for comparative research to see to what degree policy differences produce different outcomes for donors, recipients, and other stakeholders. In this project, researchers will focus on one area of bio-material donation -- compensated donation of human eggs -- in two different cultural contexts. Results from this research will benefit policy makers, medical professionals, and patient and provider advocates. The project also provides research training opportunities for graduate students.
The research will be carried out by Dr. Diane Tober, a medical anthropologist from the University of California, San Francisco, in collaboration with researchers from the Spanish University of Distance Education and from Complutense University, both in Madrid, Spain. These research sites were chosen because the United States and Spain are the two primary locations for donor egg fertility treatment, but their bio-material markets operate within dramatically different cultural and regulatory environments. The U.S. has comparatively few regulations limiting donor selection, compensation, and identification, while Spain is highly regulated, limits donor compensation, and requires donor anonymity. The researchers will collect data through ethnographic observation in two or more clinics in each country; interviews with medical professionals in the fertility industry and other key informants; and interviews and surveys of women in each country who provide eggs for pay, including both experienced and first-time donors. The quantitative data will be analyzed with standard statistical methods; the qualitative ethnographic data will be examined using computer-assisted qualitative data analytical techniques and through narrative analysis. Results, presented in professional publications and at conferences, will help social scientists understand how underlying cultural logics inform the crafting and regulation of medical markets and the commodification of human bio-materials. Results will also be made available through policy briefs and public fora to assist policy makers who need to understand how regulatory differences affect outcomes, as well as patients and donors who participate in bio-material markets.
|Decisions and Experiences of Egg Providers|
UCSF RAP Individual Investigator Grant Dec 1, 2015 - Jul 1, 2017
Role Description: This pilot research explores how women decide to become oocyte donors, their experiences with egg donation process, their satisfaction with their decision, and perceptions of children born from their eggs. Through qualitative, open-ended, semi-structured interviews, combined with quantitative surveys, data from this research can be used to increase egg donor satisfaction and improve informed consent.