Students and fertility clinics – Staff editorial

Ads for fertility clinics are popping up in college newspapers across the nation, including this one. Students are specifically targeted because they are generally healthy and easily enticed by the money that many fertility clinics offer for donations.

Egg and sperm donation is a lucrative business in the baby-making industry. Egg donors can earn up to $3,000 (even more from families who are conducting a private search) – an amount sure to attract the attention of college students who are struggling to make ends meet. But the process is about much more than fast cash; students who consider donating must carefully weigh the short-term benefits against the possible long-term consequences.

Egg donation can lead to unintended health side effects, some medical experts say. Medication used during the egg extraction process trigger short-term menopause, over-stimulate ovaries, and induce headaches and fatigue, they say.

Beyond the health concerns, students must consider the psychological effects. Many potential donors may not fully comprehend that their donation begins a human life. True, the donation can give infertile couples a chance to have a child, but donors must weigh the gravity of the choice they have made.

Fertility clinics must offer counseling to all potential donors. Still, it is the donors themselves who must decide what is best for them in the long run. If they decide to follow through with it, they should donate only through reputable clinics. Risking one’s long-term health and mental well-being is not worth a couple of thousand dollars.

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