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Lifting the veil of secrecy: maternal and neonatal outcome of oocyte donation pregnancies in Germany

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Item Type:Article
Title:Lifting the veil of secrecy: maternal and neonatal outcome of oocyte donation pregnancies in Germany
Creators Name:Altmann, J. and Kummer, J. and Herse, F. and Hellmeyer, L. and Schlembach, D. and Henrich, W. and Weichert, A.
Abstract:BACKGROUND: In Germany, performing fertility procedures involving oocyte donation is illegal, as stated by the Embryo Protection Law. Nonetheless, in our clinical routine we attend to a steadily rising number of pregnant women, who have sought oocyte donation abroad. Due to the legal circumstances many women opt to keep the origin of their pregnancy a secret. However, studies have shown, that oocyte donation is an independent risk factor for the development of pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to evaluate maternal and neonatal outcomes of oocyte donation pregnancies in three large obstetric care units in Berlin, Germany. METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed all available medical data on oocyte donation pregnancies at Charité University hospital, Vivantes Hospital Friedrichshain, and Neukoelln in the German capital. RESULTS: We included 115 oocyte donation (OD) pregnancies in the present study. Our data are based on 62 singleton, 44 twin, 7 triplet, and 2 quadruplet oocyte donation pregnancies. According to our data, oocyte donation pregnancies are associated with a high risk of adverse maternal and fetal outcome, i.e., hypertension in pregnancy, preterm delivery, Cesarean section as mode of delivery, and increased peripartum hemorrhage. CONCLUSION: Although oocyte donation is prohibited by German law, many couples go abroad to seek reproductive measures using oocyte donation after former treatment options have failed. OD pregnancies are associated with a high risk of preeclampsia, C-section as mode of delivery, and peripartum hemorrhage. Detailed knowledge of the associated risks is of utmost importance to both the patient and the treating physician and midwife.
Keywords:Oocyte-Donation, Egg-Donation, Preeclampsia, Pregnancy Risks, Peripartum Hemorrhage
Source:Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Page Range:59-69
Date:July 2022
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00404-021-06264-8
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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