Donor age is a major determinant of success of oocyte donation/recipient programme

Hum Reprod. 2012 Jan;27(1):118-25. doi: 10.1093/humrep/der359. Epub 2011 Nov 2.


Background: In recent years, particularly in developed countries, women have tended to delay childbirth until over 40 years of age. Our study aims to identify whether the donor's age or recipient's age influences the pregnancy and live birth rate following oocyte recipient cycles.

Methods: A population study included 3889 fresh oocyte recipient cycles. Pregnancy and live delivery rates were compared in recipient age groups (<35, 35-39, 40-44 and ≥45 years) and donor age groups (<30, 30-34, 35-39 and ≥40 years).

Results: The highest live birth rate was of cycles in donors aged 30-34 years (25.0%), it decreased (P< 0.05) to 24.1% in donors aged <30 years, 20.7% in donors aged 35-39 years and 11.5% in donors aged ≥40 years. The multivariate analysis showed no significant differences in the success by recipient's age. Compared with cycles in donors aged 30-34 years, cycles in donors aged 35-39 years had 14 and 18% less chance to achieve a pregnancy [adjusted rate ratio (ARR) 0.86, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.75-0.98] and a live delivery (ARR 0.82, 95% CI 0.71-0.96), while cycles in donors aged 40 years or older had 42 and 54% less chance to achieve a pregnancy (ARR 0.58, 95% CI 0.41-0.84) and a live delivery (ARR 0.46, 95% CI 0.29-0.73).

Conclusions: Older recipients with younger donors did not have a poorer pregnancy outcome compared with younger recipients with younger donors. Choosing a donor aged <35 years would increase the chance of pregnancy and live delivery for older recipients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Oocyte Donation / methods*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted*
  • Tissue Donors*