BACKGROUND IVF, using donor oocytes, has become increasingly common. The donation procedure carries psychiatric risks, including depression, anxiety and rarely, psychosis, and this risk increases when there is a past history of psychiatric illness. We report on the psychiatric status, at intake assessment, of a group of candidate oocyte donors. METHODS The authors reviewed clinical records of 63 women continuously presenting to a University medical center for psychiatric evaluation as part of the screening process for oocyte donation. A board certified psychiatrist administered a structured clinical interview to candidate donors, and self-report measures were obtained from 28 women. RESULTS There was a significant discrepancy between psychiatric history of depression and current mood status, as measured by both clinical interview and psychometric self-report data. Nearly one-quarter of candidate donors (22%) reported a history of major depressive disorder; however, all candidate donors denied current mood disturbance on clinical interview, and mean Beck depression inventory and profile of mood states scores were lower than expected compared with psychometric norms (P < 0.0005), epidemiological data and the recurrent nature of depressive disorders. CONCLUSIONS Candidate donors may minimize psychiatric symptoms. Given the potential for ovarian stimulation protocols to induce or exacerbate mood symptoms, and the moderate heritability of mood disorders, careful evaluation of candidate donor affective disorder history is recommended. This evaluation should focus on sensitivity to mood destabilization during times of hormonal change. Measures that examine whether a candidate donor may have a tendency to present herself in an overly favorable manner, and/or a tendency to minimize symptoms, are recommended.
View details for DOI 10.1093/humrep/deq394
View details for Web of Science ID 000288552200015
View details for PubMedID 21242150