Egg donor risks


The first thing to realize about donating eggs is that this is a largely unregulated trade. Ads are becoming pervasive on college campuses looking for female students to donate their eggs, to give the gift of life to a couple struggling with infertility. They downplay the risks while emphasizing the benefits. It’s good business.

There are multiple office visits, hormonal injections, and a vaginal ultrasound. These are standard. What may not be mentioned is that for some women, hormone injections will lead to ovarian hyper stimulation disorder. The symptoms include a sudden enlargement of the ovary an accumulation of fluid in the abdomen. The ovary may even rupture. This condition occurs in as many as 20% of women participating in hormone injections.

It is also important that the egg donor feel confident in the skills of the doctor retrieving the eggs. Usually an aspiration method is used and this can cause damage if not done properly. Bleeding, infection, damage to the bladder or other abdominal organs may occur.

An egg donor should be sure to ask for a list of risks and protocols for dealing with the side effects should they occur. What responsibility will the fertility clinic take in treating and correcting any of these conditions should they occur? If emergency care is required at the clinic, for instance ambulance transfer, will the clinic pay for it?

There is no denying that the money is good, better for some women than others as demand for certain physiological characteristics will determine price. The egg donor should not get blinded by the money and forget to take care of herself. Know the risks, know the reputation of the fertility clinic, ask for references. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to help an infertile couple; but not if it means risking your own fertility.

Source: CSULB,,


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