Discussing the Egg Donation Risks for Both Recipient Couples and Egg Donors

Roberta Wilson By Roberta Wilson, 28th Mar 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Pregnancy

If you’re considering using an egg donor to get pregnant, take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. Although this medical technology has come a long way in recent years, it’s still something that’s not widely talked about, and there are no long-term studies that assess possible risks and complications. The available studies we do have are regarding women who have taken fertility drugs and not those who have donated their eggs or used donor eggs.

Egg Donation Questions

The good news is that there are very few egg donation risks, especially for the recipient. The procedure is very safe, and babies born from an egg donor have no added complications. In fact, egg donation is actually safer than conceiving naturally since both the recipient and the donor are thoroughly tested, and the donor eggs are screened for genetic abnormalities. Even though egg donation is very safe, there are still some donation risks to be aware of.

Perhaps the most overlooked of the egg donation risks is the emotional ties to the procedure. For the recipient, it’s important that you come to terms with the fact that you will not be genetically tied to your child. This may take some time to accept and even grieve, but most women take comfort in knowing that their child will be biologically theirs. You must also accept that the outcome may not be what you want it to be. Even though egg donations are successful, there is a chance that it may not be productive for you or you may need multiple donor cycles. On the flip side, you may be blessed with multiples since you are having several mature eggs inserted.
Image: healingdream / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Egg Donation Questions

For the donor, there is a lot of uncertainty when donating eggs, so you must be prepared to walk away from the process with an open mind. Since most egg donations are handled anonymously, you won’t know whether or not the eggs were used and when and if the donation resulted in a pregnancy. You must also accept that you will be signing away your rights to the donation and whatever results from the eggs, so you cannot seek your potential child when he or she is an adult.

As far as any risks that might be encountered by donating through an egg donation bank, these are common to both the recipient and the egg donor. Most of the risks are linked to the fertility drugs being taken, especially for the egg donor who will be injecting herself daily with hormones. Hormone injections are used across the board in fertility treatments, so if you are in the role of the recipient, you’ve probably already used several rounds of fertility drugs and are familiar with the risks.

For the egg donor, you should know that you will be taking hormones for approximately three weeks and injecting yourself one to three times daily. The side effects associated with hormone injections include weight gain, bloating, mood swings and nausea. There is a small chance that you can suffer from Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome, which is a rare condition that occurs when the blood vessels leak fluid. There is less than a five percent chance that OHSS will occur, with severe cases being less than one percent.

Egg Donation Questions

For the retrieval process, the risks are the same as with any medical procedure. Damage to nearby organs, infection and an allergic reaction to the anesthesia can occur. Fortunately for most egg donors, the retrieval process is comfortable, safe and poses no long-term risk. You will be lightly sedated for the procedure and will be asked to have someone drive you home. You may also feel sore and experience light cramping, but most likely will resume your normal routine within the next few days.

Once the eggs have been collected, the rest of the process is carried out like a standard IVF procedure for the recipient. Using your partner’s sperm, the eggs will be fertilized in a Petri dish and then inserted with the hopes that a healthy embryo will attach to the lining and be the start of a pregnancy. Success rates are high, approximately 50 to 60 percent using a fresh cycle and slightly less for a frozen cycle. Thanks to the latest technology, vitrification, frozen cycles are becoming nearly as successful as fresh ones.

Egg Donation Questions

There are no known long-term risks for either the recipient or the donor, and in the majority of cases, both parties walk away satisfied with the experience and having achieved their ultimate goal: to create a family.


Egg Donation, Egg Donation Questions, Egg Donation Risks, Egg Donors

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author avatar Roberta Wilson
Love anything about making a house a home. My family's health, decorating my home and my pets are my passion.

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