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Egg Donation - Legal-Ethical Issues

Last Updated on Sep 18, 2020
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Legal-Ethical Issues

In many countries, the donor is ignorant of the legal and ethical issues that form the grey area of egg donation.

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Some of the most important ones are observed below-

  • The donor should completely understand the procedure, the legal-ethical aspects and also the possible risks involved, before agreeing to the procedure. She must sign, what is termed as, the informed consent.
  • It must be observed by the donor that no embryo may be formed from the eggs donated by her. In many recipients, a pregnancy may result in a miscarriage.
  • Only 1-3 embryos are used for transfer to the recipient’s uterus. The remaining embryos are usually frozen for later use, if required, by the recipient. The embryos may remain frozen for a very long period of time or they may be destroyed. Alternatively, they may be used for research. The donor has no say in the matter.
  • The donor should not be forced into a contract to donate more than once. It may not suit the health of the donor and may also result in the production of several genetic offsprings of a single individual.
  • Despite being the genetic parent, the donor has no parental rights or responsibilities towards the offsprings generated from the donated eggs.
  • It is important for the donor who is contributing towards research to understand that she may not directly benefit from her donation

Perhaps, donating eggs for reproduction is more emotional, as the donor does not get to see the offspring.

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baby2mom

The concept of egg donation risk is always relevant for egg donors and recipients of these donor eggs. The world is becoming more ethical and people do not want to embark on any thing which will pose potential harm to a person willing to do good.

For donors, their fertility is not adversely impacted. The period on hormone treatment is for a minimal period and egg donors are carefully assessed during this short period to ascertain whether the medication should be increased or lowered in accordance with her body's response to the stimulation.

In the event that a woman experiences some challenges with conception or fertility later in life after the donor program, it is not likely a consequence to this. Examples include uterine or tubal problems. The screening process for a program requires review of the ovaries, not necessarily the entire reproductive system. Also, sperm plays a role.

The actual retrieval of the eggs is a vaginal process undertaken either under sedation or general anaesthetic. This is also not a risky process. Donor eggs retrieval or harvesting is not an operation, rather an extraction of the eggs from the follicles of the ovaries. This does not involve any cutting or scarring of the ovarian tissue.

After this program, the ovaries will appear slightly different, but not unnatural, just like they have been stimulated. Egg donors are encouraged to remain in contact with the medical practitioner in the event of any concerns.

There is no increased risk for a person receiving eggs. There is extensive screening for people who donate on all levels - by the agency, social level and medical review.




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