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Egg Donor Health Risk

Last Updated on Sep 18, 2020
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Donor Health Risks

Several donor-related health risks are associated with egg donations which need to be considered seriously. Fatality has been reported and approximately 0.5-5% of those undergoing the procedure are known to suffer from side effects.


Some of the potential health risks associated with egg donation are mentioned below-

  • Some of the common side effects of the medications include
  1. Vaginal dryness
  2. Hot flashes
  3. Breast tenderness
  4. Sleep-related problems
  5. Body aches
  6. Fatigue
  7. Headache
  8. Vision-related issues
  9. Respiratory issues
  10. Mood swings
  11. In extreme cases-renal failure
  • Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) is another by-product of the procedure. If it is mild, as in most cases, it goes away on its own. In a few rare cases OHSS may be severe and life threatening.
  • In some instances, all the mature eggs are not retrieved from the donor, while in others they may be released early. In such cases, unprotected intercourse may result in an unwanted pregnancy.
  • According to some studies, there is an increased risk of ovarian cancer among the donors.
  • Complications such as infection or bleeding may reduce the chances of pregnancy in the donor.

In people who suffer from such side effects, it is important to understand the factors that promote susceptibility in them.

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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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