Evaluating the Egg Donation Risks for Both Donors and Recipients

Published: 04th January 2012
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Although egg donations were nonexistent just a few decades ago, this fertility treatment is one of the most effective to date. With a nearly 50 percent chance of conceiving, more couples are choosing to look for egg donors, especially after failed attempts at in vitro fertilization. Because egg donors are young, fertile women, the eggs are more likely to produce an embryo. Not all women are ideal candidates for egg donations, so itís important to evaluate your own medical history and reasons for not becoming pregnant, if they are known. Women with premature menopause or a diminished egg supply would be good candidates for egg donation for example.

Although the path that may have led you to look for a donor was long and tiresome, the actual process can move along quickly. When using frozen eggs, you select a credible agency, browse through their list of donors, choose a match based on such factors as physical characteristics and ethnicity and have the frozen eggs sent to your doctor for fertilization and implantation. Taking this route can result in a healthy pregnancy within a few short months, as opposed to the six to nine months that it takes with fresh eggs.

If you choose to use a frozen egg donor bank, itís critical that you weigh the egg donation risks that can occur during the process. Itís easy to get so wrapped up in choosing a donor that you may forget about your own mental and physical health. Furthermore, you may have already been through an involved series of fertility treatments that have put added hormones into the body.

For the recipient, there are very few egg donor risks associated with using the eggs. At one time, medical experts warned of the possibility of contracting a transmittable disease such as HIV. However, clinics test for these diseases no more than 30 days before retrieving the eggs, which weeds out most of the cases. Only if the donor has come into contact with the virus in very recent weeks or months should there be any concern.

The recipient must also trust the medical history of the donor and that there are no genetic disorders in the family that could be passed to the unborn child. Part of the evaluation is an in-depth mental health analysis and medical background that should uncover any mistruths regarding these factors. To protect yourself against these egg donation risks, talk with the program to see what screening processes they use.

At this time, there are no long-term studies that assess egg donor risks for the young women who offer their eggs. Some of the associations between an increased risk of cancer and the use of hormones can be scary for young women, but even medical experts that speculate the safety of donating eggs admits that the studies are inconclusive. For example, women may have higher rates of cancer as a result of being infertile, not taking hormones. And some of the natural courses of pregnancy are thought to lower the rate of cancer in women; an example being breastfeeding and its lowering effect on breast cancer. There have been a few studies that have looked at donor eggs and the associated risks, but without knowing where the eggs came from, itís difficult to make any distinct claims.

There are short-term egg donor risks to be aware of and these include hyperovulation and the common side effects associated with any hormone medication. Side effects range from bloating to headaches to weight gain. Since donors have to undergo the procedure of having their eggs removed, there is also some concern with this process. Although most women do just fine and recover within a few hours, some have slight pain and may react to the anesthesia. More serious complications include damage to a nearby organ such as the bladder or bowel.

With such limited data on the long-term egg donor risks for either the donor or the recipient, itís hard to say what the future holds for these women. More importantly is that medical experts want both parties to be aware of all the details that are involved with the process, even if they arenít all positive. With accurate information, young women can make informed decisions and wonít regret their decision to donate. Fortunately at this time, no studies are conclusive and for the most part, show the process of egg donation to be positive, effective and life changing for both parties.


Julie Collins writes about infertility issues that people may face today and the egg donor risks. Always looking for leaders in the IVF industry to refer friends and family, she ends up sending them to http://www.myeggbank.com/ more often than not.


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