Egg donation can be a rewarding experience for many people. To know that you are donating your eggs to a family who otherwise couldn't have a baby is a special experience. However, if you are trying to decide whether you should undertake this journey, or if you have already made up your mind to donate your eggs, you should be aware of the possible health risks that come along with this procedure. Because egg donation is a medical procedure that includes hormonal treatments and anesthesia to remove the eggs from the body, there could be several complications. Below is a list of possible health risks of egg donation.
1. Sleep-Related Problems
The hormones that are given to increase egg production can cause sleep-related problems, such as insomnia and intermittent sleep.
Headaches are a possible side effect of the egg donation hormonal treatments. These can range from mild to severe headaches.
A common side effect of those participating in egg donation is fatigue. Again, this could range from mild to severe fatigue.
4. Body Aches & Tenderness
Body aches, and especially breast tenderness, has commonly been reported by egg donors.
5. Mood Swings
The hormonal treatments given to those donating eggs have commonly been linked to mood swings in patients.
6. Respiratory Issues
Some people participating in egg donation have reported issues related to their respiratory system, including feelings of suffocation.
7. Renal Failure
Renal failure has been reported in those going through the egg donation process. However, this is an extreme case and is not very common.
8. Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OSS)
Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, or OSS, is a possible side effect of the egg donation procedure. In mild cases of OSS, the issue goes away on its own without any treatment needed. However, in some extreme cases, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome can be life threatening or even deadly.
9. Pregnancy Issues Later in Life
Should you decide to have your own children later in life, complications during egg donation can cause problems for you when trying to get pregnant. Specifically, infection and bleeding can cause later issues with pregnancy.
10. Ovarian Cancer
Some research has suggested that the hormonal treatments associated with egg donation can lead to increased risk of ovarian cancer later in the donor's life.
11. Unwanted Pregnancy
There are times when the egg retrieval process does not remove all the mature eggs. Also, in some cases, a mature egg could be released early. Both of these cases could lead to the possibility of unwanted pregnancy if one of these eggs becomes fertilized.
Being aware of all the possible side effects of egg donation is an important step in making the decision to commit to the procedure. You should also speak to your doctor regarding your specific risks for each possible side effect, as some people are more prone to a specific side effect than others. For example, if ovarian cancer runs in your family, you will be at higher risk of acquiring it than someone with no familial history of cancer.