Egg donation is the process of stimulating the ovaries to create multiple eggs, and to donate them through egg retrieval with the hope to achieve the birth of a child. The following are the pros and cons of egg donation.
Pros of Egg Donation for the Donors
Egg donation allows the possibility of the birth of a child in cases where there may have been no hope of any future pregnancy. Personal satisfaction and a ‘feel good’ feeling occurs when women help couples to have a child.
Compensation of thousands of dollars, usually $3,000 to $5,000 is possible in the United States. Higher amounts of $10,000 or more with justification could be possible. In many countries, compensation is for the donor’s time and effort, but not for the eggs themselves. The donor should consider the risks, as it is an invasive procedure.
Being chosen as a candidate does boost self-esteem for many applicants. There are millions of couples that are infertile and need assistance with having children. The intense testing can detect fertility problems and infectious diseases.
Cons of Egg Donation for the Donors
Unpleasant side effects are frequently experienced such as headaches, cramping and bloating, mood swings, temporary weight gain, nausea and vomiting, bruising and pain at the site of the injections, and tender breasts.
Although rare, with ovarian hyperstimulation (excessive stimulation), fluid could collect in the chest and abdomen that could lead to kidney damage, liver failure, blood clots, the loss of a limb, arterial occlusion (obstruction of a passage), shock and death.
An adverse reaction to the general anesthesia, or an infection which is severe or left untreated, could also cause death. With egg donation, there is the possibility that the ovary could twist and cut off its own blood supply (torsion). This occurrence could cause the loss of an ovary. If ovarian hyperstimulation becomes uncontrollable and excessive, one or both ovaries could need to be removed. Although further studies are needed, medical reports indicate links between fertility medications and ovarian and breast cancer.
Further investigations still need to be done, however there are medical findings showing the possibility of early menopause with egg donation. Temporary symptoms of menopause are normally experienced with egg donation such as vaginal dryness, insomnia, mood swings and hot flashes.
Nearby organs to the ovaries, such as the bladder and uterus, and maybe even the bowels, could get damaged during egg retrieval. An accidental pregnancy could occur when the ovaries are over-stimulated with egg donation.