Recovery after Egg Donation

For many women who have decided to undergo egg donation, a frequently asked question is, “What will I experience during recovery after egg donation?” With any medical procedure, it is good to be informed of the expected recovery time and the potential risks associated with the procedure. If a donor understands what is considered normal, and is well informed after the process of egg donation, then she can be aware of any problems that occur and have a smooth transition into recovery.

The Complications of Egg Donation

The main complications or potential risks associated with egg donation are quite rare. However, they can include any type of damage to the donor’s reproductive organs, such as the ovaries and uterus, or other organs, such as the bowels or bladder. Some women might experience pain, bleeding from the vagina, and lacerations to the surface of the vaginal wall. This damage can occur during the egg retrieval process.

In some instances, if the woman is not accustomed to the anesthesia, she can develop complications that affect her breathing, heart rate and/or blood pressure.

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome

In some rare cases, the donor can develop a condition known as ovarian hyperstimulation. Ovarian hyperstimuation occurs after a person has been given medication and hormones to stimulate the ovaries to produce more egg follicles. What happens in this scenario is that the ovary becomes too stimulated, too many follicles will be produced. The ovaries will appear swollen or enlarged, and they will experience inflammation. This can lead to increased fluid retention and engorged vessels, with adjusted blood flow to the ovaries as the body tries to compensate. The ovary and its vessels can become twisted, and this will need to be fixed by surgery.

Post Egg Donation Recovery Procedures

These complications do not frequently occur. If the woman has not had counseling, she will likely receive this after the procedure (especially as the donor’s reproductive cycle will be returning back to its usual level of hormones). 

Most women will experience pain after this procedure, and their physicians will prescribe pain medication to deal with the tenderness felt in the treated area. They will also prescribe antibiotics as part of the recovery plan. The antibiotics are used as a preventative measure to halt the chance of an infection occurring in the reproductive organs. The donor can expect many post-operative visits with her physician to ensure she is recovering smoothly.

The medical facility where the egg donation has taken place will send the donor home with the necessary rules and post-procedure recovery plan. Included in this information will be what to do if the donor needs to obtain emergency medical treatment. If everything goes well with the procedure, it is expected that the donor’s cycle should return to normal within one month.

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