Is egg donation safe?

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Unlike the relatively quick and easy sperm donation process, egg donation is a little more complicated.  Many women considering becoming egg donors are concerned about their future fertility and health.

Women are carefully screened to ensure that they first thoroughly understand and are committed to the process of egg donation.  Their age, weight, height and medical history are carefully considered to ensure the health of the egg donor and to optimise the chances of conception for the recipient.  Egg donors are thoroughly counselled by qualified persons so that they understand the egg donation process and are mature and responsible enough to proceed.

The egg donation process

The actual process of egg donation involves taking medication to stimulate the egg donor’s ovaries to produce follicles on which the eggs will develop.  The egg donor takes this medication for a period of two weeks.  During this time, she is carefully monitored to ensure her body is responding well to the medication. The fertility specialist will adjust the medication depending on the egg donor's needs and her body’s response. 

She is put under anaesthetic on the day of egg retrieval to alleviate the discomfort for her.  The eggs are retrieved vaginally.  This is not an operation, so there is no scarring of any human tissue. 

After the egg retrieval, the egg donor may feel slightly bloated.  This is best addressed by drinking lots of water.  Should she experience any pain or discomfort after the egg donation, she is encouraged to visit the fertility specialist again and he can prescribe treatment according to the procedure that she has just gone through and her unique needs. 

Egg donation does not affect a woman’s own fertility. Only a few eggs are retrieved and this procedure neither adversely affects remaining egg quality nor her own ability to conceive when she is ready. 
Successful egg donation also doesn’t guarantee later fertility: The egg donor may have underlying problems which are completely unrelated to the egg donation programme – e.g. blocked tubes or uterine issues or even sperm challenges. 

Most egg donors have found egg donation so rewarding and fulfilling with absolutely minimal side effects, so they donate again or even become pregnant and donate after the pregnancy again.

Egg donation is a safe process undertaken with specialists who are extensively skilled in this unique field.

Jenny Currie is the founder of baby2mom Egg Donation and Surrogacy Programme.

Would you consider donating an egg? If you have what was your experience?

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