Egg donation is necessary, especially in the case of early ovarian failure, a significant risk of genetic disease, and damaged oocytes.
Can egg donation be dangerous for the donor despite being a true gift for the recipient?
Let’s read more to find out.
The infertility risks during the stimulation period
The process of donating eggs begins with ovulation stimulation.
Ovulation can be induced in multiple follicles at the same time using hormone injections, whereas it occurs naturally in a single follicle.
Because each woman reacts differently to the stimulation, the first risk associated with the oocytes comes into play here.
The primary danger is overstimulation. During this time, the egg donor undergoes regular ultrasound scans to assess the size and number of maturing follicles. In cases of overstimulation, the pain is frequently severe, and complications may necessitate hospitalization.
Good monitoring, on the other hand, greatly reduces this risk, and full knowledge of this possible side effect of the stimulation period keeps doctors alert and perfectly capable of managing hyperstimulation.
The risks associated with the puncture
Once The follicles are mature, and ovulation has occurred; the oocytes must now be extracted. A small surgical intervention is required to insert a probe and a “vacuum” to collect the oocytes.
Even if the operation is only a few minutes long, it still necessitates some local anaesthesia or hypnosis and carries the same risks as any other operation, no matter how minor: ovarian abscess, vaginal bleeding. All of this heals extremely well.
Slight infertility risks of egg donation
Normally, the donor’s symptoms from the hormone drug are minimal and similar to or slightly more intense than those experienced during menstruation.
This ovarian stimulation drug is self-administered by the donor herself via subcutaneous injections into the abdomen. The most common side effects are the following:
- Changes in mood or character.
- Slight swelling and / or discomfort in the abdominal area due to punctures.
- Slight increase in body weight.
- Legs are a little heavy.
- Vaginal dryness.
Recommendations for egg donors to avoid infertility
It is normal to have many doubts at the start of the egg donation process. It is critical that a specialist discuss the potential benefits and drawbacks of the donation and address all of the future donor’s concerns.
The donation process must be started with absolute conviction and decision on the part of the donor.
Once hormonal stimulation has begun, it is essential that the donor inform the medical staff of the symptoms she is experiencing during treatment.
The information can prevent serious consequences such as the development of hormonal disorders. For this reason, professionals insist that donors come to the clinic in case of severe symptoms or intense discomfort.
Can egg donation cause infertility?
It does not. The unending ovarian cycle follows a woman throughout her life, even before she has menstruation.
About three months before the 14-day cycle, also known as the menstrual cycle, begins, the woman activates some of the thousands of dormant microscopic follicles in her ovary (primordial follicles). These activated follicles develop into antral follicles, which will engage in a fierce battle for ovulation.
All, or nearly all, antral follicles are stimulated by ovarian stimulation so that they can mature and be extracted via puncture. Except for one, all of these oocytes would have been drawn into a natural cycle.
Therefore, IVF and egg donation do not cause early menopause, just as taking contraceptives does not make it appear later.
Does egg donation shorten a woman’s fertility period?
Donating eggs does not reduce a woman’s fertility. A woman is born with a set number of eggs, which are lost with each cycle. Only a few are useful, which are mature, while the rest are naturally eliminated.
Only one egg cell matures (sometimes more) during a fertile woman’s menstrual cycle, compared to a number of oocytes (10-20) that would naturally degenerate.
The treatment for egg donation is to stimulate the donor’s ovaries with hormonal drugs, causing more follicles to grow and thus mature into more eggs that would otherwise be lost due to atresia.
Thus, by recovering oocytes that would otherwise be naturally eliminated, we are not affecting the fertility or ovarian reserve of the women who want to donate the oocytes.
In any case, it is obvious that egg donation does not preclude the donor from becoming pregnant.
A puncture allows for the collection of approximately ten oocytes. Even after menopause, a healthy woman with no fertility issues has several hundred eggs in reserve (even if they will not mature naturally).