Are there risks to being an egg donor?
As you probably know, all types of medical treatments and procedures have some risks. However, the risks associated with being an egg donor are very low, and the top clinics we work with do everything possible to minimise these at every stage.
The risks that you might have heard about with women going through IVF affect about 1% of all women undergoing treatment. At your first appointment at the clinic, the doctor will discuss the risks with you and the likelihood that you will be affected. If you are seriously at risk in any way it is unlikely that you will be allowed to continue with egg donation.
Any complications that might arise are usually from the stimulation drugs or the procedure itself and, although uncommon, could include:
Some women respond very sensitively to fertility drugs and produce many follicles. This causes the ovaries to enlarge and hormone levels to rise, sometimes causing Ovarian Hyperstimulation. Women perceived to be at a higher risk of ovarian hyperstimulation (such as those with polycystic ovarian syndrome, PCOS) may need more scans.
Pelvic infection can, very rarely, follow an egg collection. Every effort is made to try to prevent this. This is why collection is done in extremely clean conditions and antibiotics are given to women at higher risk of infection. Since it is not possible to sterilise the vagina, where there is always some bacteria, a swab is taken at the outset, and if there is any sign of infection then antibiotics may be given to minimise any risk.
There is a very small risk that the needle used for egg collection can puncture the bladder, bowel or blood vessels. However, the needle used is so fine that it is unusual to have any complications. Any instances of vaginal bleeding can usually be stopped at the end of egg collection by applying pressure. If there is a concern that a tiny hole has been made, antibiotics will be given.
If you think you could help someone with the altruistic act of egg donation in the UK, register your interest.