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Is Egg Donation Safe? Here’s What You Need to Know

Posted on: 7 June, 2018

Many young women who are considering egg donation may ask themselves, “Is egg donation safe?” It is wise to educate yourself on the risks of any medical procedure, but the results of all available research show that issues associated with egg donation are quite rare for healthy young women.

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Let’s take a closer look at the low levels of risk for donors.

Risks Specific to Egg Donation

Some risk factors are associated directly with egg donation, specifically with fertility stimulation medications. The regular check-up appointments during the egg donation process will monitor your response.

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)

Some women are extremely sensitive to the medications used to stimulate egg production for the retrieval cycle. This syndrome can happen to any woman who takes fertility drugs and, in less than 5% of patients, it causes swelling of the ovaries and fluid buildup.

Research studies specifically tracking egg donor cycles over 11 years put the occurrence of OHSS or Severe OHSS at 0.2%.1 This rate of occurrence is even lower because the study focuses specifically on the young healthy women who met the egg donor requirements, rather than all women who took fertility-enhancing medications.

Regular monitoring and follow-up appointments ensure that if our donors have any signs of overstimulation, this extremely rare condition can be immediately treated. There is little reason to let fear of OHSS prevent you from selling your eggs.

Risk of Pregnancy

As a fertile egg donor who is stimulating her egg production, you are at a high risk of pregnancy. Chemical birth control cannot be used by egg donors, so barrier contraception or abstinence is recommended during egg retrieval cycles.

Risks Associated with Any Minimally Invasive Procedure

There are low-level risks associated with the retrieval procedure, which are inherent in most medical procedures. For healthy young women, these issues are very rare.

  • Infection might result from resident bacteria being transferred by the sterile instruments. Antibiotics may be used to proactively prevent this type of complication.
  • Bleeding problems very rarely develop after egg retrieval; some minimal spotting is fairly common.
  • Trauma is damage to tissues or organs involved in the procedure. This risk is so small that there are no available rates to reference.
  • Light anesthesia used during egg retrieval presents very low risks for young women who have undergone the medical screening required for egg donors.
  • Because all medical procedures have some level of risk, the guidelines of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine limit egg donation to six retrieval cycles.

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Future Fertility Is Not Affected

There is no basis to rumors that donating eggs reduces a woman’s supply in later life. Each donation is 10-15 eggs—so, if a woman donated six times, she would, at most, provide 90 eggs from her original supply of millions or 300,000-500,00 at puberty.

There is also no research to indicate that a woman’s ability to bear children is adversely affected. Her odds of carrying her own fertilized egg to full term are the same as other women her age, and the knowledge gained about her cycle may help her to time conception when she is ready to conceive.

Egg Donation Is Life-Giving and Safe

With the compassionate care provided by The Donor Solution, you can donate your eggs for IVF with the confidence that your safety and wellness are our highest priority. You are providing the most precious of resources to a loving parent, and we will be with you every step of the way, informing and empowering you as you make this life-affirming decision.


  1. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2088842
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