While deciding to become an egg donor is an incredibly rewarding choice, it’s important to fully understand the potential egg donation side effects involved. To briefly summarize the egg donation process, screening typically takes place to determine if the donor is suitable. Once accepted, a donor will undergo a series of tests that involve ultrasound monitoring and blood tests. You will then be required to administer a series of injectable medication daily to stimulate egg production. Regular visits are also required to monitor progress before the eggs can be retrieved. If you’d like to learn about egg donation in greater detail, read our blog post on how long the egg donation process takes.
As with any medical procedure, egg donation does have its potential complications. Many women feel very minor or no discomfort during the donation cycle, while others have varying symptoms that generally resolve after egg retrieval. Side effects and health risks are rare but possible. Regardless, these are the egg donation side effects you should know and discuss with your physician to make an informed decision.
Medication Side Effects and Risks
Egg donation side effects include weight gain, mood change, bloating, pressure, abdominal pain and swelling, breast tenderness, and moodiness from the hormone medications, which will go away by the next menstrual period. The blood tests and hormone injections are usually well tolerated. However, some women experience pain, redness, or minor bruising at the injection site. Allergic reactions to injection are rare.
During an egg donation cycle, there is a small risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). OHSS can occur after egg retrieval and it involves the enlargement of the ovaries, significant increases in fluid retention within the abdomen, and concentration of the blood within the blood vessels.
Mild OHSS can lead to discomfort which typically resolves within several days. In very rare severe cases, about 1 percent of donor cycles, hyperstimulation could lead to enlarged ovaries and an increased susceptibility to develop blood clots. If hyperstimulation, resulting in blood clots, does occur, some cases may require hospitalization for additional monitoring to ensure the situation doesn’t worsen. While the condition is serious, it usually lasts no more than a week.
Procedure Health Risks
Transvaginal ultrasound is the method used for egg retrieval. The risk of severe complications from this procedure is rare — about 1 in 1,000. In the unlikely event this does occur, complications include bleeding, infection, and injury to the bowel or blood vessels. Surgery may be needed to repair damage to internal organs or to control significant internal bleeding, in extremely rare situations.
While time isn’t a side effect, it is still important to remember the fact that egg donation is a lengthy process. You will receive compensation for your time and generosity, but do keep the time commitment in mind if the time aspect is not convenient for your schedule.
Egg donation involves undergoing a medical procedure with side effects, just like any other medical procedure. Many women who decide to become egg donors feel gratified to give someone a second chance at parenthood. Egg donation helps other women achieve their dreams of raising their own children. Learn more about our egg donation process. If you have any further questions, call us at (520) 326-0001 to schedule an appointment to speak with one of our friendly fertility specialists. We’re here to discuss your situation at length so you can understand the options available to you no matter what stage of life you’re in.