Series: Egg Donor Frequently Asked Questions – #6 and #7 Risks and Side Effects of Donating Eggs

Will donating eggs now affect my fertility or the ability to have children in the future?

No. All currently available information shows that there is no decrease in a donor’s ability to get pregnant after completing a normal retrieval.  You will not “run out” of eggs or go through menopause any sooner.

What are the primary risks and side effects of taking the fertility medication?

The primary risk is a condition called Ovarian Hyper-Stimulation Syndrome. This is relatively rare (1-3% of cases). Your physician will monitor you carefully in order to avoid this possibility. Side effects include weight gain and a feeling of extreme bloating. Also, as with any procedure, a risk of infection exists, you will most likely be given antibiotics to avoid this.

At Heartfelt Egg Donation, LLC we do our best to educate prospective egg donors regarding possible side effects and risks associated with egg donation. Prior to the egg retrieval procedure, the treating physician and their staff will provide additional risk education.

Possible Medications, Side Effects and Risks:
These medications will be totally out of your system within a few days after completing the treatment. There is no evidence that these medications cause cancer or have any long term side effects. Not everyone will experience side effects and the degree to which they occur may vary widely among individuals.

• Birth Control Pills – An oral tablet used to synchronize your cycle to the Recipients. Side effects may include: headaches, bloating, nausea, breast tenderness and vaginal spotting.

• Lupron® or Antagon® – This suppresses the pituitary gland from allowing you to ovulate. This medication is given by injection. Side effects may include: hot flashes, sweats, headaches, nausea, breast tenderness, decreased libido, joint pains, emotional lability, dizziness, general pain, nervousness, skin reactions, vaginal dryness/itching, weight gain/loss.

• Gonal-f®, Pergonal®, Repronex®, Follistim® – This contains natural pituitary hormones that are responsible for ovarian stimulation and aid in the production of eggs. This medication is given by injection. Side effects may include: ovarian hyperstimulation, ovarian enlargement/pain, ovarian cysts, abdominal pain/cramps, allergic reactions (fever, chills, musculoskeletal aches, joint paints, nausea), headaches, nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, skin rashes, swelling or irritation at the site of injection, dizziness, increased heart rate, breast pain, back pain, emotional lability, weight increase.

• Human Chorionic Gonadotropins (HCG) – This simulates the body’s normal LH surge causing the final maturation of the eggs. It is expected that ovulation will take place 36-40 hour later. This medication is given by injection.

• Antibiotic – A broad-spectrum antibiotic to prevent infection. This is an oral tablet.

• Pre-natal Vitamin – A multivitamin that is given for good general health and egg quality. This is an oral tablet.

• Low Dose Steroid – May be given to suppress the production of male hormones during the treatment cycle and helps with egg quality. This is an oral tablet.

Rare Complications
In the unlikely event that there are medical complications, Heartfelt Egg Donation, LLC purchases an Accident and Medical Complication Insurance Policy for the Donor and Intended Recipient on behalf of the Intended Parents.

• Minor discomfort or abdominal pain might occur following the egg retrieval and is controlled with pain medications.

• Bleeding from the site where the needle is introduced (in the vagina) can occur. Almost always it is controlled by applying pressure to the site. In the rare event that there is internal bleeding, surgery might be required to stop the bleeding.

• Vaginal and pelvic infections may result. As a preventative measure, the treating physician may prescribe antibiotics during the egg retrieval. Complicated infections may cause tubal damage and interfere with fertility in the future.

• The production of a large number of eggs (>30) which may cause abdominal swelling, discomfort and difficulty breathing. In rare instances the fluid that accumulates in the abdomen might have to be removed (through the vagina with a needle) to alleviate symptoms and in some cases admission to a hospital might be required for a few days. This complication can be prevented and physicians take all necessary measures to do so.