Risks & Side Effects

You’re born with about two million immature eggs, or follicles in your ovaries. By puberty, only 300,000 immature eggs are left; this process is called atresia. Each month, a group of ten to twenty eggs grow and develop; your body selects one of these to ovulate, once each cycle. One egg! The remaining eggs from this group don’t develop fully and are flushed in the menstrual cycle or reabsorbed by your body.

When you donate in an Egg Donation Cycle, you are given fertility medicine to develop the eggs that would normally have been discarded by your body. You work with the Fertility Specialist selected by your Recipients, who is concerned with both the best possible retrieval, and dedicated to your safety and wellbeing.

It’s critical that we know about any medicine you are taking, or if you need to take any course of medicine while on our ababySA database. Please take only medicines approved by the Fertility Specialist during the Donation cycle itself and try to lead a healthy lifestyle (which includes being careful with alcohol and cigarettes)! This is because other medicine, or alcohol may affect the stimulation medicine and reduce the quality and quantity of your eggs and, later, the embryos.

Some women may experience some side effects typical of Pre-menstrual Syndrome (PMS), which includes breast- or ovary-tenderness, fluid retention, mild allergic sensitivity, abdominal bloating, headaches and moodiness. There could be minimal spotting, but you may feel a little bloated and uncomfortable for a day or two at the most afterwards.

Some women experience no side effects.

It may take from a day and occasionally up to two weeks after the egg collection, to get completely back to normal. And there are risks, although extremely rare: they’ll also be discussed during your time with the Fertility Doctor.

The main risk is a condition called Ovarian Hyper-Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS), which happens in 1% of In-vitro Fertilisation (IVF) cases.

If you fall into the unlucky 1%, once the hormone treatment starts, your ovaries may start producing too many eggs. That means you’ll feel sick, you’ll bloat and be in some pain. You’ll have all the necessary cell numbers; immediately, your doctor will ask you to get to the clinic for a check up. Treatment is usually a bit more bed rest, but if the doctors think it’s necessary, they’ll check you into the clinic to be treated with antibiotics.

And that’s also why we make sure that you can get to the clinic for occasional scans: they’re an important part of managing your donation and the medication with it.

Secondly, on retrieval, as with any medical procedure – there is a tiny chance of infection, or reaction to the anaesthetic. An antibiotic shot is given together with the anaesthetic as a preventative measure.

According to the professionals, there is no link between ovarian cancer and ovulation drugs. Long-term, the consequences of egg donation are not known, but records show that the medical risks associated with egg donation are very low; it’s a safe process.

Most Egg Donation Cycles are hassle-free, but – if you experience any side effects from the medicine given to you – you must let the doctor know immediately. If you don’t, you may have unnecessary complications. Your health and well-being is THE most important thing, so please monitor how you feel and call if you have any questions or any odd symptoms.

Your doctor should give you written information about the medicine and procedures, and will talk openly with you about any possible side effects and risks associated with each medicine or procedure. Please ask the doctor if there’s anything you’re uncomfortable about.

There is also a risk that you fall pregnant: obviously, you are highly fertile while taking the special medication and – without care, you may be out of commission for some time!

Or you may contract an STD. If so, we would have to cancel the donation. From the time you start follicle stimulation, until you get your next period (about 4 weeks) you’ll be highly fertile. If you want to avoid pregnancy, use non-hormonal birth control like condoms. Or preferably abstinence up to eight to ten days after the retrieval, when your menstrual cycle starts again and you can resume your regular contraceptive method.

Thank you for reading all the information; that’s a great start!

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