The process of egg donation is a complex one. It is a deviation from
normal ovulation and hence it is bound to give rise to side effects. After
comprehensive evaluation and tests, a woman can become a donor. What happens
next and what are the side effects, read on.
happens after a series of medical tests are conducted. The status of the donors
ovaries, uterus and other pelvic organs are ascertained through an ultrasound,
besides a pelvic examination is conducted along with some blood tests to know
the hormonal levels. Only after all the tests assure that the woman is fit to
undergo the entire egg
donation procedure, she is confirmed to become an
egg donor. But there are certain side effects to the procedure that one needs
to know before going ahead to become an egg donor:
starts with ovarian hyperstimulation. Doctors often administer the donor a
regular dosage of birth
control pills. This is to regulate and monitor
cycles. This is followed by three stages of drugs
that involve the hyperstimulation phase.
Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone Agonist Analogues
– This hormonal drug suppresses
the release of luteinising hormone by the pituitary gland. LH causes the egg to
mature and as an effect of this drug, the donor experiences ‘artificial
menopause’. This is to control the timing of the egg maturation and ovulation
and the medication is administered through regular subcutaneous injections. The
side effect is tampering with the normal cycle of the donor through medications
and little to moderate bruising. The bruising is controlled by rotating the
injection sites. At times the injections are substituted by nasal sprays, but
their side-effects are yet to be documented.
Follicle Stimulating Hormone – This FSH or human menopausal gonadotropin is
administered through daily injections. This is to trigger to development of
multiple egg follicles so that the doctor can readily retrieve several mature
eggs at a single go. As a side effect, the donor is asked not to go for sexual
intercourse as it might result in an unwanted
pregnancy. Several blood tests and pelvic
ultrasounds are conducted to measure the maturation of eggs and the dosage of
FSH is accordingly adjusted.
medications do not usually result in allergic reactions. But as a side effect
to these above mentioned procedures, there can be:
- Little to severe bruising at several sites in the body due t o repeated injections
- Abdominal swelling and discomfort
- Frequent mood swings, anxiety and tension
- A sense of pressure in the abdominal area
- Vaginal dryness and hot flashes due to the temporary menopause
Some less Frequent but Serious Side Effects:
This is a
complication that is caused by the abdominal fluid build-up that also causes
discomfort to the chest. This is basically the result of the cystic enlargement
of the ovaries. This complication might result in a fatal injury and even death
in rare cases. As a severe side effect of the drug regimen, the other symptoms
- Feeling of persistent dehydration
Rare Side-Effects That Calls For Surgery:
happen in less than 1% of the egg donation cases. The fertility and the hormone
control drugs can result in adnexal torsion. When the ovary is artificially
stimulated, they might just twist themselves and the blood supply to the
ovaries is stopped. The twist is cleared through surgery.
studies that also suggest that Clomiphene, a drug that is administered during
hyperstimulation enhances the probability of the donor developing ovarian
cancer later in her life.
Lupron is also
a drug that is given to donors for hyperstimulation, can aggravate the
condition of the donor if she is already having a tumour in her pituitary
gland. In some cases, it can also cause strokes.
Only after all
the tests assure that the woman is fit to undergo the entire egg donation
procedure, she is confirmed to become an egg donor. So, one can consider the
possible side effects in detail before going ahead with the entire process.