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About Egg Retrieval


Scientists working to perform research cloning require large numbers of women's eggs for their efforts. Egg retrieval is invasive, time-consuming, uncomfortable, and—most important—puts women at risk of significant adverse reactions.

In order to procure eggs, researchers give women hormonal drugs to first "shut down" and then "hyperstimulate" their ovaries to produce more eggs than normal. These eggs are then surgically extracted.

Egg retrieval for assisted reproduction has been conducted for several decades, but there is inadequate data on its risks. Follow-up studies on long-term risks are particularly lacking; those that do exist are inconclusive.

Short-term reactions to one commonly used "shut-down" drug include severe joint pain, difficulty breathing, chest pain, depression, amnesia, hypertension, and asthma. The drugs used to stimulate multiple egg production can cause ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), which is often a mild reaction but which can become serious enough to require hospitalization and, rarely, to cause death.

Some women's health advocates and others have questioned whether researchers should ask women to expose themselves to these risks, especially in light of the early and speculative stage of cloning research. Proposals to pay women to provide eggs for research remain controversial, as this practice could tempt economically vulnerable women to take risks they otherwise would avoid.



Want Blue Eyes With That Baby?: The Strange New World of Human Reproduction[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Eleanor CliftThe Daily BeastNovember 24th, 2014Should a woman’s own 55-year-old mother bear the woman’s triplets? Well, it’s happening. Where should society draw the lines here?
Want Blue Eyes With That Baby?: The Strange New World of Human Reproductionby Eleanor CliftThe Daily BeastNovember 24th, 2014Should a woman’s own 55-year-old mother bear the woman’s triplets? Well, it’s happening. Where should society draw the lines here?
Why Worry About Genetically Modified Babies?by Marcy Darnovsky and Jessica CussinsGeneWatchNovember 24th, 2014The terms "genetically modified babies" and "designer babies" are attention-getters. But beyond the catchy sound bites, what do they really mean - and are they something we need to worry about?
The Ethics of Egg Freezingby Margaret SomervilleNational PostNovember 17th, 2014Will the time soon come where a woman that does not choose to postpone starting a family is seen as insufficiently committed to her profession?
Human Germline Modification in the UK? Cries of Caution from all Cornersby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesNovember 13th, 201475% of submissions about three-person IVF to the UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee warn that more evidence is needed prior to offering these techniques.
Why Egg-Freezing Parties are Gaining Popularity for Women[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Hallie JacksonTodayNovember 12th, 2014Video: At a new kind of after-hours get-together, women hear about the possibility of postponing pregnancy by freezing eggs.
Are All Pluripotent Stem Cells Equal?by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesNovember 12th, 2014A new paper by long-term advocates of research cloning implies that it has no advantage over reprogramming cells.
Is Freezing Your Eggs Dangerous? A Primerby Josephine Johnston and Miriam ZollNew RepublicNovember 1st, 2014This eagerness to push forward with non-medically necessary egg freezing services raises an important question: How safe and effective does a technology like this need to be before it is sold to young, fertile women?
What Good is a Scientific Meeting If You Dismiss the Science?by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesOctober 29th, 2014The Science and Technology Committee of the UK Parliament held an evidence hearing last week to examine the science and proposed regulation of so-called “mitochondrial donation,” or “3-person IVF,” but huge swaths of evidence were widely dismissed.
Why Corporate Promotion of Egg Freezing isn’t a “Benefit” to All Women[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Rachel WaldenOur Bodies, Our BlogOctober 28th, 2014Despite the financial generosity, this might not be a good deal for healthy employees of these companies — or for women in the workplace in general.
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