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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.



“It’s a Baby Farm.”by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesApril 23rd, 2015A new documentary uncovers the shocking realities of unregulated commercial surrogacy in India.
Chinese Scientists Genetically Modify Human Embryosby David Cyranoski & Sara ReardonNature NewsApril 22nd, 2015Rumours of germline modification prove true — and look set to reignite an ethical debate.
Seeking Your Input: Survey on Egg Retrievalby Gina Maranto, Biopolitical Times guest contributorApril 22nd, 2015We are surveying women’s knowledge and attitudes toward egg retrieval to yield critical insights into how best to frame health information intended to enable women to make informed choices.
The Rights of Donor-Conceived Offspringby Naomi Cahn, Biopolitical Times guest contributorApril 15th, 2015While their parents’ choices affect them as children, donor-conceived children grow up, and many become curious about their origins. The law’s tight focus on the parent-child relationship excludes legal questions relating to donor-conceived adults.
Masters of our Future: Genetic Tweaking with Mitochondrial Donationby Max GorynskiShout Out UKApril 14th, 2015It raises a question that itself provokes as much awe as anxiety: can we really modify our nature, and to what end?
Lightly Regulated In Vitro Fertilization Yields Thousands of Babies Annually[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Michael OlloveThe Washington PostApril 13th, 2015Both the federal government and the states have given the multi-billion-dollar industry a wide berth, which makes this country very much an outlier compared with the rest of the developed world.
Human Genetic Engineering Demands more than a Moratoriumby Sheila Jasanoff, J. Benjamin Hurlbut and Krishanu SahaThe GuardianApril 7th, 2015Expert calls for a moratorium on germline gene engineering are no substitute for richer public debate on the ethics and politics of our biotechnological futures.
Why is the Scientific World Abuzz about an Unpublished Paper? Because it Could Permanently Change Human DNAby Ashley CsanadyNational PostApril 6th, 2015Scientists around the world are anticipating the results of a Chinese study that would mark the first time DNA in a human embryo has been modified in a way that would carry into future generations.
A Modern Woman's Burden[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Natalie LampertNew RepublicMarch 20th, 2015How much does egg-freezing technology help delay reproduction?
A Tipping Point on Human Germline Modification?by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMarch 19th, 2015Amidst reports that human embryos have been modified using the gene editing technique CRISPR, several groups of scientists have issued statements proposing moratoria on human germline genome editing.
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