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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.



Hot New Having It All Tip: Just Be Rich Enough to Freeze Your Eggs!by Erin Gloria RyanJezebelApril 17th, 2014Fertility preservation, as the kids are calling it nowadays, is the future of women's career advancement, says a Bloomberg writer and editor. But, like most trendpieces about options only rich people can afford, There Are Some Problems With This Piece.
The Problem With America’s Twin Epidemicby Sarah Elizabeth RichardsTimeApril 16th, 2014Americans undergoing fertility treatments have gotten used to the prospect of the 'instant family'—but it may carry unnecessary risks.
INTERVIEW: “I’m a Queer Egg Donor”by Raquel CoolWe Are Egg DonorsMarch 28th, 2014This interview is about stigma, being queer, and navigating the heteronormative medical landscape of egg donation.
Canadians Pay Egg Donors On The Grey Marketby Rebecca ZamonThe Huffington PostMarch 26th, 2014It’s been illegal for 10 years in Canada to buy sperm or ova, but Radio-Canada’s investigative program Enquête has learned that some clinics and agencies are helping infertile couples circumvent the law.
Do we Know Enough About the Risks of Donating Eggs?by Judy NorsigianInfertility Family Research RegistryMarch 26th, 2014As the demand increases for young women to provide their eggs for both fertility and research purposes, the lack of adequate long term safety data is an issue being raised by all those concerned about this gap in our medical knowledge.
Review: Finding Our Families: A First-of-Its-Kind Book for Donor-Conceived People and Their Familiesby Diane Beeson, Biopolitical Times guest contributorMarch 26th, 2014Is secrecy about "donor" origins in the children’s interest? The answer to this question is a resounding No, according to Wendy Kramer and Naomi Cahn's new book.
Abbott Launches Sweeping Review of IVF EthicsSunshine Coast Daily [Australia]March 17th, 2014The ethical rules governing the use of egg and sperm donations, embryos, surrogacy and sex selection for IVF patients could soon be overhauled, with a sweeping review underway.
National Perinatal Association Urges IVF Clinics to Reduce Infant Health Risks and Costs by Prioritizing Elective Single Embryo Transferby Press ReleaseNational Perinatal AssociationMarch 17th, 2014For the first time in its history, the NPA is urging reproductive endocrinologists and health insurance companies to reduce serious health risks resulting from in vitro fertilization procedures.
His Fertility Advance Draws Ire: Shoukhrat Mitalipov’s Mitochrondrial Manipulations[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Sabrina TeverniseNew York TimesMarch 15th, 2014To Shoukhrat Mitalipov, the mysterious power producers inside every human cell are a lifelong obsession.
What We Know About Three-Parent In Vitro Fertilizationby Jessica CussinsRH Reality CheckMarch 13th, 2014The creation of genetically manipulated babies would be a huge and dangerous step. So, what's the evidence about efficacy and safety, and what are the available alternatives?
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