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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.



Fertility Clinic Courts Controversy With Treatment That Recharges Eggsby Rob SteinNPRMarch 5th, 2015OvaScience hopes to eventually bring the technique to infertile couples in the United States. But the Food and Drug Administration has blocked that effort — pending proof that the technique works and is safe.
With World Watching, UK Allows Experiments to Genetically Alter Babiesby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMarch 4th, 2015Despite several possibly insurmountable legal and safety hurdles, the House of Lords gave the final approval needed to move into fertility clinics the embryo modification techniques referred to as “mitochondrial donation.”
Three-Parent IVF: What's The Hurry?[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by John FarrellForbesFebruary 28th, 2015Science shouldn’t be a rush order, especially when the health and well-being of a future generation and its descendants depends on it.
Egg-Freeze Unadvised, Panel SaysJapan TimesFebruary 26th, 2015The Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology will not recommend egg freezing for healthy young women, citing the health risks and relatively low pregnancy rate.
Put Your (Frozen) Eggs in the Bank: Welcome to the Bioeconomy[Quotes CGS Fellow Lisa Ikemoto]by Victoria TurkMotherboardFebruary 23rd, 2015Emerging reproductive technologies risk presenting our bodies from a new perspective: as a commodity to be banked, bought, and sold.
Blog: Three Parent IVFby Dr Trevor StammersSt Mary’s University BlogFebruary 16th, 2015At our current stage of understanding of the interactions between mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, this proposed new therapy could turn out to be a monstrous mistake.
Top 10 Myths About 3-Person IVF Mitochondrial Transferby Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogFebruary 10th, 2015Although well-intentioned, this technology could end up doing far more harm than good, especially if implemented too soon.
Egg-Freezing? Put Flex Time, Daycare Firstby Jacqueline NelsonThe Globe and MailFebruary 8th, 2015What exactly do we expect women to do to their bodies to become the ideal employee?
Buying Time: How Egg Freezing has Moved into the Mainstreamby Carly WeeksThe Globe and MailFebruary 8th, 2015There are questions about what exactly women are buying. Don’t expect to find the answers in the waiting-room pamphlets of fertility clinics.
UK Set to Legalize Babies With DNA From 3 Parents[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]KQED RadioFebruary 6th, 2015Bay Area public radio discusses the technology and whether the U.S. and other countries may follow Britain's lead.
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