What are the risks involved?

As with any medical procedure, there are risks involved – but they are rare. Rest assured, we thoroughly counsel all donors on the potential risks before they choose to donate, so that they can make an informed decision on moving forward. In addition, as one of the biggest and most experienced egg banks in the world, we possess the expertise to monitor and cycle donors carefully to mitigate the risk of complications occurring.

  • Pregnancy: It is possible that not all of the eggs will be retrieved and therefore, donors are at a high risk for pregnancy for a period of time after the egg retrieval. We ask that donors practice abstinence during this time. Donors should always use protection if having intercourse at any time during participation.
  • Infection: The risk of infection from egg retrieval is less than 1%. To lower the risk of possible infection even further, donors will be instructed to take an antibiotic for several days following the retrieval.
  • Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS): Occasionally excess fluid from the ovaries will transfer into the abdominal cavity causing moderate to severe bloating. If a significant amount of fluid is present, it will be removed in a procedure very similar to the egg retrieval and IV fluids will be given in replacement. In mild to moderate cases of OHSS, the fluid is slowly reabsorbed over the course of several days. Approximately 1-3% of women will experience significant OHSS. In order to reduce this risk, donors may be given different medications or a change in protocol to help eliminate or significantly decrease the risk of donors having OHSS.
  • Ovarian Torsion: Very rarely the ovary can twist on itself causing a sudden onset of severe pain on one or both sides. The risk of ovarian torsion is less than 1%. For a period of time, donors are asked to discontinue activities such as running, moderate to high impact aerobic activity, horseback riding and strenuous lifting to further decrease this risk.