Female Fertility Egg Harvesting – Meaning, Process, Cost, And 7 Disadvantages Of Female Egg Harvesting

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Female Fertility Egg Harvesting

Female fertility egg harvesting is increasing in prevalence. Recently, certain hospitals have been participating in assisting young individuals who voluntarily wish to donate their eggs, sometimes even receiving compensation for doing so.

This practice is motivated by various reasons, which vary across different cultures. However, it is important to acknowledge and address the potential disadvantages and health risks associated with egg harvesting. Therefore, educating young females and adults about these dangers before they decide to proceed is key.

Unfortunately, some young women are unaware of these risks and may be enticed by the incentives offered, only to later experience unforeseen illnesses they had no prior knowledge of.

A woman who is young or in good health undergoes fertility tests and treatments. Afterwards, she donates the eggs or oocytes retrieved from her ovaries. These eggs are then used in in vitro fertilization (IVF) by another woman who is having difficulty conceiving. The process of retrieving the eggs is known as egg harvesting.

IVF refers to the process of fertilizing the collected eggs in a laboratory and then transferring the resulting embryo into another woman’s womb.

A method called transvaginal ultrasound aspiration is commonly used to retrieve the eggs. This involves inserting ultrasound probes into the donor’s vagina to locate the follicles, and then a needle is guided through the vagina and into the follicles.

Female Egg Donation Process

A person who is not in good health is not eligible to donate eggs in any way. To become an egg donor, you will need to undergo extensive screening processes starting from the registration phase to ensure that you are suitable for donation.

Once you apply to become an egg donor, clinics will match you with intended parents who will proceed with egg harvesting. If you are unfamiliar with the procedures involved, I can provide you with more information.

  • Application To Be A Donor

You will undergo a thorough evaluation when you submit your application online or at a clinic. This evaluation will include detailed inquiries about your family background and various tests such as blood tests and fertility assessments.

  • Egg Donor Matching Process

Keep in mind that when you decide to donate eggs, you will be required to complete forms that cover your genetic background, blood type, and personal history. It’s important to note that you may not be immediately matched with the intended parents, as they will need time to select.

The pre-match screening process involves evaluating physical and psychological traits, as intended parents may consider factors such as appearance, hobbies, talents, religion, and cultural background. If the recipients of the eggs review your results and decide to contact you, then you will be contacted.

  • Screening And Egg Retrieval

During the egg donation process, prospective donors undergo extensive testing and screening. At this stage, various tests will be conducted to assess the following aspects:

  1. Pelvic Abnormalities Assessment: This test evaluates the condition of the pelvic region to ensure no abnormalities are present.
  2. Culture Evaluation: A culture test is conducted to check for any potential infections or abnormalities in the reproductive system.
  3. Blood Analysis, including Blood Clotting Assessment: This blood test is performed to determine if there are any clotting disorders that may cause complications during or after the egg donation process.
  4. Infectious Disease Screening: This test is conducted to identify any existing sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that could impact the egg donation process.
  5. DNA Testing: Your DNA will be examined to detect any underlying genetic diseases or conditions that could be inherited by potential offspring.

Once all the necessary tests have been completed, the donor will be required to sign a contract agreeing to the terms and conditions before the donation process can begin. The donor will be given medications to halt their regular menstrual cycle before the donation.

Fertility drugs will then be administered to stimulate the ovaries. During this time, the donor needs to refrain from any sexual activities with the opposite sex, as it could hinder the retrieval of the eggs. Using a condom can help in ensuring this requirement is met.

The entire process, from start to finish, typically takes around 2-3 months.

Cost Of Female Egg Harvesting

What perturbs me greatly is that while the egg harvesting industry in Nigeria generates millions of naira for clinics and hospitals, the compensation given to donors is significantly low.

Reports from Solaroid Energy indicate that the average cost of egg donation in Nigeria ranges from $3,500 to $7,500, which, when converted to naira, amounts to substantial sums in millions.

It is therefore disheartening that young women who put themselves at risk by donating eggs are only paid between 100 to 150 thousand Naira. This discrepancy in compensation seems quite selfish, considering the potential dangers involved.

Disadvantages Of Female Egg Harvesting

  1. I previously mentioned that before proceeding with the egg donation process, individuals are typically administered medications that cause a sudden cessation of their menstrual cycle. These medications can have various side effects, including bodily discomfort, headaches, and fatigue.
  2. During the hyperstimulation phase, where fertility drugs are taken to stimulate the ovaries, you must self-administer injections by injecting them under your skin. This may result in bruising at the injection site and can also cause breast tenderness.
  3. After undergoing the egg donation process, it may have psychological effects. As a result, it is recommended to seek the assistance of a psychotherapist to address any potential emotional impact.
  4. Some women may experience a condition called Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS), characterized by ovarian swelling. OHSS is typically caused by ovarian stimulation and can potentially lead to early menopause.
  5. Inserting a needle into the ovary during retrieval carries the risk of puncturing sensitive organs such as the bladder or bowel, which can result in bleeding and infection.
  6. The side effects of the medications young women take might lead to weight gain.
  7. Donating eggs can be a source of stress and may require a significant investment of time and resources.

Final Words

After discussing the processes, costs, and effects of female egg harvesting, it can be concluded that the practice is not inherently bad or illegal. However, it is important to consider the potential negative effects that young girls may unknowingly experience as a result of their actions.

It is recommended that those in charge of hospitals and clinics educate young women about the adverse effects of egg donation and ensure they fully understand the implications before participating. Additionally, doctors should inform them that the recommended limit for egg donation is six times in their lifetime to prevent any regrets in the future.

It is essential to emphasize the importance of understanding the purpose and recipients of donated eggs, as there have been reports of eggs being used for other purposes in Nigeria rather than solely helping childless couples. Young ladies should be encouraged to refuse to be taken advantage of and not solely focus on the financial aspects of egg donation.

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