Bioethics News

‘We Simply Don’t Know’: Egg Donors Face Uncertain Long-Term Risks

February 1, 2017

(STAT News) – When Catherine Fonseca volunteered as an egg donor, the intake form asked for her SAT scores. It did not ask if she understood the long-term health implications of stimulating her ovaries to produce a bumper crop of eggs to be extracted and turned over to an infertile couple. That wasn’t an oversight by the clinic. No one knows the long-term risks to egg donors — if, in fact, there are any. Anecdotally, some women — Fonseca among them — said they experienced an array of health problems after donations, including ovarian cysts and endometriosis, a painful inflammatory disease that can cause infertility.

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