Facebook Pixel

Hormones for Egg Donation Can Cause Serious Complications

By HERWriter
Rate This

The use of hormones to stimulate egg production in the ovaries has given new hope to women who are having difficulty becoming pregnant. Possible side effects of these hormone treatments include increased risk of ovarian cysts, and the risk of developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.

The ovaries are the organs in a woman’s reproductive system that produce eggs. In a normal month, hormones trigger a woman’s body to prepare and release one egg for possible fertilization. In vitro fertilization, also known as IVF, is a procedure that removes eggs from a woman’s body so they can be fertilized in a laboratory then returned to the woman to help her become pregnant. Sometimes the eggs used belong to the woman hoping to become pregnant. Other times, the eggs are from a donor – a woman who makes her eggs available to another woman to help her get pregnant. In either case, the woman providing the eggs will be given injections of hormones to stimulate egg production so multiple eggs can be harvested in one procedure.

Ovarian Cysts

Ovarian cysts can develop when eggs mature in the ovaries but are not released correctly. Normally, the follicle holding an egg ruptures to release the egg. If the follicle does not rupture, it can become a fluid-filled sac that continues to grow inside or on the surface of the ovary. Hormones used in preparing women for egg donation can increase the risk of ovarian cysts. In most cases, ovarian cysts go away on their own in the course of a woman’s monthly cycle.

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome

A more serious side effect of hormones to stimulate eggs production is ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome or OHSS. This condition, which affects up to 10 percent of women who go through IVF, is caused by certain hormones commonly used to prepare a woman for egg donation. Initial symptoms of OHSS include bloating or swelling of the abdomen along with mild pain in the abdomen and weight gain. OHSS can also cause the ovary to twist, which can cut off the supply of blood and require emergency surgery to remove the ovary.

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Ovarian Cysts

Get Email Updates

Ovarian Cysts Guide

HERWriter Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!