Long-Term Health Effects of Egg Donation

A major concern of potential egg donors and their families is the long-term health impact of egg donation. A common misconception of egg donation is that the hormones given to potential egg donors to stimulate their reproductive systems could lead to the development of cancer later in life.

We want to start by making this very clear.
To date, there have been no studies conducted that suggest any link between egg donation and an increased probability of the development of cancer in egg donors.

Opponents of this fact argue that this statement is a veiled truth, as the long-term health of egg donors is not currently tracked. They argue that even if a link between negative long-term health implications and egg donation existed, we would not know because it’s not monitored. While this is true, it’s important to understand what is being monitored. The impact of those same hormone therapies is being tracked on women who take them for IVF purposes. So, while egg donors may not have intense, ongoing monitoring, the medications they take are being watched closely.

That said, it is important to talk about other potential complications of your egg donation journey. At Growing Generations, we believe in full disclosure and want to provide you with as much information as possible before your journey so that you can make the most informed decisions possible.

In general, egg donation is a very safe process that will have little to no impact on your health once you’ve recovered from the procedure itself. You will take hormone medications in the weeks leading up to your donation, and these can bring minor side effect with them. Headaches, moodiness, bloating, and weight gain are common complaints, but they resolve on their own without medical intervention.

Occasionally, egg donors may experience one of two more serious complications. These are:
Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome, and Ovarian Torsion.

Both of these complications are rare and are generally easily remedied. It’s important to pay attention to your body during your recovery process and keep all follow-up appointments. If you wind up having either of these conditions, know that early detection is key. These conditions rarely lead to long-term implications if caught and treated early.

If you have more questions about egg donation and your future health, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your case or admissions specialist.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 22 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for the last two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the American Fertility Association, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 28 years and their two teenage daughters.