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About Egg Retrieval


Scientists working to perform research cloning require large numbers of women's eggs for their efforts. Egg retrieval is invasive, time-consuming, uncomfortable, and—most important—puts women at risk of significant adverse reactions.

In order to procure eggs, researchers give women hormonal drugs to first "shut down" and then "hyperstimulate" their ovaries to produce more eggs than normal. These eggs are then surgically extracted.

Egg retrieval for assisted reproduction has been conducted for several decades, but there is inadequate data on its risks. Follow-up studies on long-term risks are particularly lacking; those that do exist are inconclusive.

Short-term reactions to one commonly used "shut-down" drug include severe joint pain, difficulty breathing, chest pain, depression, amnesia, hypertension, and asthma. The drugs used to stimulate multiple egg production can cause ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), which is often a mild reaction but which can become serious enough to require hospitalization and, rarely, to cause death.

Some women's health advocates and others have questioned whether researchers should ask women to expose themselves to these risks, especially in light of the early and speculative stage of cloning research. Proposals to pay women to provide eggs for research remain controversial, as this practice could tempt economically vulnerable women to take risks they otherwise would avoid.



Should You Freeze Your Eggs?by Debora SparMarie ClaireJune 22nd, 2015The entire business of egg freezing borders on a trap. What it's really selling is a hedge against regret: a way for women to avoid waking up one morning with the sudden realization that they've forgotten to have a baby.
Manipulating the Genome of Human Embryos: Some Unforeseen Effectsby Craig HoldregeThe Nature InstituteJune 22nd, 2015Over and beyond technical issues is the pressing ethical concern: should researchers cross the line into genetically manipulating human embryos?
Unused Embryos Pose Difficult Issue: What to Do With Themby Tamar LewinThe New York TimesJune 17th, 2015In storage facilities across the nation, hundreds of thousands of frozen embryos — perhaps a million — are preserved in silver tanks of liquid nitrogen.
UK Seeks Regulatory Advice for “Mitochondrial Replacement,” Fails to Mention Cross-Generational Implicationsby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJune 17th, 2015How does one go about regulating the world’s first cross-generational biological experiment in human germline modification? The regulating body in charge isn’t exactly sure.
Pre-Implantation Diagnosis to be Allowedby Jeannie WurzSwissInfo [Switzerland]June 14th, 2015About 62% of Swiss voters have said yes to genetic screening of embryos before implantation in a woman’s uterus.
IVF isn't a Fix-All for Those Choosing to Delay Adulthoodby William LedgerThe Age [Australia]May 31st, 2015Today, just 12 per cent of IVF cycles in women over 40 result in the birth of a baby.
Human Factory Farming and the Campaign to Outlaw Surrogacyby Mirah RibenDissident VoiceMay 30th, 2015America is known as the most lax country for adoption and surrogacy. It has been called the Wild West for its lack of regulation of these practices. Is this a legacy we want to continue?
Here’s a Greek Business That’s Booming: Making Test-Tube Babiesby Maria PetrakisBloombergMay 25th, 2015“There might be a financial crisis, but people will still pay to get a child when they want one.”
Do Most Women Who Get Fertility Treatments Take on Debt to Do It?by Neil ShahWall Street JournalMay 20th, 2015Nearly half of women who were going through or had gone through fertility treatments took on over $10,000 in debt, according to a new survey.
Is it Time to Question the Ethics of Donor Conception?by Olivia GordonThe TelegraphMay 18th, 2015Donor-conceived children now have the right to identify their genetic parents. But for some, the change came too late, and not knowing can be "excruciatingly painful."
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