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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.



Putting a Price on a Human Egg by Ashby Jones The Wall Street JournalJuly 26th, 2015Lawsuit claims price guidelines used by fertility clinics artificially suppress the amount women can get for their eggs.
What You Really Need to Know About Egg Freezingby  Charlotte Alter, Diane Tsai, & Francesca TrianniTime July 16th, 2015Some call egg freezing an "insurance policy" for modern women. But does it really work? Watch TIME's video documenting eight key takeaways from six months of reporting on whether procedure lives up to the hype.
POV: It’s Time to Regulate the Fertility Industryby George AnnasBoston University TodayJuly 16th, 2015Because of ART patients' intense desire to have children, they can be left at the mercy of the market and unscrupulous practitioners. The industry does not, and perhaps simply cannot, police itself.
A BC Alum's New Site Links LGBT Couples With Egg Donors, Sperm Donors & Surrogatesby Rebecca StrongBostInnoJuly 13th, 2015Bird Meets Bee, an ART matchmaker website launching in October, would feature customizable user profiles and filter criteria such as "LGBT status, heritage, hair color, eye color, or height".
Family Equality and Surrogacyby Elliot HosmanBiopolitical TimesJuly 9th, 2015With marriage equality on the books, the dignity of LGBTQ families calls for an ongoing conversation about the regulation of the ART and surrogacy industries.
Infertile Couples Hope New Technology Helps Select Most Successful Embryosby Michelle MunzSt. Louis Post-DispatchJuly 5th, 2015EmbryoScope is an incubator and camera in one. It promises to improve the selection of embryos most likely to result in pregnancy and birth.
Surrogate Children Get Legal Recognition in Franceby Philippe SottoTimeJuly 3rd, 2015While surrogacy will remain banned in France, children born abroad through this practice will now be legally tied to their parents and will be granted birth certificates and French citizenship.
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.
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