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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 Human Eggs Makes No Senseby Debora SparFortuneNovember 21st, 2015No one wants to deal with the ugly reality that egg donation is not donation at all, but a high price paid for a piece of one’s body. We have identified this transaction and allowed it. Now we are only squabbling over the price.
California Judge Orders Frozen Embryos Destroyed[cites CGS Fellow Lisa Ikemoto]by Andy NewmanThe New York TimesNovember 19th, 2015A superior court judge in San Francisco ordered the thawing and destruction of a divorced couple's frozen embryos, enforcing the terms of the couple's pre-divorce agreement.
[China] Couples in China making babies through assisted reproductionChina DailyNovember 14th, 2015Half of the 90 million Chinese women now allowed to have a second child are between the ages of 40 and 49, and many couples are turning to assisted reproduction clinics.
Uterus Transplants May Soon Help Some Infertile Women in the U.S. Become Pregnantby Denise GradyThe New York TimesNovember 12th, 2015The Cleveland Clinic will become the first US site for experimental uterus transplants.
Eggs unlimitedby Jennifer Couzin-FrankelScienceNovember 6th, 2015OvaScience's fertility procedure appalls some reproductive biologists, and is currently not permitted in the US. But the company is marketing its treatment in Canada and some analysts are upbeat.
How Much Should a Woman Be Paid for Her Eggs?by Jacoba UristThe AtlanticNovember 4th, 2015Is the money a woman receives for her eggs payment for her services, her discomfort, or her biological property?
[UK] Women "are being given false hope" over freezing eggsby Harriet MeyerThe GuardianOctober 24th, 2015Fertility experts say the UK agency that regulates fertility treatments is not doing enough to make clear the success rates of freezing and banking their eggs.
Egg Donors Challenge Pay Ratesby Tamar LewinThe New York TimesOctober 16th, 2015A judge has certified a federal class action lawsuit by women who argue that ART industry guidelines that limit compensation for eggs to $10,000 constitute "illegal price-fixing."
What's Missing From Ontario's IVF Policy?by Vanessa GrubenOttawa CitizenOctober 11th, 2015The province should require collection of anonymized data on IVF use, success rates, and complications; it should also address the information needs of children conceived via donor gametes.
UK Womb Transplants: 5 Ethical Issuesby Rachael RettnerLive ScienceOctober 5th, 2015The procedure would expose both patient and developing fetus to autoimmune suppressants, use uteruses from deceased donors, and require that clinical patients have a "long-term partner."
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