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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.



Biopolitical News of 2014by Pete Shanks, Jessica Cussins & Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesDecember 18th, 2014This is everything important that happened in biopolitics in 2014 (or close to it).
Top Biopolitical Times Posts of 2014by Jessica Cussins & Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesDecember 18th, 2014In 2014, CGS staffers and contributors posted 107 blogs in Biopolitical Times. These are twelve of our favorites.
Commercialisation and the Moral Obligation to Create 'Designer' Babiesby John GallowayBioNewsDecember 8th, 2014Julian Savulescu made the case for a new 'eugenics', without ever using the word, at Progress Educational Trust's 2014 annual conference.
Couple Spends $50K to Choose Baby's Sex, Shining Light on Trend[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Beth GreenfieldYahooDecember 5th, 2014What if a boy wants to write poetry? What if a girl wants to play basketball? Not wear dresses? Announce that she’s transgender?
Twins: The Fetal Paradoxby Amy KleinNewsweekNovember 29th, 2014Although twins and triplets come with short- and long-term health risks to both mother and baby, most fertility clinics are still transferring two, three, or four embryos to ensure higher success rates.
Want Blue Eyes With That Baby?: The Strange New World of Human Reproduction[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Eleanor CliftThe Daily BeastNovember 24th, 2014Should a woman’s own 55-year-old mother bear the woman’s triplets? Well, it’s happening. Where should society draw the lines here?
Why Worry About Genetically Modified Babies?by Marcy Darnovsky and Jessica CussinsGeneWatchNovember 24th, 2014The terms "genetically modified babies" and "designer babies" are attention-getters. But beyond the catchy sound bites, what do they really mean - and are they something we need to worry about?
The Ethics of Egg Freezingby Margaret SomervilleNational PostNovember 17th, 2014Will a woman who does not choose to postpone starting a family be seen as insufficiently committed to her profession?
Human Germline Modification in the UK? Cries of Caution from all Cornersby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesNovember 13th, 201475% of submissions about three-person IVF to the UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee warn that more evidence is needed prior to offering these techniques.
Why Egg-Freezing Parties are Gaining Popularity for Women[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Hallie JacksonTodayNovember 12th, 2014Video: At a new kind of after-hours get-together, women hear about the possibility of postponing pregnancy by freezing eggs.
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