The Controversies Surrounding Egg Donation

In 1956, the catholic church, through Pope Pius XII, proclaimed that artificial fertilization is immoral and illegal because it separates procreation and normal sexual function. This was strengthened by Pope Paul VI in 1968, saying that children are gifts and blessings from God.

Egg donation is a controversial topic, with many people holding strong opinions on both sides of the debate. Some people believe an egg donation is a selfless act that can help infertile couples have children, while others view it as a form of exploitation, particularly of women.

What Is Egg Donation?

Egg donation or sharing is when a woman provides one or more of her eggs for in vitro fertilization (IVF). These eggs are fertilized with sperm in a laboratory, and the resulting embryos are implanted into the recipient’s uterus. She is known as the gestational carrier.

There are a few reasons why couples may opt for egg donation, such as: 

  • Some women have genetic conditions their children could inherit, such as cystic fibrosis or Tay-Sachs disease.
  • Others may have had cancer treatment that has left them infertile.
  • Some couples simply cannot conceive a child on their own.

Egg donation is also used for donor sperm in IVF. In this case, the egg donor and the gestational carrier may be the same woman.

Process of Egg Donation

Egg donation is a complex process that involves both legal and medical considerations.

  • The first step is to find a potential egg donor through a fertility clinic, an egg bank, or a donor registry.
  • Once a potential donor has been found, the next step is to undergo a series of tests to ensure that she is healthy and has no genetic disorders that the child may inherit. Counselling is also necessary to inform the potential donor about the risks and responsibilities of egg donation.
  • If both the potential donor and the recipients are deemed suitable, the next step is to match their cycle dates. The donor will take medication to stimulate egg production, and once the eggs are ready, they will be retrieved through minor surgery.
  • These eggs are fertilized with sperm in a lab, and the resulting embryos are implanted into the gestational carrier’s uterus. The frozen embryo transfer timeline will depend on the number of available embryos, as well as the preference of the couple.
  • She will carry the baby for nine months and give birth if all goes well.

Ethical Concerns Regarding Egg Donation

Egg donation raises a number of ethical concerns, including:

1. Informed Consent

The potential donor must understand the risks and responsibilities involved in egg donation and her right to change her mind anytime during the process. This includes understanding the possible risks of the egg retrieval procedure, such as infection or bleeding, as well as the psychological effects of egg donation.

This is when the egg donation bank or fertility treatment facility provides the donor with information about what is involved in egg donation. The potential donor must sign a consent form indicating that she understands the risks and responsibilities involved.

That’s why donors and recipients must choose a reputable fertility clinic that follows strict ethical guidelines, such as Hull & East Riding Fertility. Click here for more info.

2. Exploitation of Women

There is a concern that egg donation may exploit women, particularly those economically disadvantaged. Some critics argue that women may feel pressured to donate eggs to receive compensation and may not be fully informed of the risks involved.

Others argue that an egg donation is a selfless act that can help infertile couples have children. They point out that egg donors are carefully screened and counselled and receive compensation for their time and inconvenience.

In the news published by an Indian online publication (The Quint World) in early June this year, a 16-year-old girl from Erode, India, was forced by her family to sell her eggs eight times in five years to a private hospital.

3. Financial Exploitation

Egg donors may be exploited financially, particularly if they are paid for their eggs. This can happen if they are not fully informed of the costs involved in the egg donation process or do not receive a fair share of the proceeds from selling their eggs.

If you want to donate your eggs (see donate eggs in Yorkshire) to help infertile couples have children, be sure to do your research and seek professional counselling first.

4. The commodification of Eggs and Embryos

Another ethical concern is the commodification of eggs and embryos. Some critics argue that egg donation and surrogacy involve commercializing women’s bodies and commodifying human life.

There is also the concern that egg donation may lead to the creation of “designer babies.” Parents select embryos with desirable traits, such as blue eyes or high intelligence. While this is not currently possible, it may become more common in the future as technology advances.

5. Donor Health Risks

Egg donors may risk developing complications from the egg retrieval procedure, such as infection or bleeding. After donating eggs, they may also experience psychological effects, such as regret or sadness.

The Bottom Line

Egg donation is a complex issue with many ethical concerns. It is important to weigh all of these concerns before donating eggs. You must

 be fully aware of the potential short and long-term health and psychological effects, even after many years. This is possible by working with professional medical doctors and psychologists specializing in this field.