Sunday, February 17, 2013
Monday, February 4, 2013
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
I am a freelance journalist and have been awarded a journalism fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to explore what the experience of egg donation is like in Canada.
I am interested in talking with egg donors about their experiences. I am interested in people currently donating or considering donating, as well as those who have donated in the past. I am interested in both positive and negative experiences.
I do not need to reveal your name.
If you are interested in knowing more about this project or participating in it, please contact Alison at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your help.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Few acts can be as touching as providing a couple struggling to have children the opportunity to raise a family. First accomplished in 1983, this procedure has become a realistic option for couples struggling to produce children. Aside from the benefits to the future family, donors also receive a great amount of personal satisfaction from this act. For the donors themselves, after they have provided their eggs, their role is complete.
Indeed, some donors might be willing to donate because of less than respectable motives; donors are typically paid thousands of dollars for their contributions. However, the chance to make a family happy and possibly find medical cures through biomedical research is enough for many donors to make this choice. Indeed, 30% of donors reported altruistic motivation as their sole reason for donating. Even those that do donate for monetary compensation, 20%, do have legitimate reasons behind needing the financial reward such a procedure can provide: 45% of first-time donors are students. Nevertheless, some risks accompany the procedure of donating eggs.
Unlike men donating sperm, women are limited on the number of times they can donate eggs, mostly because of the medication used in the IVF (In vitro fertilization) process. Indeed, health risks do exist, including bleeding from the oocyte recovery procedure and a negative reaction to the hormones used to induce hyperovulation. In rare cases, liver failure or even death might occur, although a large study conducted in the Netherlands found only a 1 in 10,000 rate of death from egg donation.
Because the long-term effects of this procedure have not been studied extensively, it is difficult to predict some of these possible health risks, although research points out risks appear low. Some evidence suggests a higher risk of ovarian cancer, in addition to future fertility complications. However, it does appear that repeated oocyte donation cycles fail to accelerate ovarian aging. Nevertheless, psychological effects may arise from donation with 1 in 5 reporting some emotional change. Both positive and negative affects reported. However, two thirds of women reported being pleased with the procedure and its outcome.
As far as fertility manipulation is involved, egg donation and IVF is a relatively safe procedure with predictable results from the procedure and associated medication. Compared to other fertility manipulation options, egg donation remains very safe. Women choosing to remain sexually active through the use of oral contraceptives have been victims of arguably more frequent and serious side effects, including heart attack, strokes, blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, and gallbladder disease. The slew of Yaz lawsuits, a common and highly-marketed oral contraceptive, point to the danger inherent in this birth control option. In fact, taking some forms of birth control make potential donors ineligible. Therefore, potential egg donors need to consider their lifestyle and health before choosing to make this contribution. While this procedure might not initially appeal to many women, the knowledge that one helped a relative, gave a family a new start or advanced science is a medical gift that few other opportunities present.
Friday, October 8, 2010
I tried to tell this doctor that my body eats through pain killers like nothing he's ever seen and he didn't seem to believe me. He did when I cried out in pain during the actual procedure. It was a nightmare, but I survived. They felt bad for me and gave me more pain killers, but they wouldn't kick in until I got home. Oh well, life goes on and it's time to move forward. In about 4 weeks, the discharge will stop and I can say hello to a new (hopefully) period-free life.
Thank heavens for my private health insurance. It took 2 weeks between the time I first met with my doctor for the first time and the day of the ablation. If I lived in a country where socialized health care was in place, I would probably have been on a waiting list for years. One of my Canadian friends was astounded when I told her how quickly everything went.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
The Culdocentesis was a test performed because of my abnormal pap smear. He takes a fine needle and samples the area behind my cervex for further testing. That hurt too, I did my best not to make any sounds. My legs were shaking when I got up to walk, probably from tightening them in reaction to the pain.
So tomorrow, I get to have even more fun than today. I am having an ablation of the uterus. Hopefully that will cure my long periods or take them away completely. On the bright side, I get Vicodin. That should help with the pain I'll experience for the next couple of days.
Maybe I will finally get answers to why my body is misbehaving.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
This new doctor is also a fertility specialist and was very impressed with my egg donations, I was almost embarrassed by how much he was praising me. I think it must hit home for him because he sees couples on a daily basis who struggle with their fertility. I think he will take good care of me.
One of the treatments for menorrhagia is to have an ablation of the uterus. It would reduce the amount of bleeding and number of days that I have a period. The best case scenario is that it would stop my periods altogether. I have friend who had an ablation and she has not had a period since. That would be wonderful!
I did ask if menorrhagia could possibly be caused by the egg donations that I've done. The doctor assured me that there was no link, he thinks I am just 1 in 5 women who happen to suffer from bad periods and that being in my 30's has more to do with it. So it seems as if it's just coincidence.