Thursday, March 10, 2011

Protecting The Nest

During Donor Day, Nurse Connors addressed one of my biggest concerns about donating my eggs - ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). I was relieved to hear that only a single woman experienced severe hyperstim at Shady Grove during her time at the clinic. Whew, that's a relief! However, in her next breath I was made aware of another risk even scarier than OHSS - ovarian torsion. Ovarian torsion is basically when an ovary twists in a way that cuts off it's blood supply, which can lead to tissue death or necrosis. After taking the hormones that prepare a woman's body for donation, the follicles of the ovary grow exponentially large in a short amount of time. As a result, the enlarged ovary obviously needs to shift around in the body to get a little more comfortable. If it happens to be pushed in a certain way and twist over on itself, the ovary is in deep trouble. The good news is that if it is caught in time, the ovary can be saved with surgical repair. If a significant amount of necrosis occurs, it may be necessary to remove the ovary. On the bright side, a woman can still become pregnant with one functioning ovary, and torsion usually only happens to a single ovary at a time. Still, it's a pretty big risk to take on. Ironically, something that is intended to increase another woman's fertility could potentially decrease my own.

I've had a lot of people ask if egg donation could potentially affect my fertility. I guess when you consider risks like ovarian torsion, the answer is in the grayer area of yes... Yes the risk exists, I get that. If you were to ask me if egg donation could affect my chances of becoming a parent, the answer is clearly a big NO. Lets say hypothetically I unfortunately experience ovarian torsion, lose my ovaries, or because of the procedure I am consequently unable to get my ovulation cycle back into gear. Would I be devastated by the thought of being unable to have a biological child of my own? Absolutely, but because of these tragic events, I would be able to adopt a child who otherwise wouldn't have been. I find that when I look at the bigger picture with respect to these "risks," I see more opportunity for wonderful things to happen.


  1. Thank you for your blog! I had my twin sons by DE at SG. I am forever grateful to their donor. I appreciate your selflessness and find your experience very interesting. Good luck to you

  2. Thank you for the well wishes! I am hoping to hear back from SG with *great* results from the screening tests. Thanks for reading, and I am so happy to hear about your double success with the clinic.