Is IVF Safe

Is IVF Safe?

Will donating eggs hurt my chances of pregnancy later on in life? 

Dr. Daniel Skora of Fertility Specialists of Texas breaks down the IVF process — and how safe it is for your egg donor, gestational carrier and future child.

Safety for egg donors

Many egg donors ask the question "does this hurt the egg donor in some way or another?". A lot of people worry about the fact that the egg donor is using all their eggs to go through IVF, that isn't the case. Every month a woman's ovaries produce a group of eggs and the brain tells one of those to grow and ovulate. The rest of the eggs from that month die away. So in reality a woman loses hundreds of eggs per month, not just one. What we do in IVF is we collect as many eggs as we can that were available from that one month. So in essence we're not really affecting the overall pool of eggs for that egg donor in the future.

The actual retrieval of eggs from the egg donor does carry with it a very small risk, less than 1%. When performing the operation there's always a risk of bleeding, infection, need for emergency surgery, and blood transfusion but those are all extremely rare and less than 1% of the time. Many egg donors also ask "does IVF increase the risk of cancer in the future, specifically ovarian cancer". Many studies have been done looking at this and the majority of them have said that doing IVF itself does not increase the risk of future ovarian cancer. The reality is that most people who do IVF are infertile and because of that infertility diagnosis, there's an increased risk of cancer future life.

Safety for gestational carriers

The next person involved in your journey is a gestational carrier and there are some safety aspects to the gestational carrier process as well. Pregnancy in general can be an unsafe process. Gestational carriers are screened to make sure that they are good candidates that have very low risk of having bad outcomes when it comes to being coming pregnant and having a baby. Your IVF Clinic will notify your specific surrogate if there's an issue they are concerned about that might increase the risk for that gestational carrier.

Safety for IVF children

The last person that you might be interested in whether IVF is safe for is your eventual child. People worry that IVF and all the processes lead to children that have problems. Yes, children of IVF do have a 1% increased risk of deformations compared to the general population. The general population risk is 3% so up to 4% of having a child with some sort of problem. These problems could be anything from an abnormality in the heart to something completely benign, all different kinds of issues. The majority of those cases though are found in people who have infertility of some form or another. So most of the time when we're dealing with same-sex male couples or single males there are no actual medical problems leading to infertility and so this does not really apply to your case.

Fertility Specialists of Texas Consultation

Posted by Dr. Daniel Skora

Dr. Skora is a physician at Fertility Specialists of Texas. He is board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. ”As an openly gay doctor, being a part of the FST team helps me to better serve my community. Our new partnership with GWK only allows for further outreach to my community that is essential to my work as a fertility specialist.”


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