In Ottawa, local fertility centres often receive questions about whether an egg donation in Canada can affect a woman’s ability to have her own children in the future. This can be a serious concern for many women, and we are always willing to discuss it with anyone considering egg donation. Here is some information we discuss with young women considering this gift and concerned about how it may affect their future fertility.

Is there a chance that donating eggs will accelerate my own egg supply depletion?

Typically a woman is born with one to two million eggs in her ovaries. At puberty, the ovaries store about 400,000 eggs. With each menstrual cycle, on average 15 to 20 eggs come to the surface of your ovaries but usually, only one becomes mature and is released for ovulation. The other eggs stop growing and are absorbed by the body.

During an egg donation (or IVF cycle), you inject medication to fully develop the eggs that are naturally available in your follicles during that particular cycle. That means that the fertility doctor does not remove any eggs in addition to those that are being produced naturally by your body.

Can egg donation in Canada cause infertility?

Infertility is very complex and has a number of different causes. Egg donation does not cause infertility. There are no studies that have proven any connection between egg donation and later infertility. The process used for egg donation is the exact same procedure used for women who have chosen to freeze their eggs for future use. There have been no proven adverse effects.

Another question we often receive is about risks or the potential for any adverse reactions. The medical risks are rare but can occur. Occasionally the medications can cause the ovaries to create excess fluid, which is retained in the abdominal cavity. This results in bloating. The medical term for this is Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome (often referred to as OHSS). Usually, the fluid is reabsorbed within days. If the fluid is excessive, it can be drained to alleviate pressure. Following a diet high in sodium and electrolytes during the donation can help to lower the likelihood of developing OHSS.

During the interview process, we explain everything from matching to recovery and are always willing to answer additional questions along the way to support the Egg Donors in our program. Fertility Match has an on-staff nurse available to all Donors during their recovery from their retrieval to ensure there are no complications.

If you would like more information about becoming an Egg Donor, reach out to us at info@fertilitymatch.ca. We would love to speak with you!