When a woman starts to think about a fertility treatment course, usually it is from the perspective of difficulty conceiving- but in order for many women to become mothers, some must step up and donate their eggs to facilitate the process.
It isn’t often than egg donors are considered when the fertility treatment process comes up, as the egg recipient is usually the one whose fertility is being focused upon. But a new study sought to examine whether women who allow their eggs to be harvested faced future fertility worries themselves- and found, luckily, that being an egg donor was unlikely to affect future fertility.
The news is good for both couples struggling with fertility and prospective egg donors- the former of which could see the small pool of donors shrink further should fertility treatment negatively impact donors and the latter, who may have donated eggs before considering a potential impact on fertility.
A small study in Belgium polling former egg donors on their subsequent fertility was published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, and encompassed 194 women. Dr. Dominic Stoop is the medical director at the Center for Reproductive Medicine in Brussels, Belgium and Stoop led the study. He confirmed that some donors reported menstrual changes following fertility treatment as donors, but likened such changes to those affected by use and discontinuation of hormonal birth control:
“Menstrual pattern could be disrupted temporarily by hormonal changes due to ovarian stimulation, much like how menstrual changes also appear after stopping an oral contraceptive.”
At the time of egg donation, the women averaged 30 years of age, and subsequent to the fertility treatment from a donor perspective, 60 of the women attempted to get pregnant. Encouragingly, of those 60, 57 were able to conceive on their own without assistance. Three sought medical intervention to conceive, but of those three, two cited a partner’s reduced fertility as the reason for seeking fertility treatment.
Further fertility treatment studies have been planned to examine the effects of egg donation on fertility.