Regenerative Medicine

Where Will All the Eggs Come From?

Hidden among the promises of cures and hype about the biotech boom is the fact that scores of thousands of women will have to provide millions of human eggs for embryonic stem cell research by a process which can be physically and emotionally damaging.

** Women who volunteer will receive fertility drugs to stimulate their ovaries to produce multiple eggs.

** Some women develop mild to moderate Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome, which leads to abdominal swelling, fluid accumulation, and gastrointestinal distress.
** Another problem is that women are sedated for egg harvesting; in rare cases, this can lead to bleeding, infection, and damage to internal organs or blood vessels.
** A very small percentage of women may develop excessive weight gain, respiratory difficulties, and in rare instances, blood clots and kidney failure.
** Women who donate eggs to infertile couples (17%-25%) later regret donating, or have a negative emotional reaction or depression; some complain of feeling like a commodity.

Other proponents of human cloning and human embryo-destructive stem cell research are suggesting that the eggs be harvested from dead women [Loane Skene, Chair, Lockhart committee], while others prefer to harvest eggs from dead female fetuses [Senator Kay Patterson, sponsor, cloning bill]. [LifeNews.com, 3Dec06]