By Matthew Eppinette, CBC New Media Manager
This week, The Daily Mail published an excellent article on egg donation, “The brutal fertility factories trading on British mothers’ dreams.” The article begins with Nastya’s story: she donated eggs six times, from which three children were born.
“In dark moments, I feel a sense of loss about them, an emptiness. I have children I will never know. I ask myself: ‘Are these children OK? Are they happy? Will they ever feel deprived by not knowing fully about themselves, never knowing their biological mum?’ Because, in the end it’s not just biology, is it? It’s human emotion, too. I gave them life, yet I feel consumed by guilt.”
The press in the UK has recently reported that singer Kylie Minogue is considering using donated eggs in the wake of having cancer. In addition, a 58-year-old woman, Carole Hobson, is pregnant using donor eggs.
But what Carole, Kylie and thousands of desperate women like them often don’t realize, is that there can be a dark side to the joy of conceiving by IVF with donor eggs, a side that involves desperately poor women around the world being exploited for their youth and fertility in countries where there are scant regulations.
Due to regulations in the UK, the demand for eggs far outstrips the available eggs, so many women are turning to countries where egg donation is less heavily regulated.
Regulations or not, of course, the fact remains that there is a serious lack of research into the effects of donating eggs, which is one of the main points of Eggsploitation.
According to a 2006 article in the scientific publication Nature: “Specialists in reproductive medicine say there is insufficient information about the long-term risks of drugs used to stimulate ovulation, a practice that has become more common in the past 25 years, with the proliferation of IVF and assisted reproduction.
“But some studies have suggested the drugs may be linked to the development of certain cancers.”
. . .
In the UK, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority confirmed that no follow-up research has been conducted on the physical or psychological effects of donating eggs.
There is much more in the article — for example all of this is complicated by money, as much as $100,000 for the right look and IQ — and it would be worth your time to read the whole thing.
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