What Egg Donor Candidates Need to Know About Endometriosis
Although endometriosis is relatively common, it can sometimes be difficult to detect and diagnose. Part of the issue is that endometriosis symptoms can vary from being very severe to almost nonexistent. Some women experience symptoms so mild that they’re completely unaware that they have endometriosis. Another part of the issue is that the symptoms of endometriosis can mimic the symptoms of other common disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), making it easy for doctors to misdiagnose it.
Should Women With Endometriosis Become Egg Donors?
While there isn’t a lot of official research on whether there’s a link between endometriosis and egg donation, there is some anecdotal evidence that donating your eggs can exacerbate an existing case and lead to future complications. For that reason, many egg donor agencies and egg banks disqualify women with endometriosis from donating, while others strongly advise women with endometriosis to reconsider becoming egg donors.
However, what if you haven’t been diagnosed with endometriosis? Do you still need to be concerned about becoming an egg donor?
Assessing Your Risk
If you’re thinking about becoming an egg donor, you should first determine your likelihood of having endometriosis. Talk to your OB/GYN if you experience any of the most common endometriosis symptoms, such as:
- Painful periods (could be described as “severe”)
- Excessive bleeding (needing to change menstrual products more often than every two to four hours)
- Pain during intercourse
- Pain during urination or bowel movements
Be sure to discuss your birth control methods with your doctor. For example, because birth control pills stabilize hormone levels and reduce the production of estrogen, they sometimes have the unintended effect of concealing a mild case of endometriosis. You should also be aware of common risk factors that can increase your odds of having endometriosis, including:
- Your period started at an early age
- A family history of endometriosis
- Low BMI
- Short menstrual cycles
You can also talk to your doctor about your plan to donate your eggs. He or she can help you assess your risk for endometriosis and decide whether donating your eggs is something that you should pursue.
Egg donation is a beautiful, generous act that makes it possible for many people to create the families of their dreams, but it should never come at the cost of the egg donor’s own health. At MyEggBank today, we take our egg donors’ health very seriously and we do our best to ensure that the process is safe and rewarding for everyone involved.
If you have any questions about endometriosis and egg donation, contact the experts at MyEggBank today.