The incidence of both serious and minor complications in young women undergoing oocyte donation

Fertil Steril. 2008 Dec;90(6):2165-71. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2007.10.065. Epub 2008 Feb 4.


Objective: To investigate the incidence of serious and minor complications experienced by women undergoing controlled ovarian hyperstimulation and oocyte retrieval for oocyte donation.

Design: Retrospective study.

Setting: University-based IVF center.

Patient(s): Five hundred eighty-seven donors underwent 973 cycles of controlled ovarian hyperstimulation and 886 oocyte retrievals for anonymous or directed oocyte donation.

Intervention(s): Controlled ovarian hyperstimulation; oocyte retrieval.

Main outcome measure(s): Complications of the procedure.

Result(s): The rate of serious complications, which included ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, ovarian torsion, infection, and ruptured ovarian cyst, was 6 in 886 (0.7%) retrieval cycles. The rate of minor complications severe enough to prompt the donor to seek medical attention after retrieval was 8.5%. The cancellation rate after stimulation cycle initiation was approximately 9%, regardless of whether the donation was anonymous or directed.

Conclusion(s): This study provides information on the incidence of serious complications experienced by oocyte donors after controlled ovarian hyperstimulation and oocyte retrieval. It provides evidence that with careful monitoring, and when a liberal cancellation policy is followed, oocyte donors experience lower rates of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, compared with infertile women undergoing IVF. Furthermore, the study provides the first set of data on the rate of symptomatic minor complications experienced by oocyte donors. This information will help clinicians administer appropriate informed consent to the young women who present themselves as potential oocyte donors.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Communicable Diseases / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Informed Consent
  • Oocyte Donation / adverse effects*
  • Oocyte Retrieval / adverse effects*
  • Ovarian Cysts / etiology
  • Ovarian Diseases / epidemiology
  • Ovarian Diseases / etiology*
  • Ovarian Diseases / therapy
  • Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome / etiology
  • Ovulation Induction / adverse effects*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Rupture
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tissue Donors*
  • Torsion Abnormality / etiology
  • Young Adult