What Potential Egg Donors Should Know About Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a painful inflammatory disorder that affects approximately 1 in 10 women. Despite being quite common, endometriosis can be hard to identify and is often misdiagnosed as other conditions with similar symptoms. Furthermore, symptoms can vary widely from person to person and don’t always correlate with the severity of the condition. For example, some women with extreme cases of endometriosis may experience no symptoms at all and may not be aware that they have endometriosis.
If you’re thinking about becoming an egg donor, it’s important that you first determine whether or not you have endometriosis. Although there isn’t a lot of research on the relationship between endometriosis and egg donation, there is some evidence that donating your eggs can aggravate an existing case, which can potentially lead to long-term fertility issues.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a reproductive condition that occurs when the uterine lining, also known as endometrial tissue, grows beyond the uterus and onto other reproductive organs. This abnormal tissue growth can cause inflammation, scars, and lesions on other parts of your body, including the fallopian tubes, ovaries, bowels, and pelvic region. The condition can cause pain and interfere with the reproductive system’s ability to function properly.
Symptoms and Risk Factors
Part of what makes endometriosis difficult to detect and diagnose is that many of the signs and symptoms are similar to normal period-related symptoms. Endometriosis can also mimic other common conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). If you have any of the following symptoms, it’s important that you discuss them with your doctor:
- Painful periods
- Pain with bowel movements and/or urination during menstruation
- Excessive bleeding during or between periods
- Fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or nausea, especially during menstruation
- Pain during or after sex
However, as mentioned earlier, it’s not uncommon for women with endometriosis to experience no symptoms whatsoever. How can you detect if something is wrong if there aren’t any visible signals? Even without symptoms, you can still be proactive about your reproductive health by knowing the most common risk factors that are associated with endometriosis. These risk factors include:
- Having a family history of endometriosis.
- Getting your first period at an early age
- Having short menstrual cycles
- Being on birth control, which can accidentally conceal a mild case of endometriosis
Can women with endometriosis become egg donors?
Most egg donor agencies want the egg donation process to be a healthy, rewarding experience for everyone involved. Giving the gift of life is precious, but it should never come at the cost of the egg donor’s health. To err on the side of caution, most egg donor agencies will disqualify a potential donorif she has endometriosis. This is done to protect the donor’s health.
If you’re thinking about becoming an egg donor but are concerned about endometriosis, it’s important that you first talk to your doctor and discuss your possible symptoms, risk factors, and birth control methods. For more information on egg donation or endometriosis, contact West Coast Egg Donation today.