Young, college-aged women are being targeted for their eggs. There are industries which use geotargeting at universities to try to make women aware of the large amounts of money they are willing to pay them for their eggs, sometimes up to $75,000. But, what the women aren’t being made aware of is the harms it could cause to their bodies.
First off, there are few legal regulations protecting the woman donating their eggs. From the medicines that are used on them, to the after effects, the women tend to go in uninformed due to the minimal research that is available on the subject.
The women are given two different medicines that are used in highly questionable ways. First, they are given FSH hormones to induce hyper ovulation. This is where the women who would usually drop 1-2 eggs and instead drops up towards 60 sometimes. This drug is approved for use but was always intended for infertile women, not to manipulate the bodies of fertile women. Next, they use an hMG is used to induce menopause. Now, hMG is not intended to be used on fertile women.
The women are told these treatments are necessary and are borderline coerced into taking unreasonable amounts after being reminded that they will not receive the promised payment unless they produce an acceptable amount of eggs. This means that even if the woman goes through all of the treatments recommended, she could walk away with a minuscule payment instead of the promised amount if her body doesn’t perform in the way they want it to.
Whether or not these women meet the contract, they are not tracked afterwards. I have found no research on the after effects of this procedure, even though there have been questions raised between this procedure and breast cancer. Of course, not performing this research is advantageous to the industries as they are not required to report what hasn’t been confirmed. However, the lack of research reaffirms the lack of care for the women who are taking part.
Next off, there is the ethical dilemma enticing young women with money. This age group of women are often in desperate need for financial assistance, putting them in a possibly compromising situation. So, the question is whether it is ethical to exploit women in a desperate situation, paying them for the near owning of their bodies. While extreme, the rich paying the poor to deal with the reproductive duties of society seems like the theme of a bad dystopian novel.
While I will never be an egg donor for all of these reasons, I believe that women should have the right to participate if they so choose. My caveat to this belief is adamantly promoting the need for women need to be aware of what they’re getting into. More research needs to be done on what health risks there are, and then those results need to be conveyed to the women.
After this has been done, there needs to be more laws set in place on the proper use of the medicines used that protect the women’s rights when something goes wrong and regulates what payments can be offered. The medicines should be tested for the new contexts they are being used in and then be denied or approved. Legislation needs to be created to mandate how the women deserve to be treated while in this process. Finally, the payments should match the prices that would cover the women’s inconveniences and not much more, allowing for altruism without enticement of profit.