Can I donate my eggs for science?
August 15, 2011 7:51 AM   Subscribe

Donating eggs for research

I have been trying to research if I can donate my eggs for medical purposes/research but I haven't found much outside of NYC and the UK. I live in Florida. Does anyone know if this is possible to do, and if so, where?
posted by ForeverDcember to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Are your eggs already extracted or would you need to go through the extraction process?
posted by k8t at 8:29 AM on August 15, 2011

Response by poster: I would need to go through the process.
posted by ForeverDcember at 8:43 AM on August 15, 2011

It's possible. Google it.

If you haven't done so already, check out these previous questions: one two three four five.
posted by supercres at 8:51 AM on August 15, 2011

Response by poster: supercres: all of those are for egg donations to go to parents to make babies. I want to donate for research. None of the previous askme questions (including the ones you linked) helped in that search. When I do searches for clinics in the area, they all talk about donating to match with potential parents.
posted by ForeverDcember at 8:59 AM on August 15, 2011

ForeverDcember, the extraction process is both costly and invasive, which is why you're probably not finding much information on doing it purely for research. When eggs are extracted for IVF (so baby-making) purposes, more eggs are extracted than will probably be used. The donor can choose how she wants to dispose of the harvested eggs - donating to research is one of the options offered. (I've been through this process twice and know whereof I speak.) I imagine that the availability of 'left-over' eggs (or blastocysts, which is the fertilized egg before it becomes an embryo) from IVF extractions, coupled with the expense, are some of the reasons research companies aren't doing a lot of advertising for egg donations - and the legal liability issues are quite large as well, and possibly prohibitive.
posted by widdershins at 9:32 AM on August 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Try signing up for they may be able to match you based on the kind of research you want to sign up for. If there's nothing right now, they'll contact you in the future, when there is.

Also, consider that some of that research is researching how to successfully bring pregnancies to term with donated eggs. If you're specifically looking for laboratory-under-a-microscope research, that will limit your opportunities.

You could also look on the internet for researchers conducting that kind of research and contact them to ask if there are opportunities.

Out of curiosity -- what's your motivation? That may shape how much work you put into this.
posted by vitabellosi at 9:51 AM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I was modivated by just thinking that it might help in research for people with my medical issues. I cannot donate for people to have kids due to having an autoimmune disease and having a not so savvy family history. I have been looking for research for the conditions I have (ie Crohns, endometriosis) as well to see if can help there too. Also, as most people probably know, donating for people to have kids brings in some money and I could use that as well. So it is pretty much two-fold. I was looking it up before because I was thinking it would help, saw you can also get paid for it.

If I could donate for someone to have kids I would love to, especially since I do not plan on having kids myself, but with these medical issues, I don't see how that is possible.
posted by ForeverDcember at 10:03 AM on August 15, 2011

From your last update, I don't think eggs in particular is going to help in research toward a cure for your medical issues. Is there a reason why you think eggs is helpful? I'd think for autoimmune diseases, just donating your genetic materials (i.e. cheek swabs) would be enough. Eggs themselves only contain 1/2 of the genetic materials; and it's not like researchers will create a fetus just to research auto-immune progression and/or causes.
posted by curiousZ at 12:24 PM on August 15, 2011

Response by poster: Curious: you have a point. I wasn't all that sure how it worked. For genetic materials, do I just have to look for things like that? Most research I have seen is for clinical trials of medications. I suppose I thought eggs were helpful for stem cell research.
posted by ForeverDcember at 12:50 PM on August 15, 2011

Best answer: If you want to help medical science regarding the diseases you've got, maybe you could join clinical treatment trials instead of giving eggs. Like, here are some clinical trials for Crohn's, and here are some for endometriosis.
posted by hungrytiger at 12:52 PM on August 15, 2011

Best answer: Stem cell research is generally aimed at trying to find ways of using healthy stem cells to replace proteins etc. that are causing disease in others. I'm not familiar with a lot of studies that use stem cells derived from people with conditions, in order to study those conditions. You might try contacting a lab that studies your condition(s) using human subjects. You could search on pubmed to see which labs are studying human subjects. Then you could also see what sorts of biological materials they are using for their studies, whether that be eggs or something else.

Another option is to go to a company that has interests in collecting samples, from persons other than 'normals'. Bioreclamation is one, but I'm sure there are tons out there. But I would give this some thought -- many companies in that category make tons of money selling biological materials, sometimes to other companies that stand to make even more tons of money from the research they will do with those materials. This may or may not be 'for the good of all.' You will be paid a minor fee, if that. But that's not what you're really asking about so I won't ramble too much about it -- I just want to give that caveat.

Also, I would be worried about the effects that the egg-harvesting process could have on either condition that you list, especially the endometriosis. From what I understand, there is quite a cycle of hormones involved and even women with no other health concerns end up feeling pretty crappy during it.

Anyway, good luck; I hope you find what you're looking for.
posted by Tandem Affinity at 7:50 PM on August 15, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for all the great answers. I spent quite a while looking at the sites suggested. I appreciate the input and responses.
posted by ForeverDcember at 6:03 AM on August 16, 2011

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