Report shows 20,000 women had more than 20 eggs retrieved during egg collection

Latest figures have shown that more than 20,000 women had 20 or more eggs retrieved during their IVF cycle, many more than is necessary

According to answers taken from parliamentary questions, more than four times more eggs than needed were retrieved.

The figures have prompted a call for more to be done to restrict the number of eggs are retrieved during an IVF cycle.

Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh told the Daily Express newspaper she wants changes made to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act to protect women.

She said: “IVF is now a huge industry and I believe sometimes desperate and vulnerable women are given too many drugs.”

Figures show that 50,000 women – said to be about 16 per cent of the 330,000 who have IVF – had more than the optimal 15 eggs retrieved in one cycle.

More than 20,000 women had 20 or more collected, almost 2,000 women had more than 31 collected, and more than 61 were harvested from ten women.

One of the main factors of overstimulating in IVF is Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome(OHSS). OHSS is when a serious side effect of the drugs used to stimulate the ovaries to produce follicles. It is caused by the build-up of fluid in the body once the eggs have been removed from the follicles. In mild cases this can lead to bloating, to hospitalisation and even rare instances, blood clots, stroke and death. Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome are more susceptible to the condition and must be monitored closely.

Clinics tend to use a milder form of IVF if a patient is more likely to experience OHSS to alleviate the risk.

A spokeswoman for the Human Fertility and Embryology Authority said egg retrieval was an important part of IVF.

She said it “mostly occurs without any harm” but it expected clinics to abide by its guidelines to minimise any risk.


Have you experienced OHSS? Did you have more than 20 eggs at egg collection? We would love to hear your story at

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