Chicago fertility clinic cited for failing to screen eggs for STDs

A Chicago fertility doctor has been accepting egg donors without screening women donating them for sexually transmitted diseases.

According to an Associated Press report this week, Dr. Martin Balin has received a formal warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration following an agency inspection of his clinic earlier this year. Investigators visited the clinic between June and August and determined that egg donations he accepted were from women who were not properly screened for the presence of STDs.

The FDA said it found “significant deviations” from the standard protocol for accepting egg donations at a fertility clinic. The donations – which women are paid to contribute – were not screened for the STDs chlamydia, gonorrhea, or HIV. This put women who were implanted with these eggs once they were fertilized would be at risk of acquiring one of these STDs if the eggs donated were infected with any of them. That risk, however, is low but still present.

One advocate of reproductive health technologies told AP that there hasn’t been a documented case of a woman being infected with a disease from an implanted fertilized egg.

An agency spokesperson told AP that no one has reported getting sick with any STDs or other complications after being implanted with one of the fertilized eggs from Balin’s Chicago-based clinic.

Balin said that since the FDA inspections this summer, his clinic has taken the steps necessary to properly screen all donations for STDs and other diseases.

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