Making the choice to become an egg donor can be overwhelming. The moment you begin searching for the right agency to partner with you can feel flooded with choices.
It is crucial to find and work with only reputable agencies. These are the agencies that will be up to date with federal and state regulations as well as have strong relationships with fertility centers, IVF doctors, and surrogacy agencies.
There is a common misconception that only gay men, menopausal women, or survivors of ovarian cancer need donor eggs. This false conception paints a narrow window of the many reasons that a family could need egg donation and limits the scope of the necessity of egg donors.
Gay men will always need the assistance of a donor egg, of course. But women can arrive at this choice for a variety of additional reasons. Here are a few.
Premature ovarian failure. This is a condition in which the body begins the process of menopause too early. In most cases before a woman reaches 40 years of age. Women with the condition will often opt for donor eggs to provide a better chance of conception.
Questions about birth control for egg donors are some of the most common we hear. While most options offer a straightforward plan for discontinuation prior to the donation, there are many special considerations for donors using an intrauterine device (IUD).
These devices include brands like Mirena that use a slow release hormone therapy in order to prevent pregnancy. These tend to be the more popular of the two IUD methods. If you are on a hormonal IUD and having regular menstrual cycles then it may be left in place until your medical screening. At this time our doctor will remove your IUD, at no cost to you, before you begin your injectable medications.
I was moved to egg donation based on the idea that, “what goes around comes around.” I know that someday I’ll use a sperm bank to have children of my own, so donating my eggs now seemed like good karma. I’m only sharing a few genes and something that would go to waste otherwise, so it seemed like an easy choice.
For most egg donors the thought process surrounding donation concludes with the retrieval procedure. Many of our donors tell us they leave the IVF facility feeling immense pride and satisfaction but without much thought as to what happens next to their eggs. In case you are wondering about the road your eggs will travel on their path to becoming children, here’s a look at what could happen next.
Within six hours of your donation the eggs are usually fertilized. This can be done by either placing a concentrated amount of sperm on each egg or by injecting a single sperm into each egg.
Becoming an egg donor means sharing your DNA in order to help create a family for someone else. This huge responsibility motivates us to ensure that our donors are genetically sound as well as physically healthy. This means our potential egg donors need to be tobacco free.
Research has shown time and time again that using tobacco products can have an adverse effect on fertility. Specifically, studies have shown that female smokers will produce fewer follicles, fewer usable eggs, and fewer eggs capable of fertilization when stimulated for IVF treatments. There is also a link between miscarriage and tobacco users that could be the result of poor egg quality.
In simplest terms, a known donor is a person who is familiar to the parents before the matching process. In many cases this person will be a close friend or family member. These deep bonds make choosing to help a loved one embark upon the journey of surrogacy seem like a natural fit.
Growing Generations rarely works with donors who are fully known to the intended parents. Occasionally intended parents will come to us with a donor in mind and, in these rare cases, we are willing to facilitate a known match. We help with the legal paperwork as well as the medical cycle but do not attempt to manage the relationship once the retrieval is completed.
Many young women who desire to become egg donors may wind up feeling as though this goal is unobtainable to them due to the state in which they live. They may believe that agencies wouldn’t be interested in out of state donors when they could choose to work with candidates who are more centrally located, or that the cost of traveling to a reputable out of state agency to donate is prohibitive. When these misconceptions come together, we begin to paint a picture of why there are so many wonderful would-be donors who do not donate.
From time to time intended parents come to Growing Generations with an egg donor already in mind and, in some cases, already having agreed to be their donor. These cases, commonly called known donor cases, are more the exception than the rule. When done with proper screening and forethought, using a known donor can provide the same safety and considerations as an anonymous donor case, while providing additional value to intended parents.
Known egg donors are a rare circumstance in which the donor knows the intended parents outside of the IVF process. In many cases this person is a close friend or family member and may have the opportunity to remain a part of the child’s life for years to come. Known donors are certainly rarer than cases of anonymous donation. Here a known donor shares her egg donation story.
It was at a family celebration where my cousin and his partner announced that they were going to become parents. They had found a surrogate, and now they were beginning the search for the perfect egg donor. I jokingly offered to give my eggs, and thought little more of it.
The next morning my cousin called me on the phone and asked me if I would seriously consider giving them that gift. My answer was a quick and easy yes, and our process was off to the races.