When it comes to egg donation, the easiest part for me was deciding to say yes! I started by simply realizing I just met the criteria to be an egg donor, and figured, “why not?” I loved the science of it and how so much love and so many families can be made from such a simple decision. So I filled out the application and jumped in headfirst!
The process itself was easier than I was expecting. Just as simple as my decision to donate in the first place. There are appointments and medicines, but it’s nothing that can’t be managed.
Perhaps the hardest part of my decision was that, as this is a new science, there aren’t many studies on the long term impact of donation. Since my donation I’ve gone on to have healthy pregnancies and children of my own with no obvious impacts as a result of the donation, and I feel good about the future.
Anyone who knows me knows that I have done this. This, of course, leads to a few stereotypes here and there. There are people who think the hormones I took will give me cancer someday and people who think I should feel guilty for the siblings my own children will never meet. But, for me, there are no worries. No regrets. I look at it as helping someone else plant their garden. I don’t miss those flowers once they bloom, the seeds were never really mine.
Having become a mom myself, I find that I am more and more proud of my decision to donate. Now that I have children of my own, I have a deeper understanding and compassion for the gift that I gave to someone else. Egg donation is not for everyone, but thank goodness it is for some people.
Most of our egg donors come to us on some form of birth control. This is normal and expected and most times has no impact on your donation journey. However, certain methods of birth control can cause your donation journey to slow down. Here’s a look at what those birth control methods include and why they’ll cause us to hit “pause” on your journey.
Wondering if you’ve got what it takes to make a great egg donor? While there are all types of women who make wonderful egg donors, we find that we run into similar personality traits time and time again when it comes to our most successful donors.
Perhaps the most important trait to possess is the ability to, “roll with the punches” so to speak. Egg donation is not an absolute science. Sometimes your medical protocol changes at the last minute or maybe your retrieval is moved up, pushed back or even cancelled. Things can change pretty quickly. Having a bit of a laid back personality goes a long way in being the type of egg donor who is easy to work with and has a great experience.
One of the most common questions potential egg donors ask us is, “Will I feel an emotional attachment to the baby resulting from my donation?” This concern is one that is echoed by those learning that you’re planning to donate your eggs. Rest assured that this is a normal concern and feel secure in the knowledge that, with few exceptions, the resounding answer is no, you will not.
For most donors the detachment starts before the donation is even scheduled. Many of our egg donors tell us they do not feel attached to the eggs they will be donating in a maternal or a possessive way. In fact, many donors tell us they experience a total disconnect from the eggs. The common sentiment seems to be one of, “These are eggs that I wouldn’t be using on my own. It’s OK to donate them to loving couples.” While the genetic makeup will be uniquely yours, most donors tell us they do not feel ownership over that DNA.
Choosing to be an egg donor was a decision that I arrived at easily. I actually made the decision at 13 after reading an article while on an airplane. I remember thinking that was such a cool thing to do, and putting it on my back burner. In my 20’s I had developed a love of shopping and had a need for some debt relief. I stumbled across an ad for egg donors and everything just made sense.
I remember thinking that this was such a cool thing to be doing, and sharing the news with friends and families. The process leading up to the retrieval was so simple and the procedure was a breeze. The immense sense of pride and gratification at the end of that short procedure is overwhelming.
From time to time we run into women who have the heart for third party reproduction and a great desire to help build a family through surrogacy but find themselves unable to proceed with the surrogacy process.
These women may live in states that are unfavorable to surrogacy or may not be mother’s themselves, a steadfast requirement for our surrogates.
There are still more ways to help!
The medical cycle for an egg donor or intended mother (IM) serves the dual purpose of simulating the body to create multiple eggs at once while also managing the timing of ovulation. The goal is to create a large number of viable eggs on the same schedule of the surrogate’s best days to conceive.
The first step is to sync the donors monthly cycle with the cycle of the person who will be carrying the embryo. This is typically done with birth control pills. Next the doctor will stop the donor or intended parent from ovulating on her own. A drug called Lupron is typically prescribed to do this. The drug is administered with a small needle into the stomach. This injection is typically painless.
By the time an egg donor or IM reaches her retrieval day she very fertile and ready to have upwards of 30 eggs extracted! The idea of something coded as a minor surgical procedure can sound a little scary, but the truth is that this is a very routine in office process that is generally pain free.
The donor or IM will be typically scheduled for a morning appointment at the clinic. It is usually a good idea to arrive a bit early in order to fill out any paperwork and have time to ask any questions you may have. As you will be placed under light sedation for the procedure, you should not consume food after midnight on the day of the retrieval.
Once you make the emotionally rewarding decision to become an egg donor, you’ll probably start wondering about what you’ll need to do to get started. Here’s a bird’s eye view of the entire process; from where you are right now through donation day.
In some cases, intended parents who had a child with the egg provided by a specific donor will want to have an egg supplied by the same donor if they decide to have another child. There’s a lot of good reasons for this—the siblings will be genetically related to each other even more fully than if they just shared the father’s sperm, and as a result, may share some of the same characteristics and medical history.
Growing Generations has found most of its egg donors, if still healthy and in the appropriate age range, are more than willing to provide additional eggs. Continue reading