Whether you are considering donation yourself or are looking for a donor, here’s everything you need to know about egg donation process.
Donating eggs is a selfless choice, but not always an easy one to make. As a parent in need of egg donation, it can often be an intimidating experience, ensuring that you’re getting the best material possible. Egg donation isn’t something that gets talked about very often. So finding out the truths of the procedures can be a bit daunting.
Through better understanding, egg donation can be a gratifying and joyous experience. We’ve collected the most important truths regarding egg donation, from how it works, to what to expect. Giving you the ability to familiarize yourself with the process with ease.
Egg Donation Process: When is Egg Donation Necessary?
While it makes sense that gay couples need someone to provide them with an egg in order to create a child, many women across the globe are also in need of donated materials. Infertility is a multifaceted issue that plagues many couples throughout our world. While some causes of the disease are treatable, many are still without known aetiology or treatment.
There are many types of infertility that render a woman’s eggs unusable. Sometimes these problems affect the organs themselves, other times there are genetic factors or hormonal issues. Age can also be a determining factor, and far too often, the reason a woman remains infertile is wholly unknown.
Choosing to use donor eggs is rarely the first step in creating a family for infertile women. Women must first go through a series of tests or have to endure the repeated heartbreak of failed attempts at pregnancy. Which means that this is a long and emotionally taxing process for many mothers to be. Making it a difficult decision for all involved.
In some cases, genes can cause upset about how a woman’s reproductive system works, or to the viability of the eggs, she has produced. Eggs that have genetic abnormalities often result in multiple miscarriages or can cause devastating and life-altering birth defects. Some genetic disorders cause eggs themselves to be non-viable.
When women reach their mid-thirties, fertility decreases. This doesn’t mean that all women of this age are incapable of becoming pregnant. It does mean that for some women, becoming pregnant or staying pregnant is not an option. As women age, they have fewer and fewer eggs stored within their ovaries, while women start with around 2 million eggs, by the time they reach menopause those numbers have fallen to only hundreds. Making it difficult for some aging mothers to conceive without a donor.
Around 1% of all women suffer from premature ovarian failure. This means that the ovaries stop functioning properly far sooner than expected. This can happen because of certain types of trauma, illness, or genetic factors. Chemotherapy is one major cause of premature ovarian failure in young women, stripping them of the choice to have a child of their own.
Egg Donation Process: Who Can Donate Their Eggs?
Egg donation is a strictly regulated process that not everyone can be eligible for. Typically, the process is only open to women who are between the ages of 18 and 35. Donations can be made by older women. But doctors will generally only accept these eggs if the woman is donating to a family member.
Processes for who can donate their eggs vary greatly from center to center, but ubiquitously- donors must be able to prove that they do not suffer from any inheritable or transmittable diseases and that they are in good health. Some clinics will take expansive medical history into account, such as alcohol and tobacco use, as well as Body Mass Index.
For donating to private parties, such as close friends, this must be noted on consent forms prior to donation. Egg donation is never a fully anonymous process, as the clinic will require many types of personally identifying information, such as your age, date of birth, and health records. However, many countries require that donors and recipients must remain anonymous to one another. Which means that you will be unable to find out any information about who your eggs went to, or who they have helped create.
This can be a very trying concept for many women looking to donate their eggs. But rest assured, once donated your eggs will be used to enhance the lives of anyone they come to. Should you change your mind about your donation, you can inform the clinic and have your donation revoked, so long as they haven’t been used in treatment.
Egg Donation Process: What’s it Like to Donate Eggs?
The process of donating eggs is an invasive one. Once you have made the courageous decision to donate, your clinic will then take all of your information and perform a series of tests. The majority of these tests are done by taking simply blood samples or performing a pelvic exam.
You will then be required to provide your full consent for the impending procedures and donation process. Throughout the process, many clinics will offer counseling services to you should you like to discuss this with someone.
The Egg Donation
The process to donate eggs is the exact same process used in the early stages of in vitro fertilization (IVF). As many infertile women must go through IVF cycles prior to their diagnosis of infertility, you can fully begin to appreciate the hardships that these women have seen and why they so desperately need your help.
The procedure is rigorous, but very rarely painful or debilitating. You will be given hormonal medication either as an injection or nasal spray daily. This medication serves to suppress your regular hormonal cycle so that doctors can then control the release of your eggs for collection.
Once your cycle has been fully suppressed, you will then be given different hormonal medications that will stimulate your egg production. These medications are normally a type of gonadotropin. A few days prior to production, you’ll be given a “trigger shot” which helps the eggs mature and prepare for collection.
When the collection day arrives, you will be placed under general anesthesia or sedation and doctors will retrieve all of the eggs that you’ve worked so hard on creating. Egg retrieval techniques are very precise and advanced, usually taking only 20-40 minutes to complete the procedure.
Despite it being quick, you still may feel sore following the procedure. Make sure to take Practice excellent self-care throughout the donation process. The decision to donate your eggs is never a light one to make, but it can help to bring joy to hopeful parents and healthy families.