For most women, at some point in their lives they will begin to feel the gentle tug of their maternal instincts kicking in. Whether they’ve reached that point in their marriage, or they’ve simply begun to acknowledge the quick ticking of their biological clocks, the desire for a child eventually takes hold. Unfortunately, conceiving a baby isn't always easy. Luckily, Infertility isn't the end. Find out how egg donors can help women conceive!
Infertility Isn't the End: How Egg Donors Can Help Women Conceive
I haven't personally dealt with infertility, but I am adopted and my adopted mother battled infertility back before egg donors were even around. I also have people in my life that are dealing with infertility and this is a topic that is close to my heart as a mother.
For some women that hope for a baby can turn into a heart-wrenching battle against infertility. Thankfully, these modern times provide alternative options, such as donor egg IVF.
Understanding what the egg donor process involves and the emotions that go along with it can provide the comfort and knowledge needed to help couples in their pursuit of getting pregnant and having a child.
The Emotional Roller Coaster Known as Donor Egg IVF
When enduring grief and loss, there are five common emotions most individuals will work through:
Couples struggling with infertility often find themselves moving through the same range of emotions. And although it’s difficult, it’s essential that men and women allow themselves to experience and process these feelings in order to overcome them.
There is no timeline to grief. Giving yourself the opportunity to acknowledge the inability to have your own biological child will provide the landscape for a more successful treatment experience later on.
Choosing a Donor Egg
There are two options when using a donor egg for IVF: fresh or frozen cycles.
While many individuals automatically assume that a fresh donor egg will provide the best possible chances at success, they do not often realize the financial, mental, and physical strain this choice can cause.
Fresh donor eggs are largely more expensive than frozen eggs. It is also necessary to sync the menstrual cycles of the women involved. This can often lead to unexpected delays and cancellations.
Frozen donor eggs, on the other hand, provide a level of flexibility that can be highly beneficial. Couples have a wider pool of donors to choose from. They are also able to start their cycle whenever it is convenient without the worry over coordinating schedules with another person.
Once you decide that frozen donor egg IVF is the route for you, the first step is to find a reputable database of donors. You will select the candidate whose eggs you would like to use from the donor database.
Donors must undergo a rigorous screening process which includes:
- Psychological Screenings
- Medical History
- Drug & Alcohol Use
- Educational & Professional Background
After choosing a donor egg, couples will have the opportunity to start the IVF process right away.
Beginning the Donor Egg IVF Process
At the start of the donor egg IVF process, the recipient will undergo some initial screening tests to understand her current reproductive status. These tests include, but are not limited to, a variety of blood work and ultrasounds.
Once your doctor has a better understanding of your particular case, you will begin taking medicines like estrogen and progesterone. These strengthen and thicken the endometrial lining of your uterus. This part of the process helps your body support the embryo upon transfer and encourage it to implant successfully.
While your body is being prepared, the frozen donor egg will be shipped to your fertility center for thawing and fertilization. An advanced freezing process known as vitrification exposes the egg to beneficial cryoprotectants. These prevent the formation of ice crystals during freezing. This process ensures that your chosen egg will have the same qualities it did on the day of collection.
Your thawed egg will be fertilized. Once your body is ready, it will be transferred into your uterus via a thin catheter. Your doctor will have you wait two weeks doing a blood pregnancy test. This will determine whether the process was successful.
Pregnancy and Beyond
A pregnancy achieved through frozen donor egg IVF is no different from any other. It is a beautiful experience that provides a mother the opportunity to begin bonding with her unborn child.
Many couples that have a child using donor eggs wonder if they will miss out on the attachment natural mothers have. They wonder if it will be obvious they used a donor egg?
The answer is no.
Doctors have even performed tests proving that a certain amount of your genetics are passed on to your unborn baby during pregnancy. This allows your DNA to intermingle with their own.
Whatever the case may be, when you see their precious little face for the first time, the connection will be something fierce. Every moment of uncertainty and longing will be a mere memory as you welcome this precious gift into the world.
Egg donors can make a family a reality for infertile couples. Infertility isn't the end if you pursue all your options!
You can read about my adoption journey HERE to learn a little more about my personal history in this area.