Donor Eggs & IVF: Benefits and How to Move Forward Easily
This week’s guest post on donor eggs and IVF explores the process involved and the benefits of using donor eggs in your IVF journey. When is it the right decision and how do you make the best choices for you and your family? Read on…
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Moving Forward With Donor Eggs and IVF
Advances in medical science have provided infertile couples with several options to grow their families. But while there are many fertility treatments out there, IVF with donor eggs is one of the most successful.
In this article, we’ll look at what egg donor IVF means, the process involved, and other important things every intended parent needs to know when considering this option.
What is Egg Donor IVF?
Egg donor IVF is a fertility treatment where eggs from a young, healthy donor are used to conceive a baby via in vitro fertilization. This means that the intended mother will not have any genetic link to the child, but the intended father will.
People who often consider this option include:
- older women without viable eggs,
- women who have repeated miscarriages, and
- gay parents who wish to have genetic children.
- Women who are carriers of an unwanted hereditary condition may also want to have children with donor eggs.
According to the United States Centre for Disease Control (CDC), about 55.9 % of IVF cycles with donor eggs would result in a live birth. The success rates do not depend on the recipient’s age but can vary based on the types of eggs used.
Steps Involved in the IVF process with Donor Eggs
If you and your partner have decided to pursue egg donor IVF, here is what the process will look like for you:
You and your partner will first consult a reproductive endocrinologist, who will explain the process in detail and tell you how to prepare for the treatment. The physician will also conduct a physical exam and medical evaluation to be sure that pregnancy is safe for you.
(ii) Recipient preparation
To increase your chance of a successful IVF cycle, the doctor will have some tests carried out on both of you to check for any correctable abnormalities that could affect fertilization or implantation of the baby.
These will include a series of blood tests, a semen analysis for the intended father, and an ultrasound examination to detect any womb issues in the would-be mother.
(iii) Choosing an egg donor
You and your partner have several options when selecting an egg donor. You may decide to use an anonymous egg donor provided by the fertility clinic or a known donor, such as your friend, female family members, or an acquaintance.
Another option that is increasingly becoming popular is using frozen donor eggs from an egg bank or agency.
(iv) Cycle Synchronization
If you decide to use fresh donor eggs, the doctor will need to synch the donor’s cycle with that of the intended mother. This is to ensure that the recipient’s womb lining will be ready to receive the embryo(s).
(v) Egg retrieval and embryo transfer
Once the donor’s eggs become mature, the doctor will collect them through a process known as egg retrieval. Your partner or sperm donor will then provide a sperm sample on the day of egg retrieval, which the physician will use to fertilize the eggs.
The fertilized eggs (now called embryos) will then be placed in the intended mother’s womb to achieve a pregnancy.
Costs of Donor Egg IVF
On average, IVF with donor eggs costs about $38,000. But that is only the price for a single cycle.
Since the success rates of donor eggs hover a little above 50 %, an intended parent may need to complete two or more cycles before getting pregnant.
Things to Consider when selecting an Egg Donor
Here are three things you need to look at when selecting an egg donor to ensure that you end up with the right fit.
- Health History
Your donor’s health is essential for the health of your future baby. So, you want to make sure that the woman you are considering has a good health history and genetic health report before moving ahead with her. This is because some women are carriers of undesirable genetic conditions that can be transferred to the resulting baby, such as Huntington’s disease, Marfan syndrome, etc.
- Physical Appearance
While this may seem superficial, it is an important factor to consider. Physical traits are crucial when choosing an egg donor.
The qualities to look for will depend on what you and your partner want in a donor. Do you want the biological mother of your child to have blue eyes? Tall or short? These are things you need to think about before making your decision.
Lastly, you may want to be sure that your donor has a reasonably high level of education. It is important that they understand the process of donation, their responsibilities and rights.
This is important not only to protect you the recipient; but the donor as well.
Fortunately, there are plenty of bright, educated women who are ready to help other people complete their families. If you are getting an egg donor through a fertility clinic or agency, feel free to ask questions about her to find out all you need to know about the potential donor.
IVF with donor eggs may not be what you had in mind when you first began your family-building journey. But it’s an excellent option to consider, especially if you have had multiple unsuccessful IVF cycles. It is safe and highly effective, even for older couples. While the cost can be expensive, you can cut the expenses by choosing frozen donor eggs.
And the good news is that research has shown that frozen eggs can be just as good as fresh ones when it comes to achieving a pregnancy.
Did you find this article helpful?Let us know in the comments section below. Talk to us if you want to know more about fertility treatments.
Editing By AskAwayHealth Team
All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising Medical Practitioners on various healthcare conditions to provide evidence-based guidance and to help promote quality healthcare. The advice in our material is not meant to replace a qualified healthcare practitioner’s management of your specific condition.
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