Monday 7 January 2019

The Egg Donation Decision: Helping Women Struggling with Infertility Become Mothers

Photo by Laercio Cavalcanti on Unsplash

Becoming an egg donor can be rewarding in many ways and to many people, but the decision is a deeply personal one - one that must intrinsically come from you. It’s also important to recognise that such a rewarding decision, which can potentially have a lasting impact on others, doesn’t come without its’ sacrifices or concerns. There are many factors to consider when making the decision to become a donor, but rest assured, there’s no right or wrong reason to donate eggs.

As an egg donor, you’ll have the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than yourself. You may find the ability to gift those struggling with infertility the opportunity to become parents far outweighs the physical and emotional task ahead. Remembering your motivation to donate your eggs can help see you through the entire egg donation process and give you permanent peace of mind you made the best decision for yourself.

Meeting the Requirements

To become an egg donor, you must not only be willing to commit physically and emotionally to it, but you also must be willing to commit your time. As a potential egg donor, you’ll be subject to a thorough screening process which involves medical tests, evaluations, and questionnaires. Your screening results will be used to determine if you meet the standard egg donor requirements listed below.

You must…

·       be between 21 to 33 years old.
·       currently be tobacco and drug-free.
·       not have any sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, chlamydia, or hepatitis.
·       be in good overall mental, emotional, and physical health.
·       be prepared to have genetic screening.
·       have a psychological evaluation.
·       be available approximately 3 to 4 months to complete the donation process cycle.
·       be capable of self-administering injections with medication to stimulate your ovaries.

Egg Stimulation and Retrieval

After you complete the screening portion of the process and meet the eligibility requirements, you can start the egg collection process. To begin, your doctor will prescribe an injectable medication regimen to stimulate your ovaries and prompt them to produce several mature eggs. During this stimulation cycle, you’ll frequently visit the doctor’s office so they can carefully monitor your body’s response. For some women, this will require daily visits, while for others, it may be every few days until retrieval. At each visit, you’ll have a transvaginal ultrasound and provide bloodwork. Such comprehensive monitoring is crucial not only to monitor your health, but also to timing the release of your eggs, a key element of egg donation success.

Once your medical team has determined your ovaries are ready, your ovaries will again be stimulated by medication to release the mature eggs produced. Your eggs will then be retrieved using a thin needle while you’re under light anesthesia. Next, your eggs will be cryogenically frozen and stored until they’re selected by a recipient.

Recovery after egg retrieval varies for each woman, but most egg donors return to their normal routines the next day. The most common side effects experienced are light bleeding, abdominal pain or cramping, and constipation.

After you sign legally binding contracts and donate your eggs, you’re no longer the legal owner of them. You give up control over who uses them, how they are used and any children that are born from them. This responsibility ultimately transfers to the parents who select your eggs to bring their dream family to life.

Your Decision

The decision to donate your eggs may not be an easy one, but it’s ultimately a life-giving opportunity to help another woman experience pregnancy and deliver a baby of her own.

After careful reflection, you may realise the impact you can make will certainly outlast any physical discomforts you may experience. And the knowledge you may give the gift of a child to a family can put you at ease with any emotional concerns you have before, during, or after the egg donation process. You can donate knowing your eggs are a potential source of life and perpetual happiness for another family. Make the decision today to help fulfill someone else’s dreams while you achieve yours.