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For some, getting pregnant can seem like the easiest thing in the world; unfortunately, many couples are not quite as fortunate. When a couple wants to have a baby and nature is not cooperating, there are many fertility treatment options to consider. For some couples, this includes using an egg donor.
Egg donation is a complex but common process that, while sometimes stressful, can provide the best outcome for a hopeful family.
Why Use an Egg Donor?
Many women have problems with their own eggs but don’t have issues carrying a baby to full term. Some of the circumstances that could benefit from the use of donor eggs include:
- Poor egg quality
- Low ovarian reserve
- Genetic abnormalities
- Women over 40 or those who have reached menopause
- Women with underlying medical health conditions
- Women whose eggs have been damaged by previous medical procedures
Egg donors and surrogates are also required for same-sex male couples looking to start a family.
How Does Fertilization With a Donor Egg Work?
To create an embryo, a donated egg (either from an anonymous source or a directed egg donation) is fertilized with your partner’s sperm (or donated sperm).
The resulting embryo(s) are transferred into your uterus through in vitro fertilization (IVF) with the hope that at least one of them will implant. If successful, the pregnancy will proceed in the same way a natural pregnancy with your own egg would.
Should I Choose Fresh Eggs or Frozen Eggs From a Bank?
Research has shown that fresh eggs offer a slightly higher success rate when compared to frozen donor eggs. Some studies show fresh eggs deliver a 50 percent chance of a successful, live birth while frozen eggs work 40 percent of the time.
When using fresh donor eggs, you will have to synchronize your menstrual cycle with your donor’s. This alignment is accomplished with hormone shots and medications.
When your body is prepared to receive the embryos, the donor’s eggs will be retrieved, fertilized, and placed into the lining of your uterus.
In the same way that sperm banks freeze healthy sperm, egg banks freeze healthy eggs to be used anytime you are ready. The eggs are chosen, fertilized, and placed in the same manner as fresh eggs.
Some people retrieve extra eggs from their donors to be fertilized and frozen for later use when biologically related siblings are planned.
How Do I Find an Egg Donor?
The most common way to find an egg donor is through a fertility clinic or an egg donor agency. Depending on the clinic or agency's policy, the donor may be anonymous or known to you. Some clinics will provide photos of your potential donors. You can also search for donors privately.
Family can be a great resource when looking for a donor, especially if you want a child who shares some of your genetics.
If you choose a private donor, you must make sure you have a formal written agreement. Most clinics and agencies already have these legalities in place as part of the process.
The contract should be clear and precise, stating that the donor waives any and all parental rights to children born as a result of her donated eggs.
Further, it should be noted that these children legally belong solely to the recipient couples.
All our donors undergo a complete medical, psychological, genetic, and laboratory screening before donation. We only use the healthiest and highest-quality eggs for our fertility treatments.
Is Using an Egg Donor to Get Pregnant Right for Me?
If you and your partner have had problems getting pregnant, you have several options, including egg donation.
If you decide that you want to experience the joy of giving birth to your child, but have issues with your own eggs, then using an egg donor may be the best solution.
Problems Getting Pregnant?
With offices throughout Southern California, the team at the Reproductive Fertility Center works hard to provide the best services for our patients. We understand the emotional and financial investment that goes into planning a family through IVF and are committed to treating you with compassion while offering highly effective solutions.
We also offer donated sperm, sperm treatments, and embryos as alternative fertility treatments.
If you are struggling to conceive, see Dr. Peyman Saadat for a comprehensive infertility evaluation to identify the issues contributing to your troubles and the treatment that will help you achieve a successful outcome.
Call us today at (310) 881-8846 for a consultation.