IVF is an almost miracle treatment just on its own. However, there are occasions when it needs a little extra help to allow it to be the best procedure that it can be. Sometimes it will be necessary to use donor sperm, if low sperm count is an issue – and sometimes it may be advisable to use donor eggs in order to conceive a child. Using donor eggs is a concept that many women may understandably struggle with when they first contemplate it. However if you remove misconceptions, stigma and prejudice then it’s easy to recognise that using donor eggs is really an amazing thing to be able to do. It’s a medical procedure with invaluable benefits; as the experts in Team Miracle at Dogus IVF will tell you. They work together to ensure the highest possible success rates when using donor eggs.
Why use donor eggs?
In the UK alone there are 2,000 babies per year born using donated sperm, eggs or embryos. There are many reasons why using donor eggs might be appropriate. These include:
– Having no ovaries or ovaries have been removed.
– If ovaries are damaged through treatment for cancer.
– If the woman is post-menopausal.
– If the woman is only producing only a few, or low-quality, eggs.
– If the couple have repeatedly tried to conceive unsuccessfully via fertility drugs or IVF.
– If the woman has suffered several miscarriages.
– If there is a high risk of passing on inherited conditions.
Essentially, it’s a good idea to use donor eggs if your own eggs are unlikely to result in a viable pregnancy. Put starkly, it can be the choice between having a child and not having a child.
But I’m worried.
The sad thing is that too many women worry about issues that simply cease to matter once a pregnancy has been established. They worry that the child wouldn’t ‘feel’ like their own, that the egg donor may have a claim to the child or that there might be inherited health problems that wouldn’t be known about. However, both the medical and legal worlds have come together on this issue to remove any such problems. Providing that you go through a licensed clinic, the law is very clear cut. It states that the woman receiving the treatment will be the legal parent and the donor has no claim.
Equally, by law the woman becoming pregnant will be regarded as the child’s mother and not the donor. And once a woman’s body has grown and nourished a pregnancy, perhaps from blastocyst days or perhaps slightly later on from the early embryo days, then there becomes no question that the child is theirs in every sense. A mother’s womb has created a sanctuary for her baby to grow; there can be nothing more bonding between a mother and her child.
And as for the medical side, each donor and their eggs areis screened for abnormalities prior to acceptance. For many women, they use someone who has a proven track record because it gives a slight advantage in that you can be confident that the donor has responded well to medication, their eggs have contributed towards a live birth and that they truly understand and accept the whole process.
Women receiving eggs need not worry. The medical world has been dealing with the exact science of egg donation for years and years; problems of any kind have already been anticipated and removed. It is a safe, successful, highly recommended procedure for those who need i twho will benefit. And patients opting for egg donation treatment in Cyprus will benefit from the multi-skilled team at Dogus IVF.
Choosing your donor eggs
Once you have accepted the idea and decided that egg donation is for you, then begins the next part of the process. Choosing your donor. This bit needs careful consideration because there are many things which need to be considered when a potential egg donor is being selected. The first, and arguably most important, is whether you wish to use a known donor, for example your sister or friend, or whether you would prefer an anonymous one. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. With a known donor you may know a lot of family history and your baby will have a chance to bond with its biological donor. However, the relationship ramifications are less clear and it can be a stressful situation to put yourself in. By contrast, an anonymous donor affords more confidentiality and there will be a more clearly defined relationship. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong and it comes down to your own personal preference. In Cyprus at Dogus IVF there is a broad range of donors to choose from; all of whom have been specially selected for their suitability.
The next issues are things like physical appearance, medical history and blood type. When considering your own family (both immediate and extended) how important is it to you both that your child ‘matches’? If everyone on your side of the family has blond hair and blue eyes then consider selecting a donor who has the same physical attributes.
The procedure for using the donated eggs depends on both the clinic and the type of treatment being undergone. Usually, the recipient and donor will be given medication to synchronise their menstrual cycles. If the eggs are harvested, fertilised and frozen for later use however, then this isn’t necessary. You will then be given medication to prepare the endometrium lining for the embryo.
Once the eggs have been harvested they will be fertilised using your partner’s (or donor) sperm either through IVF or ICSI. Once they begin to develop, they will be transferred to your uterus.
- * Donation is not anonymous. Donors have the right to contact
the child when the child reaches the age of 18 and vice versa.
- Long waiting lists for egg donation treatment.
- * Egg donors can only be paid up to £750 for their travelling
or other expenses so a lower number of women offer to become
donors. This gives less variety in the types of donors available
so it’s more difficult to match physical or educational characteristics.
- * Egg donors can be any age, even into their late 30s, and
can also be women who are having fertility treatment themselves
and participating in “shared cycles”. This results in low quality
eggs and low success rates of approximately 25% – 30%.
- * Egg donors are primarily of white British origin.
- * Egg donors don’t need to have a proven record of pregnancy.
Team Miracle at Dogus IVF Centre
- * Donation is anonymous. Donors will never have the right
to find out any information about the child and vice versa.
- * No waiting list for egg donation treatment.
- * No limit on what egg donors can be paid. Therefore lots
of women are happy to apply to become egg donors. This gives
more variety in the types of donors available and allows matching
of almost any physical or educational characteristics.
- * Egg donors are between 18 and 25 years old and must go
through strict tests before being accepted onto the donor program.
This results in only the best quality eggs being used and high
success rates of approximately 70% – 80%.
- * There is a huge variety in the ethnicities of the egg
- * All donors are proven donors meaning that they have children
of their own or they have donated eggs previously resulting
in a successful pregnancy.
Having a baby
Whilst using donor eggs can seem like a major decision, it is actually a very sensible and logical solution. And what’s important to remember is that it’s OK to be emotional about it. Fertility treatment is an emotional process and understanding your feelings and fears is simply part of the journey. A journey which, hopefully, will end with you and your partner becoming parents.