Are you planning to use Donor Eggs?
When facing infertility, it can sometimes feel like parenthood is out of your reach. Thankfully, various fertility treatments like IUI, IVF and donor eggs still offer a light at the end of the tunnel. If using donor eggs is your next step, you’ll undoubtedly have many questions, including how to choose your ‘perfect’ match from an egg bank’s ethnically diverse choice of egg donors.
We explore the five most commonly asked questions about donor egg IVF below :
1. How Will I Find the Perfect Donor?
One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is whether to use someone you know or an anonymous donor. If you’re adamant on having a personal connection with your donor or want your donor to pass on your family genes, the former is often preferable. Yet, the second route is chosen most often.
Using an anonymous donor from an egg bank gives you access to a greater pool of donors. Additionally, it removes the potential of awkward family/friendship dynamics which may happen post-donation or after the birth of your baby.
2. Do I Use Fresh or Frozen Donor Eggs?
Before choosing your donor, you’ll need to decide between using fresh or frozen donor eggs. While they’re both very similar, the former takes longer and is more expensive.
With fresh donor egg cycles, your menstrual cycle and the donor’s need to synchronize before implantation. In turn, this can increase costs, as you may have to pay for your donor’s medications and travel expenses. Indeed, due to an increased chance for variability in synchronizing schedules and cycles, the likelihood of canceled cycles increases with fresh donor eggs.
Conversely, with frozen donor eggs, donors have already had their eggs retrieved. You don’t need to sync your cycle with your donor’s and pay for additional donor expenses. Using frozen donor eggs doesn’t only cut down on the overall price, but also cuts down on time. It allows you to start your cycle on your own time since you don’t need to worry about the donor.
3. Will I Bond with My Baby?
For many moms-to-be, this is a significant concern – but truly unwarranted!
Carrying your baby for nine months offers an incredible opportunity to bond with him or her.
Not only will you nurture your baby as he or she grows within your womb, but you’ll also influence his or her unique characteristics by choosing your ‘perfect’ donor. For example, you may choose a donor who shares similar physical traits with you or someone who possesses key qualities you’d love your child to have.
Remember: you’re the biological mother of your baby. Your egg donor gave you the tiny missing genetic piece to your infertility puzzle. Your child is absolutely yours and bonding will be effortless.
4. What Relationship Will My Baby and I Have with My Donor?
This question is particularly important if you’re using a donor you know. How will your relationship change and adapt to this journey? Will, you or the donor feel a sense of obligation to each other after your child is born? Will you tell your child who their donor is?
Discussing and working through these questions before you undergo donor egg IVF is essential, as it will ensure everyone is on the same page when the baby arrives. However, it’s also important to be flexible with these feelings, as they may change over time – for you and the donor.
Alternatively, if you are using an egg bank, donors can choose between remaining anonymous and being open to future contact (Open ID). Open ID donors allow contact with children born from their eggs after the child reaches 18 years old.
5. What Emotions Will I Go Through?
To say egg donation is a rollercoaster of emotions would be an understatement. From elation to despair and back again, you’ll ride through several waves. Frank and open communication – and perhaps counseling, if necessary – are vital to appropriately recognize and work with these feelings.
When you feel the first kick from your unborn baby, everything will shift into place. But more importantly, when you hold your newborn baby in your arms, you’ll know you’ve made the right choice and that your baby is irrevocably yours!