To couples who have had a hard time conceiving, egg donors are their miracle saviours that allows them to experience the joy of starting a family and essentially becoming parents.
What Is Egg Donation?
It is difficult to make the majority of fertility processes work in the absence of healthy eggs.
Egg donation gives a real possibility for a couple to have a child. It is the core aspect of assisted reproductive technology.
Typically egg donation is considered by women who have reached a certain age, usually 45 and above, and no longer have viable eggs. It is also sought by women who have failed multiple IVF cycles.
Once a couple decides they want to pursue egg donation, they seek an egg donor. Prospective parents usually look for ethnic matches and physical characteristics that match the intended mother.
Interestingly, a woman does not have to choose an egg donor based on her blood type as it does not impact the outcome. When seeking an egg donor, it is crucial to select a reputable organization such as MotherToBe.
What Is the Process of Egg Donation?
After a couple chooses an egg donor and that donor is qualified medically, she begins in vitro fertilization (IVF). The donor takes hormone shots to help recruit multiple eggs.
Those eggs are only good for a month. The donor will then lose the eggs. So, significantly, the donor is not affected by the process concerning her future fertility.
The eggs are then retrieved from the egg follicles in the operating room under anesthesia. The eggs are then given to the intended parents, where sperm is injected into the eggs.
The embryos are given five days to develop. On the fifth day, one embryo is transferred to the intended mother. The extra embryos can be frozen. There is no expiry date on those embryos.
What Is The Importance Of Endometrial Preparation?
We must point out that the uterus is not receptive on any day of the cycle. This is a specific period known as the implantation window within which transfer needs to take place.
This is why endometrial preparation is necessary. Keep in mind that the endometrium is the layer of the uterus where the embryo needs to implant, and endometrial preparation can be carried out in different ways.
One of the ways is the natural process. Recipients often have regular, simple cycles with good ovarian function, and the ovary prepares the endometrium naturally all by itself.
What Are the Common Myths Surrounding Donor Eggs & IVF?
Despite taking the best precautions there is no doubt a level of risk involves in the process of egg donors and the subsequent IVF procedures. This has given rise to a number of myths and rumours surrounding egg donation. It is important to dispel these myths and understand the fact behind the fiction.
Perhaps one of the most common myths about conceiving a child through egg donation and IVF is the intended mother’s questioning their role in their child’s birth. It is true that the hard wiring, the DNA of the sperm, and the egg influence things like the characteristics of the child. However, we are learning more about epigenetics, whereby a womb is a place where the intended mother starts to influence the DNA of the actual fetus. Putting molecules on the DNA of the fetus and those molecules influence things like personality, intellect, and neuro-developmental issues. So, in reality, motherhood begins in the womb.
Due to misinformation becoming a widespread phenomenon, prospective egg donors often receive information with no scientific basis. A significant myth regarding egg donation is that it can lead to infertility on the egg donor. This is not true since egg donation is similar to any other medical procedure. While there is a chance that some egg donors may develop an infection, ovarian torsion, etc., but egg donation will not result in infertility.
Additionally, the process of egg retrieval is not a painful as many often believe it to be. As mentioned earlier, the egg donor is sedated during the retrieval process. However, egg donation may cause some women to experience cramping, bloating, nausea, etc., due to the hormone injections administered to the egg donor before the retrieval process.
Egg Donation & IVF Success Rates
Today we see pregnancy rates in frozen embryos comparable to those of fresh embryos. So, whether a couple chooses to have a fresh embryo transfer or frozen embryo transfer yields the same result. The best news about working with embryos that are frozen is that if the first embryo transfer is not successful, you can access an immediate backup.
First embryo transfers work 66% of the time, making it possible for the frozen embryo to be the second child in the years to come.
It is only with the commitment of donors to allow the harvesting of healthy eggs that have led to a happy ending for many childless couples who were victims of fertility issues. Hence, it can be correlated with the highest pregnancy rates under IVF or fertility care.
If you are experiencing fertility issues and wish to consider egg donation, why not have a chat with Dr Vyjayanthi, an experienced Fertility Specialist in Hyderabad. Heading MotherToBe, Dr Vyjayanthi has performed over 10,000 IVF cycles and has trained in embryology from some of the world best academic centres. Schedule an appointment and we are happy to lay all your doubts to rest to ensure that the experience of starting a family is a joyous and healthy one for you.