When you were younger, you had it all planned out.
By the time you were 35, you’d have a husband, two kids, and your dream home.
Alas – if only life were that simple.
Finding the love of your life and your forever home may have seemed like a breeze – but having one child, let alone two – continues to be an uphill battle.
Now, you’re facing the heart-wrenching task of finding the right fertility treatment for you, and donor egg is one of those options.
From how the process works to what you can expect when you’re trying to find a donor, you’re bound to have many questions and concerns that need answered before you move forward.
This post aims to help you come to terms with the rollercoaster of emotions you’re inevitably going through.
What Does It Take to Find Your Ideal Donor?
Many people assume when it comes to donor eggs, the best option is to choose someone you know.
For some, it’s the right route. After all, knowing exactly where half of your baby’s genes come from will help put your mind at ease. And, if you use a family member, it gives you peace of mind that your child will share some of your own genes.
However, it’s important to consider the potential complications this may cause in the future. Can you guarantee your egg donor will remain anonymous? Will you feel uncomfortable taking your child to see their donor, knowing who they are?
In contrast, using an egg donor program guarantees donor anonymity without reducing your all-important choice.
A donor isn’t just randomly selected for you. Instead, you’re given access to a large database of potential candidates, from which you can choose the perfect donor for you. Your search may focus on physical attributes or you may wish to look at academic and career achievements.
There is no right or wrong way to find a donor – it depends entirely on your own personal preferences. You may even prefer to know nothing about your donor and have your egg donor program give you options based on your criteria.
What’s the Timeline for the Egg Donor Process?
The time it takes for your fertility treatment depends on whether you’re using fresh or frozen eggs.
If you’re using fresh donor eggs, there’s the added stage of syncing your cycle with your donor’s cycle. This is necessary, as your donor eggs will be transplanted into your uterus after they’re retrieved from your donor and then fertilised. To do this, you and your donor will both need to take fertility medication before your IVF procedure. Trying to sync cycles with your donor can often lead to delays and cancelled cycles whether it’s due to medical reasons or outside influences involving your donor. Fresh donor eggs also tend to be more expensive than if you use eggs that are already frozen since you’ll incur your donor’s medication, transportation and accommodation expenses.
While you’ll also need to take fertility medication for frozen donor eggs to prepare the lining of your uterus for implantation, you don’t need to worry about the retrieval of your donor’s eggs. Unlike with fresh donor eggs, you’re able to start your IVF cycle on your own schedule since your frozen eggs have already been retrieved.
After your donor eggs are retrieved from your donor or are thawed, they’re fertilised with your partner’s sperm. Three to five days later, each of these fertilised eggs become an embryo and are ready for transferral to your uterus. One or two of these embryos are transferred (often no more than this, due to the high likelihood of twins – approximately 40 percent).
Two weeks later you’ll return to the clinic for a pregnancy test.
What Emotions May You Face Along the Way?
One of the hardest aspects involved in using donor eggs is letting go of your genetic connection with your baby. It’s often hard for new mums to come to terms with their own eggs not being used in the process.
However, as you work through these emotions, you should start to understand genes alone aren’t important. The fact you’re able to carry your baby and give birth to them plays a huge role in the development of your mother-baby bond. The chance of pregnancy and birth aren’t available with other infertility options, e.g. adoption or surrogacy.
Nevertheless, you’ll probably find it beneficial to speak to a counsellor during this process as they’ll help you work through all of your thoughts and feelings.
Building the Future You’ve Always Dreamed Of
They say life is never straightforward – and when you face infertility this becomes heartbreakingly clear.
However, as you work toward creating your perfect family, donor egg or no donor egg, the sacrifice, emotions and grief you go through will create an even stronger, more unbreakable bond between you and your child.
In battling against infertility, you’ll forge a formidable family.