The barrage of ultrasounds, blood tests, lifestyle changes, and doctor’s appointments have all led to one result — no baby. Well, not yet at least. For many women looking to start or complete their family, giving up on the dream of carrying a baby in their womb is unacceptable. If other forms of reproductive technology have left you still yearning, trying in vitro fertilization with donor eggs may be a solution. Using donor eggs can be a weighty decision. Here are some topics other women have found helpful to consider, from the emotional aspects to the cost of donor eggs with Donor Egg Bank USA, which has helped thousands of couples conceive.
Do You Need to Grieve?
The decision to use donor egg as a means of having a baby often comes with a long history of disappointment and devastation. While donated eggs can make an elusive dream possible, they also mean that your own DNA will not be shared with the baby. Many women need time to grieve that their future child or children will not carry their genes.
Additionally, they must cope with their infertility diagnosis, which may be due to age, low ovarian count or past medical treatment. It is highly recommended — and, in fact, sometimes required by fertility clinics — that couples see a counselor that specializes in infertility prior to using donor eggs.
Will the Baby Feel Like “Yours”?
Many couples grapple with whether a baby conceived with donor eggs will feel like their own. However, many moms who have used donor eggs choose to see the positives. For one, you will have fought so hard to make this baby that it is inevitable to feel joy upon his or her arrival. Often times, children learn mannerisms and behaviors through family life, so even if a child does not have mom’s green eyes, she might shrug or crinkle her eyebrows together the same way. Lastly, as you share antibodies and nutrients with the little being that fully depends on you for life, it’ll be hard not to fall completely in love.
How Do You Pick a Donor?
Couples report that choosing a donor requires a balance of practical matters, such as the donor’s background, interests and education, and the it-just-feels-right feeling. Unless there’s a family member or friend who has agreed to donate her eggs, you also need to choose between fresh and frozen donor eggs.
What’s the Difference between Fresh and Frozen Donor Eggs?
Fresh egg donors are associated with slightly higher success rates; however, there are some disadvantages. With fresh eggs, the donor and the prospective mother must synchronize their cycles using hormones. The prospective mother needs to be ready for the IVF transfer whenever the donor’s eggs are ready, and she will take another hormone that helps her uterus accept the eggs. Altogether, getting fresh eggs can take six months or more, and there are no guarantees regarding how many eggs the donor will produce.
Frozen donor eggs, conversely, are available as soon as a couple selects their donor. While the prospective mother does not need to match her cycle with the donor’s, she will take hormones to create an optimal uterine environment. After the frozen eggs arrive at the couple’s fertility clinic, they will be thawed and fertilized, using the husband’s sperm if applicable. Frozen egg banks typically guarantee an average number of eggs in each lot. One benefit to frozen donor eggs is that the whole process can be accomplished in as few as four to six weeks.
What is the Financial Toll?
Typically, fresh donor eggs cost about twice as much as frozen donor eggs. The fees you pay to an agency or frozen donor egg bank go toward compensating the donor for her time and discomfort. While the fees vary, some egg banks offer financial plans and guarantees that you will become pregnant. You will also need to pay for the IVF transfer, which may or may not be covered by insurance.
What Happens after the Transfer?
Following the donor egg IVF procedure, just like any other hopeful couple, you wait to take a pregnancy test and hope for the best. With luck, a positive outcome will mean that what you’ve longed for — carrying your child and feeling the baby grow — is soon to become a reality.