Egg donation, or using donor eggs, is a comparatively new concept. The first successful donor egg transfer was done in the US in 1983. Egg donation gave new hope to infertile women, gay couples, pre-menopausal and menopausal women to have kids. Donor eggs are gaining popularity and many couples are opting for donor eggs-based IVF treatment. If you are considering donor eggs then there are a few things that you should be aware of before taking the leap.
Mom and Baby Will Not Be Genetically Related:
Donor eggs will let you become a natural parent. The baby would be very much your own, however, the mother and the baby will not be genetically related. The child would be genetically related to the father if his sperm has been used, but not to the mother.
Women Can Use Donor Eggs Even After Menopause
As strange as it may sound, the uterus does not age, and even after menopause uterus is capable of carrying on with a pregnancy. Women are unable to produce their own eggs after menopause but with the help of donor eggs, they can still carry a full-term pregnancy and become a mother. Estrogen and progesterone injections would induce a menstrual cycle and prepare the uterus for implantation.
There Are Primarily Two Options To Select An Egg Donor
Eggs can be available as two options— frozen and fresh. Choosing frozen eggs takes less time as eggs have been frozen and you just select. Some women even freeze their own eggs and use them later to have babies. Using fresh eggs is a time-consuming process as it involves ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval. Mention worthy, the pregnancy success rate for using frozen donor eggs and fresh donor eggs are the same. Therefore, it depends on your discretion to choose the best option.
Selecting a Donor is Time-consuming
It requires perseverance and patience to select a donor. In the profile of egg donors, a lot of things like eye color, hair color, height, weight, skin color, ethnicity, educational level, religion, and other details are mentioned. The couple has to screen through the profile and select the one closest to their preferences.
Screening is Involved Even For a Donor Known To The Couple
In many cases, a woman may wish to take eggs from a known person for some sort of genetic integrity and comfort factor. It could be a family member, friend, or acquaintance. Choosing a known donor also involves screening. The donor would be screened for infectious diseases, genetic disorders, etc. Selecting frozen eggs allows parents to skip this step as frozen eggs have already gone through screening.
The Treatment Time Varies
If a couple decides to use frozen eggs then the entire process of acquiring, thawing, and injecting the eggs with the sperm and then incubating the embryos may take between one and three months. The process for using fresh eggs can take up to 6 months as it also involves the process of screening. After injecting the eggs with the sperm and incubating the embryos, they are transferred to the uterus and implanted. After two weeks a pregnancy test is conducted.
Egg Donor Cycles Do Get Cancelled
In many cases, the process of retrieving fresh eggs from the donor gets cancelled as the donor’s ovaries are unable to produce an adequate amount of eggs even after medication. Sometimes, even after successful implantation in the uterus, the pregnancy is not confirmed.
Donors in Their 20s Have More Success Rate
It has been observed that the success rate is higher if eggs are retrieved from young donors. There is a 75% success rate if eggs are used from women in their 20s.
Using an Egg Donor Involves Legal Procedures
In most countries, using an egg donor has legal formalities involved. Should you decide to use donor eggs, always enquire with your local law enforcement agencies about the law of the land regarding egg donation.
Egg Donation Formality in India
As per ICMR, egg donation is legal in India but it has to be anonymous, consensual, and confidential.