* This is a guest post by Heidi Hayes from Donor Egg Bank USA. Reproductive health has always been a passion of mine (I’ve studied it from both a medical and legal perspective in school) so when Heidi asked to write a guest post on donor eggs I said “Of course!” I’ve been blessed to not have any fertility issues myself but I do know people who have gone/are going through them. So if IVF with donor eggs are an option you are open to, I hope this helps you a bit!
Photo from Donor Egg Bank USA website
The Benefits of Considering Frozen Donor Egg IVF
Trying for a baby should be a magical and exciting time. After all, you’re going to be bringing a tiny new person into the world who will help to shape and form it in some way. Maybe he’ll have your husband’s soccer playing skills and your sarcastic sense of humor, or your piano playing talent and your partner’s baby blues. Most couples fantasize about starting a family someday.
But while their conversations usually cover the cost of diapers, vaccinations and even schooling, what they don’t usually talk about is the cost of a donor egg. Most couples never expect to run into fertility problems when trying to conceive, but life doesn’t always work out the way we expect it to.
The comforting thing about living in this technological age is that if you and your partner are struggling with infertility, you now have a lot of options open to you.
Coping With Your Emotions
Once you’ve had time to deal with your emotions and the reality that you may need help getting pregnant, only then you can start to look to the future. It is important to allow yourself all the time you need to discuss your feelings openly with your partner and to seek professional help and counseling, if needed.
Finding out that you won’t be able to have the biological children you so often talked about is a massive blow, and many women have spoken openly about their feelings of anger, jealousy, depression and grief. But whatever you feel, know that it’s normal to feel that way, and try to be kind to yourself while you learn to live with the news.
Exploring Your Options
Adoption is a family-building solution that many people are familiar with, but unfortunately for various reasons, adopting a child may not be an option for every couple. The adoption process is lengthy and can be full of delays, and carries a risk that plans may ultimately fall through.
Adoption can also be very expensive, with agency and private adoptions ranging from $5,000 to $40,000 or more. But there are other options available that, while not as widely talked about, may be the perfect solution for your family.
Using Donor Eggs
Thanks to massive advances in the fertility field, you can now safely and successfully use a donor egg for procreation, and this once controversial technology is now widely considered a safe and viable option for couples who want to start a family.
Using a donor egg gives you the chance to conceive your child with your partner’s sperm and experience the bond between mother and child that begins inside the womb. If you’ve always dreamed about what it would feel like to be pregnant, then using a donor egg will allow you to experience this.
Egg donation has now been available for more than thirty years, although it is only recently that frozen eggs have become a viable alternative to the fresh donation method. While studies indicate that the rates of success using fresh donor eggs versus frozen donor eggs are still slightly higher, that’s partly because there is simply less data available on frozen egg IVF. As the technology becomes more widely utilized in recent years, the gap is continually narrowing. New advances in flash freezing techniques and thawing protocols to avoid ice crystals forming in the eggs during freezing are improving frozen donor egg success rates all the time and leveling the playing field.
Choosing Frozen Donor Eggs
If success rates are higher using fresh donor eggs, you may be wondering why you should consider using frozen donor eggs as your fertility option. There are several reasons that might make frozen donor egg IVF right for you:
- A cycle of frozen donor eggs is approximately half the price of a cycle of fresh donor eggs (at around $13,500).
- Your menstrual cycle doesn’t need to be synchronized with that of the donor when using frozen donor eggs, which means you’ll avoid possible complications in cycle synchronization (and less trips to the clinic for hormone medications).
- You’ll have a wider selection of egg donors, as you can choose from a national database of donors from the comfort of your own home, without being restricted to choosing someone who is locally available. Some may also be more comfortable knowing they will not have any interaction with the donor.
- Accessibility – Using frozen donor eggs has made this fertility option more accessible, with some clinics now offering financing plans, as well as money-back guarantees.
Once you decide to use frozen donor eggs, the first thing you and your partner will need to do is to make an appointment with your local fertility clinic and go through a pre- screening process. They will discuss all the details of the process with you and go through your medical history, background and goals.
Selecting a donor couldn’t be easier and you can do this online at a quiet time of your choosing, with no pressure from anyone else. You and your partner can discuss which criteria are most important to you when selecting a donor, such as age, ethnicity, hair and eye color, and even education levels.
Once you’ve completed these two steps, you’ll need to wait for your next period to start so that your doctor can schedule your embryo transfer. Since there is no synchronization necessary, you can start as soon as your body is ready. The whole process is simple, fast, and you’ll know within around two weeks if it has been successful when you return to the clinic for a pregnancy test.
Don’t give up on your dream of becoming a mother and starting the family you’ve always wanted. Using frozen donor eggs to combat your infertility head on will allow you to take back control and fulfil your dreams. Not everything in life turns out the way you think it will, but that doesn’t stop it from being amazing and miraculous in its own way.