If you experience infertility, you know that it can have many causes and treatments. You may have heard of egg donation and are unsure whether it is right for you. There are some common guidelines for determining whether egg donation could be a solution for your infertility problems.
Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) is one of the primary reasons that women turn to egg donation. In POF, the ovaries stop working well before the average age for menopause. POF is usually the diagnosis when ovulation stops before the age of 40. Diminished ovarian reserve, however, is a condition in which a woman’s eggs are of such low quality that they cannot become a viable pregnancy. This is often seen in women over 40, the age after which fertility declines rapidly. Also, couples may try egg donation to avoid genetically transmitted diseases. While the preimplantation genetic diagnosis can help some women conceive using their own eggs, certain diseases have such a high chance of developing in the baby that donor eggs are the only option. Failed IVF treatments with no known cause are also a reason some couples choose to try egg donation.
Success rates with egg donation vary, and there are many emotional aspects to consider in addition to the medical ones. Infertile couples should talk in depth about all facets of the process. Medically, you should consider the medications, procedures, and time off necessary to complete a cycle. While not extensive, it is a process similar to IVF. Decisions about how to handle extra embryos are important to plan for ahead of time so you are not unprepared. For some people, religious beliefs come into play and they may want to consult a religious advisor. Questions for the future such as what to tell the child, to how much contact – if any – you want with the donor, should also be discussed.
Egg donation can be a beautiful way to add to your family when other methods are not an option or have not worked. It is important to thoroughly research the egg donor agency you choose, as they will play a large role in helping you decide if egg donation is the right path for you to take, as well as guide you through the process of choosing the right donor for your family.