Disclosure: This is a sponsored guest post dealing with infertility and the use of donor eggs and although I was compensated for sharing this post, you all know this particular topic is near and dear to my heart and I am thrilled to be sharing other points of view and options for infertility with you.
When I was told I couldn’t get pregnant using my own eggs, I felt so alone, not knowing how to share my grief with others. Little did I know more than 8,000 babies are born to women like me each year in the U.S. thanks to egg donation. If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to visit https://donoreggbankusa.com/ to see if it’s the right step for you.
Is donor egg IVF for me?
When I first found out how many women successfully pass through an infertility crisis and become pregnant through IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) with donor eggs, I dared to feel hope. Many of them were about my age – over 40. But then, it struck me like a bolt my baby wouldn’t have my DNA. I had looked forward to the sheer maternal delight of seeing something of myself in my baby. This was a major concern for me.
I was so upset I couldn’t concentrate on anything for months. However, I often thought of how couples who adopt children can – and do – raise loving, happy families despite a lack of DNA connection. I eagerly wished to experience pregnancy, though, so I decided to move forward with donor eggs. We would intimately bond in the way only a mother and her baby can share during pregnancy. My baby’s life would be sustained by mine for nine months, an important role I couldn’t wait to play. Then, I found myself facing a crossroad; I couldn’t decide which type of donor egg was better for me – fresh, or frozen?
I did some more digging online and found my answer.
How do I choose between fresh and frozen donated eggs?
I discovered fresh donor egg cycles take months longer than frozen – time was of the essence for me, so strike one against fresh. Using fresh, I’d have to sort out the legal paperwork with a lawyer, plus undertake most of the expenses involved with the donor’s medical and psychological screening, medications, travel, and more. Strike two and three. On the other hand, using frozen donor eggs is faster, more accommodating to my schedule, and is approximately half the cost because all procedures involving the donor are taken care of before egg preservation. We have a winner!
Fresh vs Frozen Donor Egg IVF: How It Works
- Unlike with fresh donor eggs, with frozen there’s no need for menstrual cycle synchronization between the recipient and the donor. The medications needed to prepare your body for either are often similar.
First, you’ll take birth control pills to prevent ovulation, then estrogen followed by progesterone. After taking each medication as prescribed, the doctor will examine your uterine lining for signs of readiness for pregnancy.
- Once your body is ready, the frozen eggs will be thawed and fertilized. Three to five days later, the doctor will transfer one or two embryos to your uterus. All other embryos may be cryopreserved and stored for future siblings.
- Two weeks later, you’re ready to take a pregnancy test and verify you’re eating for two.
What time commitment is involved?
IVF treatment with frozen donor eggs takes approximately six weeks from start to finish. Four weeks are spent thickening your uterine lining through medication before embryo implantation can occur.
A fresh donor egg cycle can take over six months to complete due to many factors, including donor screening, drafting legal paperwork, delays, and the synchronizing of donor and recipient menstrual cycles.
How successful is IVF using donated eggs?
An average of one in two women get pregnant using donor egg IVF and successfully give birth for each attempt. Furthermore, the overall likelihood of having a baby increases with repeated cycles. Because donor eggs are retrieved from younger women at peak fertility, IVF using donor eggs stands a better chance of succeeding than IVF with your own eggs if you’re over 40.
Am I happy I used donor egg IVF?
Today, I’m as happy as any proud mother can be with my two angels. Some people even say they look like me! My infertility journey was a rollercoaster of sorrow and joy, but I would do it all again for them in a heartbeat.
– Candace T.
Do you have an infertility journey? Mine was almost a two-year struggle that you can read all about here.
This post was provided by:
Heidi Hayes is the Executive Vice President of California Cryobank’s Donor Egg Bank. She has more than 20 years of healthcare experience and has worked extensively in the field of reproductive endocrinology. Having been unsuccessful at traditional IUI and IVF treatments, Heidi personally understands the struggles of infertility. After many years of trying to conceive, she ultimately built her family through adoption and donor egg treatment. She always believed that if she didn’t give up, her ultimate goal of becoming a parent would someday become a reality.