I have blogged a lot about infertility over the years, and while IVF it is a viable option for many couples, it doesn’t work for everyone. Sometimes IVF fails leaving these families emotionally spent and devastated. For a woman who has premature ovarian failure, poor egg quality, or a history of genetic disease, using an egg donor with IVF may be the answer to having the family she has always dreamed of.
The idea of using an egg donor is something that takes some getting used to. For some couples, the knowledge that a baby conceived in this way will not have a genetic connection to its mother is very emotional. On the other hand, a baby conceived using an egg donor will still be that mother’s biological child; she will become pregnant and give birth as with any normal pregnancy.
Using an egg donor with IVF has an extremely high success rate: 70 to 80% on the first attempt and up to 98% after 3 attempts (according to various sources I checked). Using an egg donor gives many women the ability to carry and deliver a child when they otherwise would have been unable to do so.
One mother who used a donor egg with IVF to conceive her child has this to say:
I asked myself if I had enough love in my heart for this baby, no matter how he or she was conceived. My answer was wholeheartedly yes and I have no regrets.
I recently received the following infographic from Growing Generations, a fertility clinic in California that specializes in surrogacy and egg donation. It really does a great job of telling the story that that families who undergo egg donation will go through.
There are some processes that may surprise you, such as the fact that couples who are choosing an egg donor will have access to information such as a donor’s physical characteristics, education history, family and genetic information. There are also legal implications and contracts that must be signed by all parties.
Is using an egg donor an accessible option?
Ten years ago, families in Canada who decided to go the egg donation route had to find a known donor (ie. friend or family member) or seek expensive treatment in the United States using an anonymous donor. Today, frozen eggs are imported from donor egg banks in the United States making the process much more accessible and affordable for Canadian families.
Disclosure: From time to time I partner with a variety of organizations to share valuable information about infertility and other topics. As such I have been compensated by Growing Generations for this post. All opinions are my own.