No Eggs? No Problem
For women, the dream of starting a family can be stopped by infertility. Close to 6 million women in the country have some form of infertility. Women with ovarian failure, diseases like Turner syndrome, or surgical complications stand little chance of conceiving without intervention. In these severe cases, fertility clinics offer the option of donor eggs and donor embryos.
Donating through ART
Donor eggs and donor embryos fall under assisted reproductive technology or ART. ART is a list of treatments using science and medicine to help infertile persons have children. These treatments either stimulate or emulate the reproductive process. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most common procedure. People tend to use the terms egg and embryo donors interchangeably. While both cases need a donor to help conceive, the two differ in application.
Hope through eggs
Donor eggs are eggs from another woman which can be used for conception. Fertility clinics extract these eggs from the donor and fertilize the eggs with sperm. The sperm is usually from the intended father or donor sperm. Once fertilization happens, doctors implant the new embryo. In some cases, a surrogate carries the embryo to full term. A clinic will recommend egg donation for failed IVF cycles, age, or ovarian failure.
Understanding the donor egg process
Egg donors go through a detailed screening process. Once all parties agree on the donor, doctors prescribe both the donor and hopeful parent fertility drugs. This process syncs the menstrual cycles to prepare for implantation. When the donor produces the eggs, the clinic then extracts, fertilizes, and implants the embryo. The fertility clinic freezes the excess eggs for other IVF cycles or other donors. Research shows donor eggs with IVF have a 50% success rate.
Giving up an embryo
While donor embryo sounds the same, there are some subtle differences. Infertile women have the option of choosing from available embryos. Previous IVF parents who have embryos left over donate these to infertile women who need egg and sperm donors. Through a screening process, infertile women can choose from healthy, available embryos for implantation. From there, the doctor will implant up to two embryos in the uterus. Doctors will monitor the embryos for a successful pregnancy. With embryo donation, live birth rates can be as high as 40%.
What’s the difference?
Embryo and egg donation have significant differences hopeful women must consider. For instance, the egg donation process can take longer to find a suitable donor. With embryo donation, embryos are often available for selection. There’s also a significant financial difference with egg donation costing more than two times the price of embryos. And in all cases of donors, the medical history of the donor could prove valuable in the future. This info may be readily available with embryo donors but not with egg donors. Based on the needs of the patient, doctors can help infertile women choose the best option.
Get donor help today
Medicine and technology can help infertile women through the donor process. Many egg and embryo donors are women who have experienced similar struggles with fertility and want to help others. From a genetic sense, the baby may have one or no connection to the parent. But what’s more important is unconditional love and care. Clinics help women who previously had no hope to start a family. Speak with a clinic or doctor for the next step in the donor process.