If you feel that surrogacy isn’t a good fit for you or your family, perhaps you could consider helping a family grow through egg donation.
The thought of giving the gift of a baby to others who are struggling is appealing to many women but some are unable, or uncomfortable with being a surrogate. Many women don’t realize that there are other options. Being an egg donor is a great option and less of a commitment then being a surrogate. It is, however, very rewarding and can help make a dream come true for intended parents.
Some couples or intended parents need assistance from a third party to conceive. This could be due to age, physiology, or other medical reasons. Those facing infertility has increased greatly over the past 30 years and the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) has as well. Egg donation is one of the most common ways for those walking through infertility to achieve pregnancy.
Women who choose to become an egg donor know that it is a big decision and also requires a significant commitment. Their donation could help a childless family become one that is filled with the childhood laughter, joy and excitement. With the increase in women experiencing infertility, egg donation could be a great option for some couples who wish to become parents. Read this heartwarming post about a Louisiana family who was able to have children as a result of an egg donor.
You can read about the basic criteria for becoming an egg donor in this post and I’ll include some of the highlights below:
- Female, in good health, between the ages of 21-28
- Willingness to provide detailed medical history regarding self and family
- Willing to self administer daily hormone medication injections (or have someone who is willing to assist them)
- Height and weight proportionate (BMI between 18 and 28)
- No drug or nicotine use
- Have a regular monthly menstrual cycle
- College Graduate or pursuing a secondary education
Once selected as a donor by a recipient, the egg donation cycle can begin. This process, detailed below, can last as few as six weeks or as many as four months.
- Initial screening. For first-time donors, an initial screening visit with a doctor is required. This will include having your blood drawn for hormone tests on third day of your menstrual cycle. Sometimes, a transvaginal ultrasound may also be required. Additionally, a lengthy psychological screening is required, which can take up to three or four hours.
- Medical screening. After your pre-testing and psychological results are cleared, the cycling doctor will want to meet you to conduct his or her own medical and genetic screening. This screening usually has a one-day turnaround that may or may not require an overnight stay. Screenings during this visit typically include genetic tests as well as additional blood draws for any sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, hepatitis, and drug/nicotine testing.
- Legal process & balance of funds. Before beginning stimulation medications, you will go through a short legal process. Your coordinator will assign an attorney to review and finalize a legal contract to be signed by both you and the recipient. Once this has been completed, the recipient’s attorney will issue a legal clearance letter, enabling the doctor to begin the medical cycle.
- Synchronization & stimulation. Your doctor will create a calendar for you to begin taking the medications that will stimulate your ovaries to produce and grow the eggs. Typically, you will start with birth control pills to synchronize your monthly cycle with the carrier. After this, you will learn to give yourself daily injections of hormones with a small needle for two to three weeks. These injections will prevent you from ovulating and put you in a short-term menopausal condition.
After this round of injections are complete, then you will start another round of injections that will increase the number of follicles (fluid-filled sacs which contain the eggs) developing in the ovaries. Your third and final injection, known as HCG, will initiate the final stage of maturation and timing of the egg retrieval. During this process, you will be medically monitored to check your response to these hormones; therefor your schedule will need to be flexible to accommodate the many monitoring appointments, which will include blood draws and vaginal ultrasounds.
- Egg retrieval. Egg retrieval is usually scheduled in the early morning and takes about 20-30 minutes, plus an additional one to two hours of postoperative recovery. The procedure is performed vaginally with an ultrasound guided needle. You will be under light sedation and it is recommended to clear out your schedule for the remainder of the day, and bring someone to drive you to and from the procedure.
Contact Egg Donor Solutions if this sounds like a good option for you!
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