How Egg Donation Works As A Viable Option To Becoming A Parent- Fertility Expert, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi
Experts say every woman’s fertility starts to measurably decline around the late 20s, due to the depletion and aging of eggs. If you are under 30, your chance of getting pregnant in any one cycle is 20 – 30 per cent. By age 40, it falls to five per cent. As more women are seeking advanced reproductive techniques, such as IVF to assist in achieving a pregnancy, the ceiling of reproduction has also been lifted such that almost any healthy woman even in her 40s and 50s can successfully mother a child.
Options for parenting through Assisted Reproduction Techniques (ART) keep increasing. Currently, there are many viable options available to helping infertile couples achieve their dreams of becoming parents.
In this article written by fertility expert Dr. Abayomi Ajayi, explains how women can look to egg donation as a viable option for becoming parents.
Read his words below;
It is not uncommon to find a proportion of women in their early 40s who are successful in becoming pregnant with their own eggs spontaneously, while many others are able to conceive in cooperation with an egg donor. Recipient Egg donation is a brief procedure with a good success rate. It involves a doctor extracting eggs from carefully screened donors. An egg donor will take medication to stop their menstrual cycle and stimulate the ovaries.
The procedure takes place under sedation, anesthesia, or with the use of painkillers. A donor might need a few days for full recovery.
Donating eggs can have physical and psychological side effects, but it is a generally safe and well-tolerated procedure.
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You as the recipient may know or not know the donor, and different fertility treatment facilities have different levels of donor confidentiality. Many donors receive financial compensation for their time and effort. The screening process is thorough in minimising the risk of congenital anomalies and genetic diseases. The facility will also clarify the legal implication to the donor and recipient of the eggs.
Do you know that you can become a mother by using the egg of another woman who is fertile? If you are unable to conceive as a result of egg problems, you can benefit from the recipient process or egg donation, which is a process in which a fertile woman donates an egg, or oocyte, to another woman to help her conceive.
The donated egg is fertilised in the laboratory with sperms from your spouse and then the resulting embryo is transferred into your uterus. It is all part of the assisted reproductive technology, or ART that we have been talking about.
Egg donation frequently can benefit you if you cannot use your own eggs for various reasons, including ovarian failure, avoiding congenital anomalies in the foetus, or advanced age. The procedure results in a successful birth about 50 percent of the time.
What should you expect when you go for the process?
First, specialists at the fertility facility will conduct an intensive selection process to find a suitable donor and will carefully run through the legal procedures. Before starting the procedure, the donor will need to take medication that stops her normal menstrual cycle. She would then take series of fertility drugs that stimulate her ovaries to produce several eggs at once. This is known as hyperstimulation.
Throughout the donation cycle, a donor will undergo frequent tests and examinations to monitor her reactions to the medications.
The eggs are removed from the donor’s ovaries through an aspiration method. As it is a minor procedure, the donor will not need to stay at the clinic or hospital overnight. Generally, risks of egg donation are relatively low. The procedures and medications for egg donors are the same as they are for women using their own eggs in the IVF process and carry the same level of risk.
Egg Donor Specifications
Generally, your donor should be aged 21-35. This is because women in this age group tend to respond better to fertility drugs and often have a higher quality and quantity of eggs. She should be free of infections, and should not have a high risk of genetic diseases. Her detailed family medical history is also crucial.
Egg donor screening is a rigorous process to minimise the risk of congenital anomalies and other complications. A thorough psychological screening may be involved. Also, be aware that there are legal implications for egg donors. Egg donation clinics will require your donors to sign a contract that ensures they have no legal rights or responsibilities to any resulting children or embryos. Note however, that you the recipient will not be a genetic relation of the child, but legal documents will record you as the birth mother.
You and the donor may or may not have a relationship. You may ask a friend or family member to donate for you.
Egg donors usually receive compensation for their time and effort but payment does not depend on the outcome. Compensation varies widely depending on the donation arrangement.
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If you tried using donor eggs to conceive, but it was unsuccessful the options could include repeating the process. Some cycles involve using fresh donor eggs while some use frozen donated eggs. You can repeat the cycles up to three times or more. You may also consider surrogacy. Surrogates carry a foetus to term on another woman’s behalf. The process may involve using your own egg or eggs and your partner’s semen, donated fresh or frozen embryos, or any other combination.
Although the likelihood of becoming pregnant is significantly higher when enrolled in an egg donor programme, pregnancy course and birth outcomes are similar whether you are able to conceive with your own eggs or with an egg donor.
Whether pregnancy is a result of a natural conception, a conception with your own eggs and assistance from advanced reproductive techniques like IVF or with the assistance of egg donation, you are likely to have similar risks and outcomes throughout the duration of the pregnancy. In short, the most notable risk factor is not how the pregnancy was conceived but perhaps the age in which you achieve pregnancy.