Egg Donation programs are great for many different types of families. According to Resolve.com, about 12% of married women have difficulty getting pregnant. This is roughly 1 in 8 couples. Because of this, many are turning to egg donation to grow their families. This is rewarding for an egg donor as they get the opportunity to help families grow. That satisfaction and the monetary stipend are great incentives, however there are risks involved.
When a woman decides to become an egg donor they may not think beyond the immediate helping of another. You might wonder if helping an infertile couple can make you infertile. This is a concern for more egg donors and it is important for each potential donor to explore this subject.
Egg donation to help infertile couples has been practiced since the 1980s, and with successful results. The concern of many health professionals was if the donation of eggs would impact the donor’s chances at having children later in life. Determining if the hormonal stimulants given to the donors, to help produce extra eggs, would affect fertility later became the goal for some specialists.
According to the CDC in the year 2009 about twelve percent of all the fertility treatments used egg donors. As egg donation has become an acceptable and established form of fertility treatment in the United States.
There was a study done in Belgium that consisted of 194 women who donated eggs. The women’s ages were averaged at 30 years. The women in this research study were donors during the years between 1999 and 2010. Surveys were completed with these women around 5 years after they donated.
The survey’s found that 60 of those women who donated eggs had tried to get pregnant. 57 of the women had no help in conceiving. However, three of the women did use fertility treatments to conceive. That is 95%, and in two of the three cases the fertility was necessary due to the donors partner’s fertility needs not their own.
- AMH (anti-mullerian hormone) and FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) to measure egg quality and quantity
- Pelvic ultrasound to examine the ovaries
- Screening for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- An evaluation with a genetic counselor to identify hereditary conditions that could be passed on to a child
Our donor Lisa explains how the egg donation process was a learning experience for her. “I’ve learned about the power of science through IVF. Being able to witness my body go through the changes and produce eggs was a very cool and personal experience,” she says. “Learning about my body when I did genetic testing was also very good information to have, so that I am able to better take care of myself.”
The Side Effects
In the study they found that about sixteen percent of those that donated eggs did have a change in their menstrual cycle. None of the sixteen percent of women reported any fertility issues after their egg donation cycles were complete. The ovarian stimulation was likened to the same menstruation changes that ending an oral contraceptive would create.
It has been argued that the excessive hormones that a woman is given before the procedure, as well as the trauma to the ovaries that could be caused by the procedure could have some effects. It is suggested that this could lead a woman to have early menopause.
The Results of the Study
The research study not only posed some new questions that can be researched later, but they felt they received an answer to their question. Specialists are comfortable in stating the in the egg donation seems to have no major, long term side effects on fertility. This is only stated in as far as they research would allow.
It is refreshing to know that if you choose to become an egg donor you will not be unable to produce your own children later when you are ready for them strictly because you chose to help someone else. This can even be a comfort to some, knowing that in helping others they aren’t hindering their selves. An egg donor is one of those joys that one can give to the intended parents. Having security that you are making the right decision for you and your future children can be reassuring.
In a recent interview with one of our donors, she stated she has even more compassion for intended parents, many of whom have been trying to conceive for many years and/or have experienced pregnancy loss. “I can’t imagine what they go through,” she says. “I think everyone deserves a chance to feel that love you have for your child. I didn’t understand what that really meant until I had my son.”
If you would like more information on being an egg donor we encourage you to contact Egg Donor Solutions our staff is knowledgeable of the process and ready to answer your personal questions to help you decide if donating is right for you.
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