For many of us, the desire to reproduce and have our own children is instinctive – it’s natural. However, nature doesn’t always have the same plan, leaving us desperately trying to do something we once thought would be “easy” and “normal”.
With so many infertility options available currently, there are multiple ways you can overcome this challenge. Frozen donor egg IVF is one opportunity to explore. Through this method of conceiving, you can restore your life-long dreams of carrying your child.
How Eggs Relate to Infertility Problems
Women are born with a certain number of eggs that never replenish, while men produce new sperm throughout their lives. Therefore, sperm isn’t bound to the same aging process eggs are. On average, a woman is born with around two million eggs. This may sound like plenty, but consider that she may have as many as seven million eggs while still in utero. Thus, a woman’s eggs start dying before she’s even born – by the time she reaches puberty, the majority of her eggs have been reabsorbed or deteriorated. As a teen, she now has approximately 300,000 eggs left. Over time, this number of eggs continues to decline. By the time a woman is 30, she’ll have only 12% of her eggs left; at 40, she’ll have just 3%.
Finding out that there’s an issue with your eggs is overwhelming and difficult to accept. Having tried so long for a baby, the options of adoption or surrogacy might fall short of your expectations of becoming a parent. You want to feel your baby growing inside you and, when she arrives, you want to be able to breastfeed her.
These natural, heartfelt experiences are still achievable through the gift of donor egg IVF.
Finding an Egg Donor
Once you’ve decided to pursue donor egg IVF, your search for the ideal donor commences. In most cases, a couple will work with a third-party agency or fertility clinic to find a donor matching their criteria. All donors available through an egg bank have undergone screening and medical evaluations that test for many physical and psychological issues. For example, these tests look for a variety of genetic diseases, so you won’t have to include this criterion within your search.
You may decide the donor needs to resemble you physically, or you may include non-physical traits that are important to you, such as level of education or profession. With no limitations on how many traits you can include in your criteria, being incredibly specific isn’t a problem, but you may find the selection process takes several months to find a suitable match.
Frozen Vs. Fresh Donor Egg Cycles
As there’s no need to sync your menstrual cycle with your donor’s in a frozen donor egg cycle, frozen donor egg IVF is a much quicker process to complete. You can also choose when your cycle starts, instead of a physician dictating this to you. There’s also the added ease of booking an appointment at your local clinic, rather than traveling to your donor’s location for treatment (or paying for the donor to come to you). This convenience, along with an average success rate of 50% (almost the same as fresh donor egg IVF), is why many couples are opting for frozen donor egg.
Choosing IVF with Frozen Donor Eggs
Frozen donor egg IVF starts with a full medical evaluation of you to identify any potential risks. Then, an endometrial lining development phase takes place, which helps prepare your uterus for embryo implantation. Using your partner’s sperm (or a donor’s), the donor eggs are fertilized. Any embryos created are placed into incubation and, after three to five days, 1-2 are implanted into the thickened lining of your uterus.
Two weeks later, the clinic measures for the pregnancy hormone, hCG, using a blood pregnancy test. Two of these tests, and an ultrasound that locates your baby’s heartbeat confirm your pregnancy. Afterward, the clinic refers you for prenatal care with your OB/GYN.
Weighing Up Your Options
Whether choosing fresh or frozen donor egg IVF, you’ll experience a whole host of emotions throughout the process. The fact you’re giving up a genetic connection between you and your child heightens these feelings considerably. Thankfully, prospective parents using donor eggs still experience all the hopes and joys of pregnancy, especially the wonderful sensation of carrying their own baby when they were previously out of options.
Even after an infertility diagnosis, you can experience pregnancy and the birth of your own child through a trusted egg bank and fertility clinic. You may enjoy that fantastic feeling of knowing your baby grew inside you with unconditional love, and that you’ll provide them with the best possible life. After facing so many setbacks, you and your partner can overcome those harrowing feelings of infertility and begin a journey toward the perfect family.