4 Questions to Ask Before Pursuing Egg Donation

Deciding to move forward in your fertility journey with donor eggs is a big decision and requires a lot of self-reflection and tough discussions. Today we’re sharing 4 questions you should be asking yourself before pursuing egg donation.

“Your eggs aren’t viable.”

These four simple words carry so much heartache and devastation.

Facing an infertility diagnosis is hard, but knowing your eggs will never produce offspring is even tougher.

However, egg donation isn’t something you should rush into – the decision needs significant consideration, especially when searching for clinics experienced in thawing vitrified eggs. From start to finish, the entire process can take its toll on your health, both mentally and physically.

To help you answer key questions you may have, we explore the top four below!


1. Is Egg Donation Right for Me?

The first fundamental question you need to answer is – is egg donation right for you?

While you may feel as though it’s your only option, it isn’t something you should feel forced into. Many women struggle with the idea that their own eggs won’t be a part of this process, and their offspring won’t be their own “flesh and blood.”

If this sounds familiar, you’ll need to take some time to come to terms with this concept. Some women initially recoil at the idea of egg donation, but many come to realize it’s the best option for them.

Why?

Despite no genetic link between them and their babies, egg donation does still allow them to carry, nurture, and give birth to their children. For many, this is what creates the mother-child bond, which becomes more important than having the genetic link. Other routes such as surrogacy or adoption don’t offer this opportunity.

 

2. Should I Choose Fresh or Frozen Egg Donation?

When you decide egg donation is the right path in your infertility journey, your next choice will be between fresh or frozen donor egg.

What’s the difference?

A fresh donor egg cycle is much longer to complete (up to six months) than frozen, as both your cycle and your donor’s cycle need to be synchronized for the egg donation to take place. In contrast, a frozen donor egg cycle is often complete within just one month because once you’ve selected your  donor, the process can begin right away. In turn, this often reduces cost because there’s no need for traveling to and from your donor’s clinic (or paying for your donor to come to you, as may be the case in a fresh cycle).

 

3. How Will I Find the Right Donor?

Feeling comfortable with your choice of donor is paramount to the success of this process. Thankfully, the donor you use is completely up to you!

Many clinics provide access to their database of donors, offering an insight into the donors’ health, likes and dislikes, and unique characteristics. This allows you to choose someone who shares the same qualities as you (perhaps even the same physical traits), or one who boasts the standout dispositions you hope your child will have (e.g. fantastic academic achievements).

Taking your time when choosing your donor is essential. It may take several weeks or even months to find the right one, but when you do, you’ll know they’re the ideal match for you and your family.

 

4. What Kind of Emotions Can I Expect Throughout?

The simple answer is – every kind.

As we’ve discussed, in the beginning you’ll likely feel some aversion to the idea of donor eggs. Then, as you start to read people’s stories and look into the process more, you may begin to feel elated. This is it – your chance to achieve your life-long dreams! 

But then doubt may creep in.

Will I connect with my baby? Will my baby look like me? Will people know I’ve used an egg donor? Do we tell our child about their heritage?

All of these questions and concerns are completely natural, which is why it’s important to work through them. You may do this with your partner, friends, and family, or you may feel better talking to a specialist counselor.

What’s important is to not feel guilty about any emotion or fear you face. Egg donation is a huge undertaking for everyone involved.

Nevertheless, as you work your way toward forging your dream family, those fateful words “your eggs aren’t viable” will soon be replaced with “I’m having a baby.”

Heidi Hayes is the Executive Vice President of Donor Egg Bank USA, a California Cryobank Company. She has more than 20 years of healthcare experience and has worked extensively in the field of reproductive endocrinology. Having been unsuccessful at traditional IUI and IVF treatments, Heidi personally understands the struggles of infertility. After many years of trying to conceive, she ultimately built her family through adoption and donor egg treatment. She always believed that if she didn't give up, her ultimate goal of becoming a parent would someday become a reality.
  1. Liza

    Liza

    I will also say that, when you don't have a baby and someone asks you how would you like your baby to be, the answer is simple a healthy baby, smart, happy and loving, you never think of your gens in that moment.

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