We were fortunate enough when undergoing IVF that my eggs were of good quality, so using donor eggs was not an option that we needed to look into. But it is certainly a route we would have explored had we been in a different situation.
If you are struggling to get pregnant, having tried a number of fertility options without success, then it may be time to explore a new path and look into IVF using a frozen egg donor. Using eggs from a young, healthy and fertile woman can increase your chances of achieving a healthy pregnancy.
You may worry about egg donation costs, but success rates for IVF using donor eggs can be as much as two or three times greater than with regular IVF. For this reason, donor eggs provide an amazing opportunity for you to begin to build your family.
Deciding whether to try donor eggs can be overwhelming. You may feel anxious, angry, disappointed, exhausted, or sad about your struggles with infertility up until now. Fortunately, IVF with frozen donor eggs can give you a new sense of hope and relief because you now have another chance of getting pregnant.
I believe that it’s amazing that your body can accept and implant an embryo that is not genetically related to you. Egg donation allows you to carry, give birth to, and breastfeed your own child. Using donor eggs also lets your husband or male partner contribute genetically, something that is so important to a lot of couples.
As you consider frozen donor egg IVF, it may be helpful to review the following 7-step process of a typical cycle that takes approx. 6 weeks:
Enroll In A Frozen Donor Egg Program
The first step is to enroll with a donor egg bank. This is your chance to ask all of your questions and to explore the financial plans to determine your exact financial commitment. Reduced pricing is available when you purchase the eggs in a bundle with a treatment plan, giving you peace of mind that you will be given the best tools possible for a successful pregnancy.
Select Egg Donor
View the egg bank’s database of donors to find your perfect match. You will be able to evaluate donor profiles from a wide variety of egg donors. The detailed profiles typically include medical history, genetic disorders, pregnancy history, college degree, employment history, and reason for donating eggs. You will even have access to donors’ photo albums to assess physical characteristics if desired.
When you are ready, the egg bank will send the frozen eggs to the fertility clinic of your choice via priority overnight shipping. You will receive a minimum of 5 mature eggs, the number considered ideal to produce one normally developing embryo for transfer.
Prepare For IVF Transfer
In order to prepare the endometrial lining of your uterus to accept the embryos, you will need to take fertility medications including estrogen and progesterone for about four weeks prior to the transfer. Typically, you will be expected to administer these injections yourself.
Thaw and Fertilise Eggs
Eggs are removed from storage and quickly re-hydrated or warmed. Then they will be combined with your partner’s sperm and incubated overnight. With frozen donor egg IVF, doctors will typically fertilise the eggs using a technique called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in which a single sperm is injected directly into each mature egg with a needle instead of allowing sperm to penetrate the egg in a Petri dish.
Undergo IVF Transfer
Once fertilised, the embryos start to develop. The embryologist then chooses the most viable embryo or embryos to place in your uterus 3 to 5 days after fertilisation. You and your doctor will discuss the number of embryos to transfer during that cycle based on a number of factors. The doctor will transfer the embryos into your uterus by inserting a thin tube called a catheter through your cervix. You may need to rest for a couple of days after the procedure, but you will be able to go home the same day.
Take A Pregnancy Test
You will return to the fertility clinic about 2 weeks after the transfer to take a pregnancy test, a specific blood test that measures the level of HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin), also known as the pregnancy hormone.
IVF is an emotional and physical rollercoaster ride, but if you acheive your dreams of becoming a family like we did then it is worth every penny you spend and every tear you may shed.
If you are currently thinking about undergoing IVF using donor eggs then don’t miss the opportunity to enroll in a frozen egg donor program and turn your dream into a reality.
*this is a collaborative post but all opinions are my own