Donating Eggs to Help Women Get Pregnant – Things to Consider


One of my readers is undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments, and wants to donate her eggs to help other women get pregnant. Here are a few things to consider…

First, her comment and question:

“I am going for my first IVF in the next 2 months,” says T. on Should You Try Vitro Fertilization (IVF) to Get Pregnant? “I am scared but have decided that if I am successful on the first try then I would donate the rest of my eggs to someone that really needs it. Is it the right thing to do?”

First, learn all you can about donating your eggs after fertility treatments. Books like Surrogacy and Embryo, Sperm, & Egg Donation: Considering IVF & Third-Party Reproduction help – and most fertility clinics have a website with information about egg and embryo donation.

And, consider these things before donating eggs to help other women get pregnant…

Decide if you think it’s right to donate eggs or embryos

T. asked if it’s right to donate her eggs. I think it’s a beautiful, giving, amazing gift to give a woman who can’t get pregnant! But, I can’t tell her or anyone if it’s the right thing to do. That’s a decision each woman must make for herself, according to her spiritual, moral, and ethical beliefs.

Also, some fertility clinics offer reduced prices for fertility treatments if women donate their eggs. Something to think about, if you can’t afford the cost of treatments!

Wait until the right time before you decide to donate eggs or embryos

Since T. said she hasn’t gone for in vitro fertilization treatments yet, I think it’s far too early to decide about donating eggs. Some fertility clinics don’t allow couples or women to donate embryos until a couple years have passed, to make sure they’re making the right decision.

The right time to decide to donate eggs to other women is after you are satisfied with the number of children you have. So, my advice is to go through the fertility treatments, enjoy a healthy happy pregnancy, have babies, and then decide if you should donate your eggs or embryos. Don’t make your decision until you are done having children.

The Center for Human Reproduction website has some good answers on their Frequently Asked Questions About Egg Donation page.

Why Do Women Need Donor Eggs to Get Pregnant?

“Some women are unable to produce their own eggs,” say the folks at CareFertility.com. “This might be because they have gone through the menopause early – as young as 20. Some of our patients have had chemotherapy or radiotherapy for cancer which has left them infertile. Unless a donor comes forward we are unable to help them. Other women have genetic conditions that they do not want to pass on to their children and seek donor eggs to ensure that this doesn’t happen.”



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Two Types of Egg Donors

According to Midland Fertility Services, there are two types of women who donate eggs to help other women get pregnant:

Egg share donors are women who meet certain criteria can reduce the cost of their IVF or ICSI treatment and also help other women have IVF or ICSI treatment using donor eggs, by agreeing to donate up to half the eggs collected in their treatment cycles

Altruistic egg donors are women who do not require fertility treatment and who have usually completed their own families, who are willing to undergo a cycle of IVF drugs and egg collection and to donate all the collected eggs to women who are unable to use their own eggs to conceive. Donors receive no payment, only expenses, and are usually motivated by the thought of not being able to have the children which they have been able to conceive naturally and usually quite ‘easily’, and the wish to help women who are not so fortunate.

If you’re getting fertility treatments, you may find What to Do With Extra Embryos – In Vitro Fertilization helpful.

Are you wondering if you should donate your eggs or embryos after fertility treatments? Are you a woman who needs surrogate eggs to get pregnant? Comments welcome below…


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11 thoughts on “Donating Eggs to Help Women Get Pregnant – Things to Consider

  • Tasha nicholls

    What if you have never been pregnant and choose to donate all your eggs at the age of 30? Will this be allowed? And does this mean I would not need to go on contraception after?

  • olivia Russell

    I’m 32 years old with 3 beautiful boys .. all 3 football stars and all three straight A students! I feel every women should experience the joy and unconditional love you get from you children! .. I want to help somone by giving my eggs to them! ..hope to help and will be praying for all the mom’s at heart!

  • Les

    I had a hysterectomy 2 years ago but my ovaries were healthy so they were left. I am 53 years old and healthy. Can I still donate eggs. I have had 3 children and have always been very fertile. Still no menopause symptoms. (live in W.Australia).

  • Pule

    Im a lesbian age of 27 n my galfrnd 31 n i want to have a family of 2kids,boy n a girl,i wanna donate to my galfriend so dat we could bond….she wanna full pregrant,n i dont wanna do dat….she is despricly want to hav a baby with me, bt we dont no how,were to start…..pls help me i wanna make a family….

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    Hi Noelle,

    It’s such a complicated decision, because nobody can predict the future or how you will feel if you donate your eggs and she has the baby! Maybe you’ll just feel happy that you helped your friend…or maybe you’ll feel deeply attached, responsible, and protective about the baby.

    I think you need to be prepared to feel a bit of EVERYTHING if you donate your eggs to your friend. You’ll feel sad that “your” baby is being raised by your friend, and you’ll feel happy that you helped her. You’ll probably disagree with how your friend is raising the baby, and her views on childcare, discipline, etc.

    We asked our close friend to donate sperm (my husband doesn’t make sperm, even though he desperately wants to!). Our friend said no, he couldn’t, because he couldn’t stand the thought of seeing “his” child with us. We then asked my husband’s brother to donate sperm, but he said no because he knew he’d disagree with how we raised the child, and he wouldn’t be able to see the kid on holidays and family gatherings without feeling deeply attached and sad.

    So, I think it’s better to donate eggs and sperm to people you don’t know. I think seeing “your” child with your friend or family would be heartbreaking.

    That said, however, it’s different for every woman. Some women can detach themselves and see the child as simply their friend’s kid. Other woman can’t let go that way.

    I think you should talk to a counselor who specializes in egg donation. Get her objective perspective on the pros and cons of YOU donating your eggs to help your friend get pregnant. An article like this is good for an overview, but you need to talk it through with someone who can get a feel for your specific personality and lifestyle.

    Also, do not let yourself make a decision out of guilt or a sense of responsibility. It’s very sad that your friend may only have a few months or years to have a baby…but that isn’t your problem to solve.

    Asking a friend to donate eggs is HUGE, and you need to give yourself the freedom and time and space to make the right decision. Don’t let yourself succumb to pressure or emotional manipulation.

    I encourage you to talk to an egg donation or fertility counselor.

    Also, I think you should write out all your feelings about donating eggs to your friend. Sometimes the answer to life’s most difficult questions are buried within us…and we need only write them down to discover them. Write 3 pages of your feelings and thoughts every morning, for at least a week.

    Take a deep breath, and give yourself time to make the best decision for yourself, your husband, your current child, and your future children.

    And let me know what you decide!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  • Noelle

    Hi guys,
    It took me 9 months of “doing everything right” to concieve my first and only child (born Nov 2010). I want to have 2-3 more (probably going to start trying the end of 2012) But my very close friend who can’t have babies would like my eggs. I want to help her. However I wish I was done having all of my babies first but that won’t be for like 5 years and my friends Dr doesnt know how long her uterus is going to work. So now I am scared….will the baby she conceives with my egg be the baby meant to be my second baby? Will I be sad when she has the baby thinking “That’s my baby”? What are your thoughts?

  • Rosie Z.

    As a woman who can’t get pregnant, I think you’re doing such a great thing by donating your eggs to other woman!!! I wish there were more women like you. I hope other women read this, and donate their embryos because that’s what we need. Our fertility clinic doesn’t have enough embryos for all the couples who need them, so we’re on a waiting list. If there were more women like Trace, we’d have enough eggs and embryos to you around!

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    That’s great, Trace! I agree, that the more you give your more God gives back to you. And, I love how you have a heart for other women who can’t get pregnant. Donating your eggs is such a selfless, loving, caring action.

    I hope you let me know how it goes. I’ll pray for a successful in vitro fertilization!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  • TRACE

    Thank you. I feel that i should not be selfish and therefore i have decided to dontate my eggs once i am pregnant. Why should i wait so long before i can decide as i can make someone happy quicker. I am just worried that i may one day meet my children that the other lady carried. i know i sound stupid but that is the thoughts that are going through my mind. I have have just enogh money to go for 1 ivf and if that does not work then i would not be able to try again for a long time. I believe the more you give the more god will give back to you. i know how it hurts to wait so long for a baby so why should i make someone else wait long also..