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.”
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.
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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…