What is egg donation?

Some women, due to various health reasons cannot conceive a baby on their own. Such reasons include early menopause, absence of ovaries, severe genetic and general therapeutic diseases, low follicular reserve, as well as age over 40 years and others. For such women, using donor eggs is the only way to get pregnant and have a baby.

In natural conditions, the body of a healthy woman produces one mature egg cell. If fertilization occurs, pregnancy occurs. Otherwise, the egg is released during menstruation. Over a lifetime, about 400,000 oocytes (an immature form of egg) are produced in a woman’s body. During her reproductive years, only one thousandth of the oocytes, about 400 cells, reach maturity.

Egg donation is the transfer of several oocytes from one woman to another so that she can have a baby. These eggs come from the body’s natural reserves in the ovaries, which will never be used.

Therefore, egg donation, although it consists in fact of donating one’s cells to another person, does not in itself cause their irrevocable loss. It can also be said to be a way of taking advantage of some eggs that a woman would not have been able to use anyway.

By deciding to become an egg donor a woman gives an infertile couple a chance to have a child.

How much does a donor oocyte cost?

Having made the decision to use donor oocytes, patients are faced with the question, “How much does a donor oocyte cost?” The cost depends on many factors. There are two options for the egg donation program.

Using vitrified oocytes

Oocyte freezing is a relatively young procedure, it appeared only a few years ago in Japan, but it is already quite popular. Vitrification is a process of rapid freezing of oocytes, in which the loss of biological material during defrosting is minimized. The use of frozen cells is very convenient for patients, as it allows to minimize costs and defrost oocytes at a convenient time, with defrosting taking only a few minutes. There is no need to wait for a donor, and patients receive a certain number of oocytes, unlike the native cycle, in which the result of stimulation is often unpredictable.

However, this method has disadvantages as well. In most cases, using vitrified oocytes implies anonymity, i.e. you won’t see the photos of your donor. Secondly, there are still losses during thawing, and the result of thawing cells is difficult to predict. There are cases when all oocytes die. In addition, the efficiency of IVF programs with vitrified oocytes is much lower compared to the native cycle.

Donor stimulation in a native cycle

This method also has its advantages and disadvantages. With this approach, the donor is stimulated individually for the recipient, and all the oocytes obtained as a result of the puncture belong to the recipient. The disadvantage of this method is that it is difficult to predict the result of stimulation, but an experienced reproductive surgeon will already make an assumption on the first ultrasound of the donor about how many cells the donor will be able to give during stimulation. On average, healthy young girls receive 12-17 oocytes suitable for fertilization. On the day of puncture, the oocytes are fertilized with the husband’s sperm and the embryos are further cultured. The cost of a donor egg eco program in a native cycle is determined by the type of donor provided.

Anonymous donor

The cost of anonymous donor programs varies depending on the clinic or agency providing the donor. Anonymous programs are the most budget-friendly, but many parents can’t imagine not seeing at least pictures of the intended genetic mother.

Non-anonymous donor

The optimal option is to use the services of a relative or acquaintance of the recipient. In this case, future parents will be calm and confident about what genes will be inherent in their child. However, this method is not always possible. Many patients want to keep the procedure secret from everyone, and for some it is very difficult morally. Life is often unpredictable – no one can guarantee that a friend, who has acted as a donor, will not wake up the maternal instinct to your baby. Yes, and with other problems can be encountered.

If using a loved one’s eggs is unacceptable to you, there are specialized agencies and clinics.

The decision to use donor eggs

Making the decision to have an egg donation is often difficult for many families… It should be noted that the embryo created by egg donation is genetically alien to the woman carrying it. But for a significant group of patients suffering from infertility, this is the only chance to become a mother. Women are willing to turn to an egg donor for this purpose; statistically, the percentage of such women is 65% of all IVF patients. This is a huge number compared to the total number of procedures performed.

Psychological barrier

Many couples find it difficult to accept the idea that their child has only half the family genotype. But the problems can be solved. Proper psychologists of the Center of Reproduction successfully remove doubts and complexes of a couple which may arise on this ground.

There is no doubt that the maternal instinct is one of the strongest feelings inherent in nature. The majority of moms, whose child was born from donor egg, confess that they felt an invisible connection with him from the first months of pregnancy. When a mother sees her baby, smells it, breastfeeds it, all her doubts instantly vanish. After surviving the agony of childbirth, the mother can not help but recognize the baby part of himself.

Possible risks

It is also important to assess the possible risks associated with a donor egg:

A long wait for a donor. An oocyte donor that meets all the parameters and looks good may have to wait for a long time due to being involved in another program. However, there are more than 350 girls in our donor base, willing to help you find a donor fitting your phenotype. Of course, you should realize that it is impossible to find a donor who looks like you perfectly, if you have a bright appearance, the best option is to choose a donor with a neutral appearance without any bright phenotypic features.

Emotionally stressful situation. It can arise if the couple does not understand the moral issues surrounding egg donation. For example, the spouse may be against this method of bringing a baby into the world. Then it is twice as hard for a woman to decide on the procedure.

When using “frozen” material, the probability of a successful implantation result is slightly lower than with “fresh” oocytes.

Before deciding to undergo IVF with donor oocytes it is necessary to weigh all the arguments and come to a unanimous decision. If the decision is made by a couple, the desire to have a baby this way should come from both spouses.