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Egg Donation

On the same day your donor's eggs are retrieved, your partner will give a semen specimen to fertilize them. Two or three resulting embryos will be transferred into your uterus and you will continue taking estrogen and progesterone. If a pregnancy test taken approximately two weeks after the procedure comes back positive, your doctor will continue your medication for two months to ensure the placenta produces the proper hormone levels. After it is determined that the pregnancy is firmly established and healthy, the hormone treatment will be stopped and the pregnancy allowed to carry out normally.

If you do not get pregnant as a result of the procedure, you have the option to try again. While the ASRM recommends that any one woman donate eggs only 6 times or less, there is no limit to how many times you may be an egg donor recipient. But multiple procedures can be quite costly.

The National Infertility Association states that a compensation of up to $5,000 is considered adequate to cover the donor's expenses, discomfort and risks. The typical compensation, however, is between $1,500 and $3,000, which does not include other expenses such as application fees, infertility center fees and the cost of donor testing. Few health insurance companies will cover the procedure.

Success rates vary depending on the age of the eggs, retrieval process, quality of semen, and the overall health of you and your donor. According to the American Pregnancy Association, as many as 48 percent of women using donor eggs will become pregnant. In 2002, the CDC reported that the highest success rates among all assisted reproductive technologies were procedures using donor eggs.

Egg donation has offered more than 150,000 women in the United States, otherwise unable to produce healthy eggs due to a range of fertility problems, the opportunity to have a child who is genetically related to their partners. In addition, the process will give you more of an opportunity to bond with your child even though you're not genetically related. He will still grow inside of you. You will feel him kick for the first time, be the first person to look into his eyes and the first to take him home. With other options such as adoption, you simply cannot experience these things.

However, along with the benefits of egg donation also come the risks. Research indicates that women who become pregnant with donated eggs are more likely to suffer miscarriages and dangerous high blood pressure than those who undergo fertility treatments with their own eggs. In a 2005 study, South Korean scientists reported that the risk was even higher if the donated egg came from a woman who was not related to the recipient. The study indicated that pregnancy-induced high blood pressure was twice as likely to occur following egg donation from a sister, but more than five times as likely following egg donation from a stranger.

One possible explanation for this is that the placenta may contain more foreign elements and trigger abnormal responses from the mother, such as miscarriages or high blood pressure. Experts said the findings suggest that women who need donated eggs might be better off with eggs from a relative.

Despite the risks that come with the procedure, the possibility of egg donation is a blessing to millions of infertile couples who dream of starting their own families. And when your brand new baby is staring up at you, you'll know that sometimes taking a risk is the best thing you may ever do.

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Featured Sites:

Cord Blood Registry
March of Dimes
Susan G. Komen

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