Many women dream about becoming a mother– even if you aren’t the type who has wanted babies ever since you can remember, it does cross one’s mind at times. After all, it’s one of the most natural things in the world, right?
We never imagine in our dreams that, instead of joyfully finding out we’re pregnant, we’ll be told “I’m sorry, your eggs are not viable.”
It’s a bitter pill to swallow. But while there is no magic fertility wand that will make you instantly pregnant, advances in modern technology mean that you can still realize your dream of becoming a mom. Of course, there’s a lot to think about with the egg donation process, including the mental and physical preparation. While it can feel overwhelming, the good news is that if you’re fighting an infertility battle, you now have the power to transform your despair into hope.
Finding a Donor
It can be hard for women to accept their child won’t share their DNA – after all, it’s not like sharing clothes or makeup. That doesn’t mean, however, that your child can’t still have similar physical traits to you. When using frozen donor eggs, there are now more options than ever before given the wide range of donors available. You can select your ideal donor by race, ethnicity, height, weight, eye color, hair color, and even education level.
All donors undergo an extensive medical screening process prior to approval. They must pass a physical and psychological examination, drug screening, and submit to blood tests to rule out for any irregularities, STDs or infectious diseases. A full medical history is taken, as well as previous work and education history. All donors are between the ages of 21 and 32, when they are at their most fertile, so you can be sure that you have the maximum opportunity to deliver a healthy, beautiful child.
Frozen Donor Eggs
While egg donation has been around for more than thirty years, the traditional procedure has always involved fresh donor eggs…until fairly recently. Fresh donor cycles are typically an expensive treatment (around $35,000-50,000 per cycle) and require the donor and recipient’s menstrual cycles to be in sync. This means frequent trips to the clinic, and sometimes high amounts of medication or lengthy delays, to ensure harmonious cycle synchronization.
Using frozen donor eggs not only makes this fertility treatment much more economically accessible (as a cycle of frozen donor eggs typically costs around half that of fresh eggs), but it also means you don’t have to spend the same level of physical and emotional time involved in cycle synchronization – you can start whenever you’re ready.
How Are Eggs Frozen?
Eggs are frozen using an advanced new technology known as vitrification, or “flash freezing.” This process minimizes the chance of ice crystal formation in the eggs, which maximizes the chance of a successful outcome.
Flash freezing technology, combined with overall improvements in egg storing and thawing protocols, mean that using frozen donor eggs to build your family is now a real, viable option for couples.
What Will I Have to Do?
If you and your partner decide to make frozen donor eggs your fertility option, the first thing you must to do is book an appointment with a fertility expert, or reproductive endocrinologist. They will go over your medical history and guide you through the entire process.
Once your pre-screening is complete and you have selected a donor (you can do this online from the comfort of your living room), it usually takes between four to eight weeks to complete the cycle. If you’ve researched the time necessary when using fresh donor eggs, then you’ll know that this is much faster than the traditional method, which can often take more than six months while the donor is pre-screened and your menstrual cycles are synced up.
Many women also feel there is less emotional strain when using frozen donor eggs. They simply begin when their own body is ready, and any possible issues related to ovarian stimulation, for either donor or recipient, have already been taken care of.
Frozen donor eggs also limit the level of involvement with the donor and, therefore, the amount of time spent thinking about them. Some people may find this comforting – it feels less like a third party creating your child. If you feel like you would prefer a stronger connection with the donor, open donation may be a better option for you.
Overcoming Your Infertility
We don’t always have control over the hand we’re dealt with in life; this includes our ability to start a family. Nevertheless, advances in modern science now improve your chances of getting pregnant and bonding with your child from within the womb. You will feel him or her kick and move inside of you, before experiencing the miracle of giving birth for yourself. In today’s world, you now have the chance to fight infertility head on – and win!