The decision to use an egg donor is one couples should not make lightly. Typically, the idea is first presented during a conversation with your physician, and can take some time to get used to. It is not uncommon for partners to have differing opinions and timelines to acceptance when considering a donor. It is important to discuss your thoughts openly together as you try this possibility on for size.
What does using an egg donor feel like…
This is often the biggest hurdle for the intended mother to jump. Many of us have expected we would one day become mothers (at a time of our own choosing) since childhood. If this doesn’t happen, and we suddenly find ourselves navigating the world of infertility, life can begin to feel very unstable when we discover something we had always assumed was a “given” in life, isn’t guaranteed. These emotions can intensify depending on how long you’ve been trying to conceive, or even worse, if you’ve experienced pregnancy or infant loss.
Countless questions will likely race through your mind as you consider the possibility of a donor. Will you be able to love and accept this child as your own if s/he doesn’t have your DNA? Reflect on this thought from an article posted by the Donor Conception Network “Genetics are rarely the basis for loving one another.” How true is that?! Think of your spouse, partner, dearest friends. You share no genetics with these individuals, but love them deeply.
It can be very difficult to start envisioning a future child without the color of your hair, your husband’s eyes, and grandma’s dimples. This may be the hardest intangible thought to let go of, but, did you know that science has discovered even if you use an egg donor, your body STILL influences your baby’s genes?! Check it out!
Deciding who to tell about your decision to use an egg donor and what you will tell your future child about his/her conception are both very important topics. You will want to be united in thought as a couple before you begin this process.
Some couples can talk through these difficult questions with no problem, while others may feel more comfortable working with a therapist. Do what feels right for you and your partner. In case you weren’t aware, local reproductive psychologist, Dr. Ryan Blazei, offers workshops specifically for couples considering the use of donor egg or sperm to build their families. She provides a space for you to connect with other couples contemplating the same decisions so you don’t feel isolated during this experience.
Many of our patients eventually come to the conclusion that their ultimate goal is parenthood. If they can’t achieve it “naturally,” they come to us for help. And yes, some will later pursue adoption because they want the life experience of a family.
An egg donor cycle of treatment is basically an IVF cycle without the ovarian stimulation meds for the intended mother. Once you decide this is the treatment you’d like to pursue and have selected a donor (don’t worry we will help you with this process), there are a few simple labs and tests to complete for the intended mother, father, and egg donor to ensure optimum health for all parties.
The egg donor will take medication to stimulate her ovaries for about 8-12 days. We will monitor her progress via labs and ultrasounds in our office and will notify you of her progress each time she is seen. During this time, if you and your physician have planned for a fresh embryo transfer, you will take medications to prepare your uterus for pregnancy. When the donor’s follicles are mature, she will have her egg retrieval procedure. At that time, the intended father (or sperm donor) will provide a semen collection to fertilize the donor’s retrieved eggs. We will watch over your embryos and keep you posted on their development. The embryo transfer will take place approximately 3-5 days after the donor’s retrieval, unless you have opted for a frozen embryo transfer to accommodate PGS/PGD testing. After the transfer is complete, you will come back to our office for a blood pregnancy test.
From the time a donor is chosen through a fresh embryo transfer typically takes 8-10 weeks.
So how much is this going to cost you? We knew you would ask this. Because there are so many personalized variables when putting together a treatment estimate, we can’t post one number on our website that will apply to all patients. Please call one of our financial coordinators at (919) 782-5911 (extensions 110 or 104), to review a personalized estimate – which will account for whatever benefits are provided by your insurance.
Your financial coordinator will outline all anticipated expenses for treatment including fertility medications, cycle monitoring, and genetic testing (if needed). A BALLPARK price tag for IVF using an egg donor is $21,000. However, this cost can vary based on whether the donor eggs are split between two recipients, if embryo biopsy is done (PGD/PGS testing), or if our refund program is being used.
At Carolina Conceptions, it is our priority to make sure you understand all potential costs involved before treatment begins so there are no financial surprises along the way.
Does an egg donor have any legal claim to a child conceived with her eggs? NO. Egg donors (and sperm donors) must sign away any rights they may have had to all potential offspring when they consent to becoming a donor. Donors are also required to meet with a psychologist to discuss their decision prior to signing this consent.
Why Choose Our Egg Donor Program?
If you’re not already a patient at Carolina Conceptions, welcome. We have one of most successful and active egg recipiency programs in North Carolina. In 2016, the live birth rate for our IVF with egg donor patients was 65%.
Our 2017 pregnancy rate for patients who completed IVF with an egg donor is an amazing 90%!
Due to increased recruitment, we now have over 80 screened egg donors for you to choose from, with new donors applying daily. Egg donors undergo rigorous testing prior to donating their eggs. This includes FDA infectious disease screening, genetic screening, and psychological screening. Potential donors also complete a physical exam with a Carolina Conceptions physician, as well as a thorough assessment of their own medical history and family medical history.
The last full weekend of every month is “Sneak Peek” weekend at CC. Patients interested in using an egg donor may access our Egg Donor Database to review photos and profiles of our available donors.
If you are interested in pursuing IVF with an egg donor, please email or call our Egg Donor/Recipient Coordinator, Ellie Downs.