Choosing Egg Donation
Choosing Egg Donation
Choosing Egg Donation
The effect of maternal age on a woman’s fertility is very real and predictable. Beginning at age 35 and rapidly accelerating at age 40, the ability to have a child with your own oocytes is quickly declining. At age 40 it is more than twice as hard to conceive and by age 43 this has become ten times as difficult as it was at age 30. This decline is almost exclusively related to your biological age and unrelated to factors like fitness, previous fertility, use of birth control pills, nutrition or other factors.
There are two primary factors responsible for the decline. First is a decline in the total number of eggs you have and secondly there is a decrease in the quality of the remaining eggs in your ovaries. This can be clearly seen in IVF procedures in women over age 40. Not only do we have fewer eggs retrieved but the resulting embryos have markedly diminished ability to make a child. These women have three options to have a child. First option would be to beat the odds using their own oocytes (eggs). Second option would be to adopt a child and the third option is the use of donor oocytes.
Assuming that you haven’t beaten the odds, donor oocytes offer many advantages over adoption. With donor eggs you carry the pregnancy and are therefore legally the mother. You can use your husband’s sperm and go through the pregnancy and childbirth experience. This is something most women want to experience in their life. Because you carry the pregnancy, the bonding process with the baby cannot be duplicated. Adoption doesn’t give you this degree of bonding. Finally the donor oocyte procedure is much less expensive in almost all cases to adoption. The pregnancy rate with donor oocytes is controlled by the age of the donor and not the age of the recipient. When you read of celebrities in their late 40’s and 50’s giving birth through “IVF” what they really did was IVF with donor oocytes.
Finally, it is possible to have more than one child from a single donor oocyte procedure. For these reasons and many others, the donor oocyte procedure has become a very effective way to achieve a pregnancy. While the majority of women who use donor oocytes are over 40, it is also used in younger women that have lost their ovaries because of genetics, surgery, radiation or chemotherapy.
How do we select egg donors?
- Local university anonymous donors
- Donors from private recruiting agencies
- Directed donors (such as sisters, other relatives and friends)
Our program offers potential recipients of egg donation the opportunity to select:
All donors must meet our criteria for acceptance: intelligent, educated, 21-28 years of age, and medically and psychologically in good health. In addition to a comprehensive medical and psychological screening, egg donors undergo laboratory testing for transmissible diseases. It is important to note that egg donor testing is regulated by the Federal Drug.
Association (FDA). Bellingham IVF Egg Donation Program strictly adheres to FDA regulations on donor screening. For more information on becoming an egg donor, learn more here.
Bellingham IVF Egg Donor Program
Anonymous donors are recruited and screened by our program. Local donors are educated, attractive, articulate and bright young women. Intended parents are provided with comprehensive information including her health history, family health history, eye color, hair color, height, weight, blood type, ancestry, educational level, occupation, interests, and outcome of previous donations.
Egg Donors from Private Recruiting Agencies
In some cases intended parents may be looking for characteristics in the donor that we are not able to provide, or may wish to meet the donor before participation. We work with donor agencies who recruit donors around the country and locally. We are happy to provide a recommended list to interested participants.
Directed Egg Donors
Directed donors are generally recruited by the recipients, and are screened by our program. Intergenerational donations (i.e. daughter to mother) are not acceptable and all donations by family members are evaluated on a case by case basis.
Intended parents are welcome to bring their own donor as long as she meets our criteria for acceptance, but it should be noted that cycles using directed donors tend to be less successful.