Egg/Sperm/Embryo Donation- 3 Options Giving You the Choice to Fulfill Your Dream
Fertility is a very personal journey. No matter what stage you are or the reason you’ve decided to seek guidance, there are options that can help you fulfill your dream of a family. There are also many things to take into consideration when taking the next step forward on your journey. Choices like deciding what treatment is right for you and your partner can feel daunting and challenging. Lucky for you there are experts out there that will guide, help you understand and work towards making the best choice for your situation.
Maybe you’re ready to move forward and have decided using an egg, sperm or embryo donation is your best fit. If so, then you can find comfort, knowledge and support in why these three options could help you fulfill your dream.
Let’s say you, your partner and your trusted doctor have decided egg donation is the best route for your fertility journey. Although this may not be what you had planned, first coming to an understanding and accepting this decision not only will help you heal but it will also provide you with strength moving forward.
When a woman decides to use an egg donation, it begins a process in which a fertile woman donates an egg, or oocyte to another woman helping her conceive. Egg donation is part of what doctors refer to as ART or assisted reproductive technology. Egg donation allows you to keep a genetic link with your child as the intended parent is able to experience a biological connection. It’s important to know that donors can be someone you know, love, or trust. A donor could also be someone introduced to you through a reproductive bank, donation center or could also remain anonymous. Regardless, you have a choice and that choice will lead you further down your fertility path and closer to your family.
Egg donation benefits women for various reasons, so it is also important to know you are never alone on this journey. Women for instance who cannot use their eggs for reasons including, ovarian failure, advanced age or are avoiding congenital anomalies in the fetus look to this option for comfort and relief. It is also used for women whose ovaries are not functioning properly or perhaps were surgically removed. Egg donation does require in vitro fertilization so keep that in mind as you continue to move forward. Again, regardless of your situation, take solace in knowing there are options for you, and better yet, there are also others just like you experiencing the same thing. You do not have to go through this alone and if this becomes your choice know it is not your fault. You are beautiful, strong and should never lose faith in your journey. As you go through this process it’s important for you to also seek comfort from experts who can guide you and help you explore along the way. Experts like Tekla Barrett, The IVF Therapist will work on your unique journey and help you find understanding so you can grow, heal and keep pushing forward. Seeing a fertility therapist also helps you cope with and recognize emotions and questions you may never have had before. But welcoming this help is just another step closer to your dream.
Now let’s take a look at the other side of things. Remember, fertility takes two so your partner is just as important as you when navigating your journey. If your partner perhaps has abnormalities in his reproductive system or semen, seeking the assistance of a sperm donor might be your best choice.
Again no matter what your cause, there is a solution and sperm donation is one that has been around for a long time. If you choose this path, DI or donor insemination in place of an affected male’s sperm can help you take another route when trying to conceive. DI also has been shown to bypass any evident genetic defect that might be passed to children. See, there are so many options and avenues to explore. It just takes a little knowledge, care and support to get you on your way.
What if you don’t have male partner? Should you forget about your dream or hope to become a parent? The answer is no. DI is also an option when there is no male partner involved, or for single women who wish to become pregnant. If you fall into the category of lesbian couples desiring a pregnancy, DI is needed and can help you continue on your journey! But again, keep in mind this too can be a difficult path and new experience to navigate on your own, and you don’t have to. That is why you should consider talking with a specialist, a fertility specialist with the expertise, and desire to help you grow and move forward on your journey.
Ok, you’ve gone down the path and know that an egg or sperm donation isn’t in your cards. That’s absolutely fine! There’s another option you can explore when continuing on your journey towards pregnancy, and that’s embryo donation. Embryo donation is a procedure that enables embryos created by individuals undergoing fertility treatment to be transferred to those unable to achieve a pregnancy on their own. This could also be a better option if cost is one of your biggest considerations. Since during embryo donation you are not going through the entire process of IVF including ovarian stimulation and retrieval, the cost is less significant.
Let’s say you’re going through in vitro fertilization and you produce more embryos (fertilized egg) than needed. You’ll have the option to freeze your embryos (cryopreserve) for possible future use, discard or even donate them. If you are comfortable donating your embryos, you can do so for research or in the hope of helping another woman achieve pregnancy. What a gift!
If you are choosing to go through embryo donation there are a few things to keep in mind as this process is again challenging and may be difficult to navigate alone. Keep in mind that embryo donation can be considered by women who-
✔️have untreatable fertility struggles involving two partners
✔️have untreatable fertility struggles as a single woman
✔️have recurrent pregnancy loss possibly related to a genetic or embryo disorder
Keep in mind as well that if embryo donation is the route you choose, you won’t have a genetic connection with the child. For some, this may be a difficult choice but for others it might be the only option. Navigating this decision again can be a challenge with many mixed emotions so relying on an expert, someone who has the knowledge and experience will be your go to tool for guidance, support and strength.
Without a doubt there is always hope. Take your time when making the decisions for your fertility journey and know you are never alone. This is a delicate time in your life that is full of emotion, and possibly new experiences that will cause many questions and feelings to arise. Navigate with guidance, believe in yourself and believe in your journey.