First Steps When Choosing an Egg Donor
Choosing an egg donor is an exciting step in the IVF process. For some, repeat IVF cycle failures creates a crisis of sorts – and the decision to use an egg donor is a cathartic one that offers a ray of hope again. Women using a donor egg wind up with IVF success rates that match those of the egg donor (women between ages 21- to 33-years). This is especially poignant for women who are 38-years and older, whose age has led to diminished egg quality and unsuccessful IVF cycles, women whose eggs carry chromosomal/genetic defects or women who’ve experienced early menopause and/or naturally low egg reserves.
At RRC, our live birth success rates for IVF using donor eggs remains at a consistently high 64%!
So, the decision has been made (congratulations) and now it’s time to take those next first steps.
1) Learn All You Can About IVF Using Donor Eggs
Hopefully, your fertility specialist has armed you with ample information about IVF using donor eggs. In addition to the Using “Donor Eggs 101” type stuff, exciting new research proves that microRNA from the carrier (that’s you!) transfers to the baby, meaning your genetic material becomes part of your baby.
Read, 10 Facts About Donor Egg IVF, to learn more about receiving a donor egg.
2) Select Your Egg Bank
Now it’s time to select your egg bank. Some fertility clinics, like ours, have an in-house egg bank in order to streamline the process for our patients. That’s the best place to start your search since you already have an established relationship with your clinic.
However, depending on your donor preference s (race, ethnicity, physical traits compatible with yours/your partners), this may not be your optimal source. In that case, we’ll refer you to reputable egg banks in the area and around the nation. It’s always better to get a specific referral, to an egg bank your clinic knows and trusts, because it means the egg bank’s policies, procedures and transport methods are already vetted.
3) Provide a Recipient Profile
Rather than perusing endless donor profiles, many of which aren’t the right match, you’ll create a detailed egg donor recipient file that includes a photo of you and your partner. From this, the egg bank’s team goes to work, searching for the best potential matches. Once their matching process is complete, you’ll receive a list of prospective egg donors.
Review Egg Donor Profiles
There are plenty of considerations when selecting your donor profile. Obviously, there’s no way to accurately predict the results of DNA-recombination, but detailed donor profiles provide important information. Most couples aim to select a donor that best represents the woman’s physical attributes, strengths, interests and talents – in the hopes similar traits are passed to the baby.
Donor profiles include things like:
- Physical characteristics
- Education status
- Professional interests
- Prior fertility history (most egg banks make prior pregnancies a prerequisite, a better indication of good egg quality/viability)
- Donation history
Take all the time you want to review these files and select the donor that meets your criteria.
Schedule an Appointment With a Fertility Counselor
If you haven’t done so already, schedule an appointment with a fertility counselor. This is an important emotional step and fertility counselors will facilitate the decision-making process as you and your partner explore all the feelings that come up for you along the way. The therapist will also help you discuss whether or not to tell family/friends about the donor egg decision, how to bring it up with your future child, etc.
Many fertility clinics make this a requirement – and ask for some sort of written testament from the mental health professional – verifying you understand all the outcomes this decision has/could have/will have for you and your family.
Interested in learning more about pursuing egg donor IVF? Schedule a consultation with RRC, Kansas City’s leading fertility center.
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RRC has over 200 years of combined experience. As a leading reproductive health, infertility, and in-vitro fertilization (or IVF) center based in Kansas City, we're proud to have the highest level of expertise available to our patients.