A Dime A Dozen ? The truth about egg donation : Costs, Convenience, and what to expect

4:41 PM Candy Crush and Snowman Butts 0 Comments

Egg donation has opened up a whole new world of possibility for infertile couples who refuse to let go of the dream of starting their own family. This fertility treatment option involves selecting donated eggs to use for in vitro fertilization, so that the recipient mother can experience pregnancy and care for the developing baby. More and more couples are turning to egg donors from Donor Egg Bank to fulfill their dreams, and many patients are looking for frank answers to the trickier questions about egg donation. Here are some common topics.

Cost vs. Value

Financial considerations are a big part of infertility treatments. Donor egg IVF can be very expensive, and for a reason. When you work with an egg donor, you are responsible for paying for the medications and procedures required to mature and retrieve the eggs. The donor must also be compensated for her time and willingness to go through this rather invasive procedure. Lastly, you are paying for medicine to get your own body ready to receive the transferred eggs, and for the cost of the treatment itself.

However, many couples are surprised to learn that treatment using frozen donor eggs tends to cost about half as much as using fresh donor eggs. Since the donor has already be screened and her eggs retrieved, the costs can be bundled into a fixed-price financial plan. Since frozen donor eggs are typically divided between multiple recipients, the costs associated with retrieving the donor eggs can be split as well.

Of course, the biggest question is whether the financial cost outweighs the emotional cost of not having the family you’ve dreamed of.

Convenience is Key

Recipients of frozen donor eggs cite convenience as a determining factor in choosing frozen over fresh donor eggs. With fresh donor eggs, the recipient is bound to her donor’s cycle and response to the medications. Whenever the donor is ready to have eggs retrieved, the recipient must drop everything and be ready for the transfer. And if the donor does not stimulate well or responds poorly to medications, you may end up having to start the process all over.

With frozen donor eggs, you can choose to begin the IVF cycle whenever it’s convenient for your work, existing travel plans or even an estimated due date in a season you like. Because frozen donor eggs are already retrieved and waiting for someone to bring them to life, the timeline—from picking the donor to the eggs’ arrival at the fertility clinic to implantation—can take as little as four weeks. When you have been trying for what feels like ages, that timeline can be a huge relief.

Wishing and Hoping

After your fertility clinic transplants the fertilized eggs, which have become embryos, you will have to wait—fingers crossed, deep in prayer or repeating your affirmations—for a few weeks before taking a pregnancy test. This waiting period can be a stressful time filled with renewed hope, trepidation, and resignation that what will be will be—sometimes all at once.

If the pregnancy test is, at long last, a big, fat positive, then you will finally be on the journey that makes egg donation so appealing: experiencing pregnancy and everything that comes with it. You may experience morning sickness and heartburn, and you definitely will experience the wonder of whether what you just felt were baby movements. Many women even look forward to experiencing labor and being the one to bring their newborn into the world. After delivery, you will probably be hormonally prepared to breastfeed your baby—another astonishing feat of your body, which does not know the baby was created through a donor egg.

Disclosure Dilemma

Whether to tell people, including your child, that your pregnancy was achieved through donor egg IVF is a highly personal decision. Many leading experts suggest that it’s easier for children when they are told early on, to accept that they were so longed-for that their parents went to great lengths to have them, rather than to find out on their own later in life. However, each family is different, and some prefer to keep the origins of their pregnancy to themselves. (It’s important to ensure that your pediatrician has as much medical history as possible, whether that means being open about the donor egg or not.)

Renewed Hope

Given all of the assisted reproductive technology available, it’s helpful to be informed before deciding whether a certain method is right for you. Conception through donor eggs is one miraculous way for infertile couples to experience the delight of raising a family from the very start.