Dec 2, 2016

Creating a Family Your Way: Routes to Follow When the Beaten Path Leads Nowhere

Creating a Family Your Way: Routes to Follow When the Beaten Path Leads Nowhere

If you are reading this article, you probably know that starting a family is not always an easy process. There are many things beyond our control that can make it difficult and it can be frustrating, even heartbreaking, when you can’t get pregnant. If you have struggled with infertility and have attempted several fertility treatments that haven’t worked, you may be looking into finding an egg donor. But where do you start, and how do you select an egg bank? In this article, we’ll discuss all the details you’ll need to know.

Getting Started

Once you decide that you want to go the route of using donor eggs, you will first need to find a donor. It is recommended that you also undergo counseling and speak with a lawyer. Here’s a little more on what that entails.

  • Find a Donor

First, consider whether you will choose eggs from a family member, friend, or an anonymous donor. Should you decide to use donor eggs, you can find a donor through a frozen egg bank, fertility clinic, or an egg donation agency. You’ll have the choice to pick the donor based on factors such as educational record, physical characteristics, occupation, and ethnic background.

Most egg donors are around 21 to 34 years old and have completed a genetic and medical screening. Make sure you ask what the donor is screened for, because some clinics do less testing than others.

  • Undergo Counseling

Once you have chosen your egg donor, you (and your donor, if not using an anonymous one) should get counseled on the emotional, medical, and ethical sides of the donation. This is just to help you to prepare for the impact that comes along with egg donation which people may not foresee. It helps to make the process more comfortable for everyone and helps to prepare you for what is to come.
  • Get Legal Support

It is smart to have lawyers write a contract that will define financial obligations, parental rights, and future contact. Laws can vary by each state, but egg donors typically give up their rights to children. On the other side, a legally-binding contract is encouraged for parents and donors who will want to keep in touch after the baby is born. If you are choosing a donor through a fertility clinic or frozen egg bank, these contracts will usually have been drawn up by the organization already.

Fertility Treatment

When it comes time for the actual fertility treatment, there are a few steps you will follow depending on the route you decide to take. Here is what you can expect:

  • Syncing Cycles for Fresh Donation

If you are choosing to use fresh donor eggs, you and the egg donor will take a synthetic hormone and birth control pills to get your cycles in sync. This is because your uterus must be able to support the embryo when the donor’s eggs are retrieved and fertilized.

  • Gathering Eggs for Fresh Donation

When the donor’s eggs are mature, she’ll get an anesthetic before having the eggs removed with a needle. During this process, the doctor uses an ultrasound as a guide.

  • Thawing for Frozen Eggs
If you are using frozen eggs, there is no need for the above steps. The eggs have already been retrieved and frozen, so you will only have to worry about your own cycle.

  • Fertilization

The fertilization procedure involves sperm from a partner or a donor being combined with the eggs in a laboratory. Once the eggs are fertilized, they become embryos. After a few days, the embryos become blastocysts.

  • Transfer

Because of the high risk of a multiple pregnancy, only one or two embryos are transferred to the uterus. If the treatment is successful, the embryo implants into the uterus and the baby will continue to grow.

  • How Long Does the Whole Process Take?

If you are using fresh donor eggs, the fertilization process can take several months, including prescreening, egg retrieval and cycle synchronization. If you are using frozen eggs or embryos, the process will take about six weeks.

Becoming a Parent

The decision to go ahead with egg donation means that you are choosing to become a parent. Even though the baby may not be from your own genetic material, you are still deciding to bring this life into the world and will carry it just as you would a child from your own eggs. You will be the parent and your infertility struggle can be put behind you. You may face questions from others and may have questions for yourself that you aren’t sure about yet. That is okay. All expectant mothers have their anxieties about coming into motherhood and raising their child right, and much of it works itself out in time. Enjoy the miracle that you are able to bring the child into the world. If you would like further emotional support, you can also get in touch with a counselor to help you through the process.

Now you know the basics on how you can create your family through the use of donor eggs. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask in the comments below.

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit