Whether you knew you were going to need an egg donor or your doctor recently dropped the news on you, chances are you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. That’s okay because choosing an egg donor is a huge decision!
It’s common for Intended Parents to have lots of questions about selecting an egg donor. Sometimes they even feel like they don’t know quite where to start. Before you jump in and hit the databases, take a deep breath and give yourself a few minutes to process everything.
You should know that many women actually go through a grieving process when they learn they won’t have a genetic link with their child. It’s important to take the time to go through this grieving process, even getting help from a counselor or therapist as necessary. Your doctor or donor egg agency can provide a referral to someone who specializes in reproductive or family therapy if needed. However, research has shown that even though you may use donor eggs, your body will actually influence your baby’s genetics.
Above all, it’s important to remember that whichever egg donor you choose, the child that results will be your baby and wouldn’t exist if not for the love that you and your partner have for him or her. That’s amazing!
If you’re ready to get started, here are 5 things that potential Intended Parents should think about when using an egg donor.
Think about what’s important to you.
Intended Parents tend to look for specific traits and characteristics that match their own. It’s a good idea to sit down together and prioritize those qualities from most to least important. It’s also important to figure out which characteristics you can be flexible on, as it’s unlikely that you’ll find someone who matches every single one of the qualities you are looking for.
As you search for potential donors, select a few possibilities. Sometimes a cycle does not go through for a number of reasons, or a donor isn’t a great candidate. In the event this happens, you’ll have a few other options to choose from.
Consider your finances.
If you are using an egg donor through an agency, it’s important to recognize that the costs associated are separate than those of your fertility clinic. Don’t worry though; your clinic will stay in close communication with the agency so that none of the costs are duplicated.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions!
This process can be challenging and nobody expects you to understand everything right from the start. Feel confident in voicing any concerns or asking questions that come up throughout the process. You, as the Intended Parents, have the absolute right to ask for updates, clarification on issues that arise or make requests. If you’d prefer regular updates for each step along the way, just ask! Your agency and fertility center understand the time and monetary commitment that you made and want you to feel as confident and comfortable as possible.
The process is not immediate.
Finding the right egg donor and completing the egg donation process is not like buying a car. While it’s an important investment, the entire egg donation process, from selection through retrieval, is typically around 12 to 16 weeks. This is often due to the medical and legal requirements that fertility clinics and agencies must adhere to. As you can imagine, this isn’t something to be rushed.
The results from medical screening tests can take up to 2 to 4 weeks to get back. Legal contracts can take anywhere from days to weeks to get signed and completed, depending on changes requested by the different people involved and how quickly they are able to review and sign the paperwork.
Finally, scheduling and planning the cycle takes a little bit of time, and is dependent on the donor’s menstrual cycle. The donor may not be available in a given month, or the doctor may not be able to start until the donor reaches a particular point in her cycle. There could be other factors that come up too, such as the doctor’s schedule or the availability of the laboratory.
Do you also need a surrogate?
If you need both a surrogate and an egg donor, consider selecting your egg donor first. There are a few reasons for this. Surrogates are usually eager to get started and there may be a holding fee if there is a delay in finding an egg donor or completing the cycle. There is also a risk that the surrogate may get matched with a set of Intended Parents who are ready to get started immediately.
Even if there is a delay in finding a surrogate, the cycle can still move forward with the egg donor. All of the embryos can be frozen until the surrogate is ready to proceed.
Finally, don’t forget that you have a team of people available to support and guide you throughout this process. They can help you sort through potential donors, figure out what is most important to you and even talk through your concerns.
Don’t hesitate to reach out and get in touch with our Egg Donor team to learn more about Extraordinary Conceptions’ egg donors and egg donation program.