What Is It Like to Use Egg Donation to Have a Baby?
Egg donation, like sperm donation and gestational surrogacy, is a third-party reproductive service. There are a number of reasons why an egg donor would be used during family building, including female factor infertility, unsuccessful fertility treatment, and male single parents and same-sex male couples also working with a gestational surrogate.
At Chelsea Fertility, we work with many couples and individuals using donor eggs to grow their families, but we recognize that the process may not be well known, and that questions from patients are common.
Are there different types of egg donors?
Yes, there are two types – the first is an anonymous egg donor. This is a woman who is matched with an intended parent or parents through either a fertility center or an agency. Intended parents will be able to review her profile, which typically contains basic personal information like height, weight, hair color, eye color, ethnicity, age, education, employment, etc. The second type of egg donor is a known donor, who is normally a close family member or friend who has agreed to donate her eggs to a specific couple or individual. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which type is best for your family-building needs.
Does my egg donor need to look like me?
This decision is highly personal, and though many intended parents seek an egg donor who shares their physical characteristics, that is not the only option you can consider. In recent years, intended parents are beginning to place a higher regard for their donor’s educational background and career path over how tall she is or whether her eyes are more blue than green. It’s often easier to narrow down your core priorities for what an ideal donor would be before searching for a match so the options aren’t overwhelming. Conversely, having a long list of strict “yes” and “no” traits for a donor will severely narrow your options and you may find you’re only able to choose from a limited donor selection.
Will my pregnancy “feel” different when using an egg donor?
Medically speaking, aside from some additional monitoring (which will be determined by your obstetrician), there is very little difference between a pregnancy achieved without fertility treatment and one achieved with it, and this includes women who have used an egg donor. Your baby will progress and grow at the same rate as any other baby, with normal expected milestones such as kicking taking place. Of course, we do recommend speaking with your fertility specialist during treatment or your OB post-treatment if you have concerns about your pregnancy while using an egg donor.
Chelsea Fertility of New York City works with many couples struggling with a female factor fertility diagnosis and same-sex male couples who require the use of donor eggs to have a baby. If you would like to learn more about our egg donation program or if you’re ready to request a consultation, please contact our team today.