Reception of Donated Egg
The emotional aspects of egg donation are often not discussed, but are especially felt by those patients seeking this treatment modality. In my understanding, the biggest difficulty in deciding for this treatment is precisely the emotional aspects. As long as these issues are not addressed and resolved, it will not be possible to perform the treatment effectively.
I tried to summarize the questions I receive most during the consultations and post answers to help in the decision on whether or not to perform donated egg treatments.
HOW TO FACE A NEED FOR DONOR EGG RECIPIENTS AS A SINGLE CHANCE TO GET PREGNANT?
This is perhaps the most important issue involved in the decision making process for receiving donated eggs. These are not easy times, and choices will not be easy. The first reaction is impotence, disability, and questions about her role as a woman. But it is not the end of the world. Try to observe the good points, being a mother is much more than owning a genetic code. There will be times when your heart will suffer at the thought of not being able to have a child with its DNA, its characteristics and its family. But what if I say this is not true? What if I say that even with donated eggs, your DNA can prevail and be inherited?
Before we get back to this (read more about epigenetics below), I want to say that the egg receptor is a gift. First, because someone who donates eggs goes through a painful process of hormone application, surgery and donation of part of it. It’s not easy, but someone can help you.
Also think that in my experience all these years dealing with infertility, I have never seen an egg recipient regret having done so. After receiving eggs, getting pregnant and giving birth, the origin of the egg matters little. I can say that we have 100% satisfaction; No one who has had children from donated eggs has ever regretted it.
Certainly it will be important to share this decision with people you trust. The support of a psychologist is critical. Professionals with extensive experience in the subject can help in the decision.
HOW MANY EMBRYOS ARE CONSIDERED AS A GOOD NUMBER IN A DONATED EGG CYCLE?
Don’t get so attached to the amount. Just a good egg for pregnancy to happen. However, we expect the donor to have between 5 and 10 eggs so that in the end we can have 3 or 4 embryos, 2 to transfer and the rest to leave frozen.Remember that this is an expectation, does not mean that it always occurs, but not so pregnancy will not occur. Quantity is not equal to quality, never.
WHAT ARE PREGNANCY RATES SUCCESSFUL EXPECTED WITH DONATED EGGS?
Success rates (by embryo transfer) are between 55% and 65%. The cumulative pregnancy rate of patients after 3 egg donation cycles reaches over 90%. The spontaneous abortion rate is around 15%, much lower than the nearly 50% abortion for women who become pregnant with their own eggs, over 42 years old.
I AM REALLY UNLUCKY, RIGHT WITH ME!! IS OVODONATION TREATMENT COMMON?
I would not say that it is unlucky, on the contrary. It is a much more common treatment than you might think. Approximately 30 to 40% of my patients are undergoing ovulation treatment. Imagine that after 45 years of age the chances of recording with single eggs are less than 1%, any pregnant woman after this age caused by the treatment of ovulation. Many do not count, prefers to preserve this information, but surely there is someone close to you who has passed or is going through the same situation.
WHAT DOES ”EPIGENETICS’ HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THE CHILD CONCEIVED THROUGH EGG DONATION?
First we have to explain what “epigenetics” is. It is a new area of science and concerns the effects of the environment on genes. The environment in case of a pregnancy is the woman’s uterus. Thus, whatever happens during your pregnancy will influence your genes. No matter what the source, your organism and uterus will determine how the genes received from the donated egg will be expressed. Thus, the child born from her uterus will be emotionally, physically and psychologically different from the child who would be born if conceived in the egg donor’s uterus. It will inherit from you (not the donor of the eggs) characteristics of your personality, artistic gift, musical preference or different foods etc. Thus, this story that genetically the child does not have its genetic load, has collapsed or fell apart.
WILL I BE THE BIOLOGICAL MOTHER OF THE CHILD CONCEIVED THROUGH EGG DONATION?
Yes, of course! The gestating mother’s body is responsible for the nutrition and growth of the fetus. Her blood and his will be in close contact through the placenta. You will exchange nutrients, chemicals, hormones and emotions. From a legal point of view, our legislation says that it is the mother who gives birth. The son is yours.
WILL I FELL LIKE A ”REAL” MOTHER?
What is being a mother? Can anyone tell you? We only know what it is to be a child. Until we have a chance to be parents, we won’t really know what this feeling is like. An adopted child, a child born from a donated egg or born from his own egg, has the power to awaken you to the same sentiment, it makes no difference. Yes, you will feel like a real mother, you will defend and protect your child to the last consequences, you will stop doing things you like to do for your child. It is much more than just an egg: it is a life you have generated.
WILL I LOVE THE CHILD IN THE SAME WAY I WOULD LOVE IF I WERE ORIGINALLY FROM MY EGG?
It certainly will. I guarantee so. The egg is yours, you received it in your uterus and gave all the conditions so that life could be created and developed within you. I bet when you hear the embryo’s heart at the very first ultrasound, right in early pregnancy, you will know what maternal love is. From this moment on, your life will be another. You will feel the child develop in your womb, you will cry with excitement at the first kick you receive and once you have it in your arms, you will wonder how you can love someone that much. It is inexplicable. Nothing I write here can define what you will feel. Unfortunately (or fortunately), there is no way to know before; you will have to go through all this and then tell me that i’m right.
SHOULD WE TELL OUR SON THAT HE CAME FROM A DONATED EGG?
There is no rule for this. He will not be more or less child if he knows his real origin. My advice is to wait a few years to decide whether or not to count. Only after birth and at a certain age can you feel if it’s worth telling, you need to know your child and yourself to decide. If you decide to count, I advise you to do so when the child is old enough to understand, which requires a certain maturity. Usually around 10 years old this is already possible. In many situations, even earlier.
HOW ARE OVULE DONORS CHOSEN?
Donors usually come to us indicated by other patients. Sensitized by the need for a couple to have children, with no other option than to receive eggs, these people donate the most precious asset they have: a part of themselves. They are altruistic souls, they receive nothing to do, only the anonymous thanks of someone they will never know. It takes courage and disposition: they need to give injections of hormones, perform exams, surgery and go through an exhausting routine. We always choose women under 30 years old, without genetic diseases and without infectious diseases. They are also analyzed for their psychological profile and character.
HOW DO I FIND A DONOR?
In Brazil, the rules of the Federal Council of Medicine require that the selection of the donor be made by the clinic. you can’t to bring someone. The donor must be anonymous, for your complete safety. However, it will fill an extensive questionnaire that will contain your physical characteristics, those of your ancestors, psychological questions and other relevant information to assist you in choosing. We will select the best option, but if you don’t like it, you can decline. We will keep looking until you approve the choice.
CAN I CHOOSE A DONOR THAT LIVE IN A CITY DIFFERENT FROM MY?
The answer is yes, in most cases. We try to select people from different cities, or from very different cities populous. We have to respect the norm of a birth of a child of a different sex for every one million in habitants of the region.