Egg Donation and Fertility Among High Achieving Egg Donors
Will Egg Donation Have An Impact on my Fertility?
What Should I Know About my Fertility and Egg Donation?
There are many reasons why people may seek an egg donation from a highly accomplished or highly educated egg donor, including factors like infertility, advanced maternal age, or genetic disorders. Same sex male couples often seek highly accomplished egg donors in order to grow their family. Highly educated young women who make the choice to become egg donors may have some questions about what is involved in the egg donation process and how egg donation will affect their fertility. Read on to learn more about egg donation and fertility considerations.
Why Highly Accomplished Women Become Egg Donors
Highly educated, high-achieving women may decide to become a donor for several reasons. Many have a strong desire to assist individuals who are experiencing fertility issues and what to help them start their families. Many donors see egg donation as a means to empower and support women, granting them the chance to experience motherhood. Financial compensation is another element that can enhance the process, as it may provide resources for personal goals and education. Ultimately, these women acknowledge the significant impact their egg donation can make, driven by empathy, empowerment, and personal ambitions.
Understanding Your Personal Fertility
Typically, high-achieving egg donors are bright young women who are interested in helping other intended parents on their path to parenthood. Egg donation can be an empowering personal health journey. Through the screening process donors will learn about their own fertility and genetic markers, as well as pay close attention to and see how their body responds to hormonal changes throughout their cycle. In addition, they will have the opportunity to meet with expert clinical teams in multiple fields to understand the process as a whole. Becoming a donor has allowed many young women to help others while getting a more in depth understanding of their own fertility and future family planning.
If you are considering becoming an egg donor, it’s natural to have questions or concerns about how the process may impact your fertility. In considering how egg donation impacts fertility, you may wonder about short and long-term effects. Let’s start by talking about short-term fertility effects.
Changes in Hormone Levels
As you might expect, undergoing ovarian stimulation to produce multiple eggs for retrieval will have a temporary impact on your immediate fertility. As part of the stimulation process, donors take fertility medications that temporarily affect their hormone levels. While the medications used are generally safe, they can cause short-term side effects such as bloating, discomfort, or mood swings. This temporary disruption of your natural menstrual cycle and hormone levels can affect your fertility in the short term. While these side effects sound uncomfortable, they are only expected to last about 10-14 days. Following the egg retrieval, many candidates begin to feel normal within 7-10 days post retrieval.
Women are born with a finite number of eggs. At the onset of puberty, most girls have about 300,000 to 500,000 eggs. Typically one mature egg is released each month during a normal ovulation cycle. Only about 300-500 eggs are released through ovulation during a woman’s lifetime. Most other eggs die off, leaving women with 1,000-3,000 or fewer eggs at the start of menopause. The donation process allows for unfertilized eggs from that month to help someone else build their family via IVF.
During the egg retrieval process, the ovaries are stimulated for the recruitment and retrieval of anywhere between 8 – 20 eggs, many more eggs than would typically occur in a natural menstrual cycle. This may result in a slight depletion of your ovarian reserve, or the number of eggs remaining in your ovaries. However, as most women have a large number of eggs in their ovarian reserve, the impact on your overall fertility is considered minimal.
In the 1-2 months immediately following the ovarian stimulation, some women may experience heightened fertility or get pregnant more easily. Medical professionals can provide guidance for egg donors who wish to prevent pregnancy during this short period of time.
Offsetting Short-Term Effects
To ensure a healthy return to normal fertility for egg donors, qualified medical professionals monitor and care for egg donors throughout the egg donation process and will regularly assess a donor’s ovarian response and adjust medication dosages accordingly. We recommend discussing any possible short-term effects with your physician throughout the donation process so that any sort of concerns or considerations are taken into account. Your medical and agency team will also provide counseling and coaching for you throughout the donation process.
IVF has been around for over 40 years. However, long-term side effects from the process are still being measured on a day-to-day basis. ASRM and other organizations continue to ensure that this process is safe by enforcing industry standards. Further, no definitive studies to date suggest any correlation between egg donation and long-term infertility. As with the short-term effects, individual responses may vary from person to person.
Return to Fertility Post-Egg Donation
For most women, once their menstrual cycle returns to its normal pattern after the egg retrieval, their fertility will generally return to its previous state. Keep in mind that response to the egg donation process can vary from person to person. The impact of egg donation on fertility may also vary from person to person.
Some women may find that their menstrual cycles and fertility return to normal quickly, while others may experience a temporary delay or changes in their menstrual cycle after donation . Fertility and reproductive health specialists can answer questions and address concerns related to an individual egg donor’s experience following completion of the egg retrieval.
In short, while the process of egg donation involves temporary changes to an egg donor’s fertility, it is generally considered safe, and a woman’s fertility should return to its previous state after the egg donation process is complete. However, it’s important for egg donors to discuss any concerns or questions they have with the medical professionals guiding them through the egg donation journey. They can provide personalized information and address any potential risks or impacts on fertility specific to a donor’s individual circumstances.
Overall, the donation process is a great way to help others in building their family while also accomplishing personal goals. We believe in empowering young women with knowledge on the process and supporting them every step of the process. TLC Donor and Infertility Services can off guidance and information if you’re interested in exploring egg donation.