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A growing number of women are seeking to get pregnant after 40 and—for many—this means taking the path of finding a suitable egg donor.
There are many reasons for delayed motherhood. Some of us wait for Mr. or Mrs. Right. Some of us never find him or her or, when we do find them, it is later on in life.
Some have put off having children until we feel secure financially, emotionally, spiritually, or are where we need to be in our respective careers.
Ultimately, this means that many of us are over 40 when we decide to begin a family. It also means that our bodies may not cooperate as we had hoped or intended, which is frustrating and often painful for would-be mothers.
The good news – Just because our eggs may no longer be viable due to age or illness doesn’t mean the door is closed regarding pregnancy. Technology through Advanced Reproductive Technology (ART) Donor Egg cycles are happening all over the globe and more and more women over 40 are pregnant and having children often for the first time.
You may be asking yourself: “I need an egg donor, now what?” Let’s start with the basics.
- Find a great therapist that is experienced in infertility and loss. “Your doctor tells you that you need an egg donor.” First of all, take a deep breath. This is bound to be one of the biggest decisions you are going to make in your life, and it can feel very overwhelming. Give yourself time to wrap your mind around egg donation, what it means, and the steps it will take to complete an egg donor cycle from start to finish. It is normal to be sad about losing our genetic link to our future child. For some women, it can be a lengthy grieving process. Give yourself time to grieve this loss. Sometimes seeing a counselor a therapist can help sort through complicated feelings.
- Do your homework and understand clinic statistics. One great resource is SART(www.sart.org (http://www NULL.sart NULL.org/)). So what the heck are these success rates, anyway? Clinics performing fertility treatments are required by law to send statistical information each year to SART (Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology) and the CDC (Center for Disease Control), who then compile that information into reports that are released to the general public. The reports contain percentage-based success (pregnancy) rates regarding in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles and IVF with donor egg cycles at every clinic. SART releases a report each year, whereas the CDC releases their report every other year in order to record a live birth rate (as opposed to a clinical pregnancy rate). Becoming familiar with SART and CDC statistics is instrumental to choosing a treatment program. Parents Via Egg Donation has compiled a list a questions (http://www NULL.pved NULL.org/selectclinic NULL.html) for you to ask your clinic when interviewing clinics for your specific situation.
- Do your homework before you select an egg donor agency. Egg donor agencies come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some are very large and well established, while others are small and new to the egg donor industry. Regardless of what egg donor agency you end up selecting, you need to be educated, savvy, and informed. Above all, egg donor agencies are service providers, meaning you are in the driver’s seat. Parents Via Egg Donation has put together the following questions before you commit to any egg donor agency. (http://www NULL.pved NULL.org/selectagency NULL.html)
- Do your homework before you select an egg donor. The most important aspect to remember regarding donor selection is simple: “The baby you are meant to have is the baby you are meant to have.” No matter which egg donor you select, a DE (donor egg) child will be one you and your partner (if you should have one) create and give life to. Parents Via Egg Donation has put together a comprehensive article (http://www NULL.pved NULL.org/selectdonor NULL.html) regarding donor selection, what it means to be anonymous, semi known, or known during the egg donation process. Most importantly, do your homework, research, ask questions, and if something doesn’t sit well, listen to your gut. Don’t be led to believe that if you pay a top price for an egg donor, you will get a premium donor.
- How much is all of this going to cost? That’s a complicated question with many layers. Not many women have insurance that covers infertility or anything remotely to do with donor egg IVF cycles. The cost can be anywhere from co-pay’s and donor compensation to upwards of $50-60k depending on what treatment center you select and if you have to travel to the facility of your choice. There are also legal fees to be added to the mix – a contract between the intended parent and the egg donor. Get it all in writing so there are no hidden costs and no surprises.
- Where can I get support? Thankfully the internet is interconnected and full of resources and I will list a few off the top of my head: AChildAfter40.com has a great forum for support, IVF Connections (http://www NULL.ivfconnections NULL.com/) has a forum and because I am biased Parents Via Egg Donation (http://www NULL.pved NULL.org/index NULL.html) I feel offer the most complete list of resources and support regarding all things egg donation and surrogacy. PVED offers a private forum where thousands of other women are embarking upon the same journey.
Notes for this blog:
About Marna Gatlin, Founder and CEO of PVED
After many years of struggling with infertility, PVED founder, Marna Gatlin, discovered that the technology to have a child through egg donation was available. She was curious, excited, and above all, hopeful that this process might be the conduit to finally achieving her lifelong dream of becoming a parent.
Marna ensures that all the needs of egg donor recipients are met, maintaining a high standard of ethics and confidentiality. Marna advocates and assists recipient parents helping them arrange for the highest quality patient care, wherever in the world they reside. Her experience and knowledge related to the complex emotional and physical needs of individuals dealing with infertility makes her an essential asset PVED.
As a previous recipient, Marna is uniquely qualified to provide caring and timely services. Marna is truly dedicated to compassionately guiding couples experiencing infertility through their treatment process.
Marna is joined by several dedicated and knowledgeable support staff that all work together clearly dedicated to see the success of PVED. These include clinical psychologists, reproductive endocrinologists, attorneys, as well as a talented business and public relations team.
Marna attended Eastern Oregon University and Portland State University majoring in Business, Psychology, Social Science, and is a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART). Marna a writer, is married, has a son, and does some of her best thinking and creating atop of her John Deere tractor mowing and cultivating her back forty.
- (http://www NULL.ctvnews NULL.ca/health/health-headlines/women-increasingly-going-online-to-seek-free-sperm-donors-1 NULL.1590245)
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