Embarking on the journey of IVF, particularly egg and sperm donation, is a profound decision that involves hope, complexities, and ethical considerations. As modern science continues to redefine and expand the boundaries of fertility treatments, the roles of egg and sperm donors play pivotal roles in fulfilling the dreams of individuals and couples who aspire to build their own families.
The blog titled ‘Egg and Sperm Donation: What You Need To Know’ serves as a comprehensive guide for the same. It delves into the critical aspects of egg and sperm donation subsequently providing essential insights, addressing common concerns, and unravelling the intricacies surrounding the profound choice of contributing to the creation of life.
Whether you’re considering donation, curious about the process, or seeking informed perspectives, join us on this enlightening exploration into the world of reproductive possibilities and the invaluable contributions of egg and sperm donors.
Table of Content
What is Egg Donation?
Egg Donation is a process wherein a donor provides eggs to a recipient who is looking to get pregnant. The recipient of egg donation may differ from one case to another. In some cases, the recipient is the person who intends to be the parent and in others, it could be a surrogate who plans to carry a pregnancy on behalf of an intended parent.
On an average, somewhere between 5-24 eggs are generally retrieved per cycle. The number of eggs to be retrieved is usually based on the number of eggs produced by the donor in alignment with any specific guidelines put forth by the clinic that is undertaking the donation. Similarly, the compensation for egg donation varies from clinic to clinic.
What are the phases of Egg Donation?
- Receive injectable medications to stimulate ovaries.
- Medications include Lupron, Cetrotide, and FSH hormones.
- These drugs control hormone levels, prevent premature egg release, and foster egg maturation.
Trigger Shot and Retrieval Preparation:
- Receive a human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) trigger shot.
- Scheduled for egg retrieval approximately 34 to 36 hours later.
- This shot initiates the final maturation of eggs in preparation for retrieval.
Egg Retrieval Procedure:
- Undergo egg retrieval with a transvaginal ultrasound device.
- A special needle is passed through the vaginal wall into the ovary.
- Eggs are aspirated and sent to an embryologist for evaluation.
- Meet criteria set by the fertility centre.
- Undergo physical exams, gynaecological exams, blood and urine tests, family medical history collection, and psychological evaluation.
- Donors typically aged 21 to 34 may receive additional compensation.
Acceptance and Matching:
- Match with a family seeking donor eggs.
- Provide consent before proceeding with the donation process.
- Self-administer hormonal medications via injections for 10 to 12 days.
- Receive in-person instruction on administering injections.
- Blood tests monitor hormone levels during the donation cycle.
Egg Retrieval Day:
- Undergo retrieval procedure 34 to 36 hours after hCG trigger shot.
- The procedure lasts 15 to 20 minutes and is performed under sedation.
- Recovery instructions were provided post-procedure.
- Experience dazed feelings post-sedation.
- Follow the doctor’s recovery instructions, including rest.
- Eggs can be frozen or used immediately for embryo creation.
Embryo Creation and Transfer:
- Mix eggs with the intended father’s sperm to form embryos.
- Embryos are transferred and implanted into the uterus of the birth parent or surrogate.
- Follow post-retrieval care guidelines.
- Await embryo development or consider freezing for future use.
- Continue communication with the fertility centre regarding the ongoing process.
Is Egg Donation safe?
Yes, egg donation is generally considered safe when supervised by a medical professional, with no significant long-term health risks, including fertility issues, as long as any other underlying complications do not arise. Research indicates that the abundance of eggs in young adult females, around 400,000 on average, allows for multiple donation cycles without jeopardising future fertility.
However, during the donation cycle, there are short-term risks to be aware of. These include an increased risk of pregnancy due to enhanced fertility during the medication phase. Temporary weight gain of 3 to 5 pounds may occur while taking medications for egg retrieval.
Possible medication side effects include headaches, mood changes, bloating, and tiredness. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is a rare complication with symptoms such as pain near the ovaries, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea. Ovarian torsion, a severe complication involving twisting ovaries, may require surgery.
Infection is a potential risk post-retrieval, with a low rate of 0.4 percent, which can be further reduced with prophylactic antibiotics. If concerned about infection or any aspect of the process, it is advised to consult with a medical professional.
What is Sperm Donation?
Sperm donation is a process where a fertile man provides his sperm, either altruistically or through compensation, for use by individuals or couples facing infertility challenges.
The donated sperm serves various assisted reproductive techniques, such as artificial insemination, including intrauterine insemination (IUI), and in vitro fertilisation (IVF), which may involve intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
This method becomes necessary when the male partner experiences low sperm counts, carries an undesirable genetic trait, or encounters blockages preventing normal sperm release.
Additionally, single women and lesbian couples seeking pregnancy may opt for sperm donation. Guidelines from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recommend freezing and quarantining donor sperm for at least six months. Subsequently, retesting for health and genetic quality is essential before employing the sperm in fertility treatments.
What are the steps of Sperm Donation?
- A suitability questionnaire is filled.
- An initial appointment for information is made.
- Semen samples are provided for analysis and discussion.
- Donation implications are discussed in a confidential session.
- The counsellor gives a suitability recommendation.
- Additional counselling sessions are requested if desired.
Initial Screening and Consent:
- Blood and urine screening.
- Completing necessary consent forms for sperm donation.
- Producing the first donation sample during this phase.
Sperm Banking Appointments:
- Weekly clinic visits for 5-10 weeks.
- Semen samples are generated for donation.
- Final blood and urine testing six months post-last donation.
- Ensuring no infections during the donation period.
Embarking on the profound journey of IVF, particularly through egg and sperm donation, involves a large number of intricate considerations and ethical complexities. As science advances fertility treatments, the pivotal roles of donors become essential in fulfilling the dreams of individuals and couples aspiring to build families.
The comprehensive guide, ‘Egg and Sperm Donation: What You Need to Know,’ explores critical aspects, addresses concerns, and unravels intricacies surrounding the profound choice of contributing to the creation of life. Whether contemplating donation or seeking informed perspectives, this enlightening exploration invites readers to understand the world of reproductive possibilities and the invaluable contributions of egg and sperm donors, ensuring a well-informed understanding of the compassionate realm of assisted reproductive technologies.
Why choose Banker IVF?
Embarking on IVF through egg and sperm donation involves intricate considerations. ‘Egg and Sperm Donation: What You Need to Know’ unravels complexities and addresses concerns, providing insights into the world of assisted reproductive technologies. For those considering or curious about the same, visit Banker IVF today.
If you’re ready to take the next step, Banker IVF is here to guide you. Contact us today to begin your fertility journey.