What should we know about egg donation? Ask Dr. Doyle
QUESTION: “My partner and I have researched traditional and gestational surrogacy, and we’ve decided to go with gestational surrogacy because of the emotional attachment sometimes experienced by traditional surrogates. Having made that decision, we’re excited about choosing an egg donor. What are some things we should know before beginning this step? What is the role of the medical team in finding and screening the egg donor? And how long does it take?”
Dr. Doyle: “Finding the ideal donor requires attention to a combination of medical, genetic, psychological and emotional issues, but it can be one of the most important and empowering decisions that you ever make. All prospective egg donors undergo a rigorous medical, genetic, and psychological screening. In the US egg donation still tends to be anonymous, however some clinics and agencies also provide childhood and adult photos, others offer taped video interviews, and a few centers (including mine) encourage known donation and arrange face-to-face meetings. Donations can also be shared or unshared, and eggs can be fresh or frozen. There can actually be a remarkable amount of choice and control, and depending on the clinic that you choose to use (and the size of their donor pool) waiting time can range from one month to over a year. In my center, over 90% of our clients match to their egg donor in less than a month.
After the donor is selected and her eggs are eventually harvested, your sperm is added, and in vitro fertilization (IVF) is performed to create the embryos that will be placed into your carrier. This is done by a team of physicians, embryologists and support staff that will carefully guide you on the choices and decisions which you will need to make. These choices will be undoubtedly affected by who you are and what you are hoping to achieve: One biological dad or two? A single baby or twins? Future siblings?”
Ask Dr. Doyle