Three Valuable Resources for Donor Egg Research

Fairfax EggBank has partnered with Parents Via Egg Donation (PVED) to launch a blog series written by Heather, a recent egg donor recipient at Fairfax EggBank. Our hope is that through PVED, Heather’s voice can be shared with others who are just beginning their donor egg journey and are seeking authentic experiences of others who have been through it.

Stay tuned through either PVED’s website or ours to read Heather’s upcoming blogs.

Three Resources to Use for Your Donor Egg Research

If you’re considering donor eggs, I’d like to share with you some resources I used to make the process easier. I’d be lying if I told you this was a total breeze. It does take a little bit of leg work, but every step is worth it. This is a major decision in your life that I hope turns out to the best one yet!

Take Advantage of Your Donor Egg Company

My main resource for knowledge on the process was FairFax EggBank. I was fortunate to work with such a special donor coordinator there. Maybe it was because she and my best friend share the same name, or maybe it is because she is just that awesome! She was very knowledgeable, kind and patient.  Many times there would be a question or two that would pop in to my head and I would dial her. Having this type of accessibility to a caring, responsive and knowledgeable human being is very crucial in this process. You want to make sure you choose a company that you feel comfortable with since believe me, it sure does help with the stress.

Join Group Boards on Baby Apps

Downloading baby apps may sound a little elementary; however, using them was a game changer for me. I used BabyBump Pregnancy Pro and What to Expect When You’re Expecting quite a bit.

These apps not only have a ton of information in relation to pregnancy, they also have group boards that people join and chat about all sorts of different topics. One of these topics that I found to be extremely useful was Donor Eggs. I was able to connect anonymously with women all over the world and read all sorts of posts, questions, and stories of others. I bonded with these internet friends and used them as a resource for information, as well as for friendship. We gave support and encouraged one another with our stories. It truly was one thing that strongly helped me through this process.

Use the Power of the Internet

Our computers and smartphones give us all the answers we need to know. Through my online research, I easily found information on the positives and negatives of fresh and frozen donor eggs, costs, and different egg banks.

Fairfax EggBank’s website also has a wealth of information. Everything that I had questions about was answered on the site.

Have questions for Heather? E-mail success@fairfaxeggbank.com

___________________________________________________

Heather’s Blog Series:

#1: Intro to my Donor Egg Story

#2: First Comes Love, then Comes Marriage, then Comes…Infertility?

#3: Our Decision to Use Frozen Donor Eggs

#4: Selecting an Egg Donor

#5: Three Resources to Use for Your Donor Egg Research


About PVED

Parents Via Egg Donation, or PVED, was created to provide an informational and supportive environment where parents and parents-to-be can learn and share information about all facets of the egg donation process.

Our mission is to educate, support, and empower families and individuals at any stage of the process who choose to use egg donation to build a family. We share information about agencies, legal and medical professionals, treatment centers, mental health therapists, pharmaceutical companies, and other resources.

PVED is a national, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization headquartered in Scappoose, Oregon

Their website contains a wide variety of information and ideas to help you in your family-building journey. If you can’t find what you are looking for, our listserves can link you to others who may have had similar experiences and are happy to share their knowledge.


Emotions of Choosing an Egg Donor

The following is a guest blog Written by Lisa Schuman, LCSW, a seasoned mental health professional who leads The Center for Family Building. Join her virtually in her monthly support webinar, aimed to address issues specific to third party reproduction including disclosure, development, and parenting. Learn more about her webinar here

So you want to find an egg donor who possesses qualities you see in yourself or perhaps even better?  That makes sense. Angelina Jolie adopted before she had a genetically related child, but most people choose to have genetically related children first. It’s natural to want children who will be connected to you and the people you love.

If you are a same-sex couple, a heterosexual couple with infertility, or someone who has suffered with an illness and genetic parenthood is no longer an option, it’s reasonable to feel sad about not being able to conceive with your own eggs and genetics.  This idea upsets some people more than others.  If you are able to seamlessly make this decision you are fortunate, but for most, the concept is difficult to fully digest and may affect the way you choose an egg donor.

When individuals and couples look at a picture of an egg donor it’s common to hear, “he looks like me when I was little” or “I was also athletic when I was a child.”  It’s also natural to want to replace yourself or choose characteristics you wish you possessed. With this in mind, it’s understandable why so many people look for a donor with the perfect SAT scores or who has movie star looks.

These choices are driven by emotion.  I would not suggest that you disregard your desire to feel some connection with the donor.  A connection is important. However, it also makes sense to be practical.

It’s not possible to choose temperament, as any parent will tell you, and extreme intellect is not necessarily inheritable either. This can be difficult to accept.  Having children is such an intimate experience and feeling that your children can be different than you or different than the child you imagined can feel hurtful.  The loss you can feel is very personal and carries a different meaning for everyone. Accepting this is important but it is also useful to accept that there are practical issues to consider when choosing a donor. It can be a relief to understand that although you cannot choose your children’s genetics, you can try to stack the odds for desirable traits in your favor.

It’s also important to remember that you are not only choosing an egg donor, you are selecting a person from whom your child will inherit half of her DNA – and this DNA is not always represented in the egg donor.  She can have blonde hair and blue eyes but if she has three red-haired brothers, you may have a red-haired child.  If he is tall but everyone in his family is short, you are not really choosing tall genes.  It’s understandable to be drawn to an egg donor because she is funny or has an advanced degree but since these attributes are not necessarily inevitable, you may be focusing on things you cannot control and losing sight of information that may be more useful.

Medical history is also more tangible than temperament or IQ.  Everyone wants a healthy donor.  But you can look beyond basic health. Everyone has some difficulty in their family.  It’s rare for everyone in a family to die from old age, never wear glasses, and have no asthma.  If you can identify the medical issues in the donor’s family and check to ensure that the genetically linked parent does not have the same difficulties in his or her family, you will not be replicating difficulties for your child.

You are your child’s parent.  There is no question about that.  But your child will have genetics that will be connected to someone outside the family.  In the age of the internet your child may be able to find valuable information about his or her genetics with the touch of a keypad.  This information may give your child all the medical assistance he or she needs. However,  in choosing a donor with the emotional AND the practical issues in mind, you will have the opportunity to  make choices that may positively impact your child and possibly choose the genetics that will give you the best chances of having a donor who resembles your family.

For many who use donor eggs to build their family, the wait has been long. Often this wait causes frustration and sometimes sadness.  When people feel frustrated, and desperate it is natural to think emotionally about decisions.

Emotions are important and need to be valued, but accepting the things you can control and making decisions based on useful information can give you the opportunity to get more of what you want.  You may have heard parents say, “I need to pick my battles” or “I am not going to sweat the small stuff.” Selecting an egg donor can be a stressful process, but thinking carefully about inheritable traits and stacking the odds in your favor can provide you with a better chance of achieving your desired outcome.

If you’re ready to start your egg donor search at Fairfax EggBank, visit our donor database


About Lisa Schuman, LCSW

Lisa Schuman, LCSW is founding Director of The Center for Family Building and Director of Mental Health Services at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut.

Ms. Schuman is former Chair of the Egg Freezing Task Force for the Mental Health Professional Group of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and is a former board member of the American Fertility Association.

Ms. Schuman has won several awards for her research, has lectured extensively and has written numerous articles on a variety of family building subjects including LBGT and single parent family building.  She runs on line groups, counsels parents and parents to be and leads workshops for children who joined their families through gamete donation or adoption.

Visit her website: www.familybuilding.net


Selecting an Egg Donor

Fairfax EggBank has partnered with Parents Via Egg Donation (PVED) to launch a blog series written by Heather, a recent egg donor recipient at Fairfax EggBank. Our hope is that through PVED, Heather’s voice can be shared with others who are just beginning their donor egg journey and are seeking authentic experiences of others who have been through it.

Stay tuned through either PVED’s website or ours to read Heather’s upcoming blogs.

Selecting an Egg Donor

Fairfax EggBank made it easier than anticipated to find an egg donor who was right for us, not just because how awesome my donor coordinator was, but also because of how detailed the donor profiles were. I was able to dig into each donor I liked, learning her and her family’s detailed medical history, her hobbies and achievements, childhood and current photos (professionally shot, no selfies!), and personal essays. I especially liked the audio interviews between the donor and Fairfax EggBank coordinators; while I wanted our donor to be anonymous, I loved that sense of connection I felt through hearing the donor’s voice.

My husband and I narrowed down our choices to four donors based on our priorities: preferably, the donor would look like me, have at least a college degree, have the same blood type, and be similar in age.  We learned two of these donors had proven success (meaning recipients before me had used their eggs and conceived) and decided to sleep on the decision to figure out which donor we should go with. Alas, good donors can go like hotcakes, and by the time we contacted our Fairfax EggBank coordinator, only one of the two donors still had eggs left. Figuring fate had made the decision for us, we chose to move forward with the one.

Undergoing the Best Transfer Yet

I will never forget the message “your eggs have arrived safely and are anxiously awaiting transfer!” This was the note my fertility clinic sent, letting me know the eggs were tucked away in their lab and ready for me. To say I was excited was an understatement. I remember doing my baseline, and my reproductive endocrinologist telling me all systems were ready to go. I started my meds and everything went well. I was not used to cycles going smoothly; I was used to many heartaches and setbacks just trying to even start. This was all something new to me.

In fact, this IVF cycle was unlike any other; it was super simple. My clinic’s lab was able to create 4 blastocysts from my 6 eggs. They even moved up the transfer of our embryos two weeks as my body was responding so well. Uh, what?? This never happens! I just knew this was going to be my miracle cycle. When we did the transfer I remember feeling very relaxed, which was nothing like the previous times. Everything from the get-go was smooth, and I was very thankful for that.

Getting the BFP

Let’s be honest – how many IVF patients actually have the patience to wait until their blood test to confirm if they’re pregnant or not? I know I couldn’t resist, especially given how positive I felt this time around.

About a week after our transfer, I cheated and took a home pregnancy test. That’s when I saw the words “PREGNANT” for the very first time in my entire life. I repeat, my very FIRST time. I had never been pregnant in my life.

How Pregnancy Feels

I’m still waiting for my baby to arrive, and it’s still a surreal feeling to have a baby in my belly. While it wasn’t my first choice to choose donor eggs in order to have a baby, now I often forget that donor eggs were even used. We simply can’t wait to meet our baby, and are so thankful there are companies like Fairfax EggBank out there to make our dreams a reality.

They say that the idea of parenting never happens the way you want it to. I think that’s true in every case; however the outcome is always the same. If a donor egg baby is the outcome for you, you will have so much joy in your life that you will never look back, I promise.

I’ve waited to tell you the best for last, we’re pregnant with twins! Both embryos took, how amazing is that!

 

Have questions for Heather? E-mail success@fairfaxeggbank.com

___________________________________________________

Heather’s Blog Series:

#1: Intro to my Donor Egg Story

#2: First Comes Love, then Comes Marriage, then Comes…Infertility?

#3: Our Decision to Use Frozen Donor Eggs

#4: Selecting an Egg Donor

#5: Three Resources to Use for Your Donor Egg Research


About PVED

Parents Via Egg Donation, or PVED, was created to provide an informational and supportive environment where parents and parents-to-be can learn and share information about all facets of the egg donation process.

Our mission is to educate, support, and empower families and individuals at any stage of the process who choose to use egg donation to build a family. We share information about agencies, legal and medical professionals, treatment centers, mental health therapists, pharmaceutical companies, and other resources.

PVED is a national, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization headquartered in Scappoose, Oregon

Their website contains a wide variety of information and ideas to help you in your family-building journey. If you can’t find what you are looking for, our listserves can link you to others who may have had similar experiences and are happy to share their knowledge.


Our Decision to Use Frozen Donor Eggs

Fairfax EggBank has partnered with Parents Via Egg Donation (PVED) to launch a blog series written by Heather, a recent egg donor recipient at Fairfax EggBank. Our hope is that through PVED, Heather’s voice can be shared with others who are just beginning their donor egg journey and are seeking authentic experiences of others who have been through it.

Stay tuned through either PVED’s website or ours to read Heather’s upcoming blogs.

Our Decision to Use Frozen Donor Eggs

Once we decided to pursue donor egg treatment, we did extensive research to figure out how we could find the best egg donor out there in the world to help us conceive.

We learned there were two major options available to start: fresh donor eggs and frozen donor eggs. There are advantages and disadvantages to either option, and so we carefully assessed our needs and evaluated how strongly each option measured up to them.

Need #1: Anonymity. We knew we didn’t want someone who we knew, or someone who was in an open donation program. Though many fresh programs offer anonymous egg donors, we felt frozen donor egg banks offered a much bigger selection of anonymous donors.

Need #2: Timing and Control. I frankly didn’t want to deal with the effort of being matched to a donor, having her undergo screening, then synchronizing cycles with her – which is the process when using fresh donor eggs. I wanted to do this treatment on MY time, for once – and not feel like I’m a victim to time and factors outside of my control.

Need #3: Cost. Through my research, I learned frozen donor eggs would cost about half the amount of fresh donor eggs. This was huge to us as we had already invested so much into treatment.

Need #4: Reliability. We were sick of bad surprises that could prolong treatment and make it even more expensive.  With fresh donor eggs, it’s harder to know what to expect: maybe we’d get a bunch of donor eggs from the donor, but there’s also a chance we’d get none. With frozen donor eggs, we knew we’d be guaranteed at least six to eight eggs, and that egg banks also offer a guarantee in the quality of eggs.

Need #5: Good Service. Throughout our journey, often times we felt like part of a cattle herd alongside other patients, and our care was rather impersonal. By that time we were ready to pursue donor egg, we were EXHAUSTED, mentally and physically. While not a deal breaker, it was important to us to be able to work with a donor egg company that was known for valuing and taking care of its recipients. And while we knew of no distinction between fresh and frozen donor egg companies in this regard, we did hear that Fairfax EggBank, a frozen donor egg bank, was particularly well known for its customer service.

After weighing our priorities, it was a no-brainer: frozen donor eggs were a better option for us. At this point, I started to get very excited. I finally felt that I MIGHT be able to be a mom. We had gone through so many disappointments, so I was reluctant to get my hopes up too much…but all I knew was that frozen donor eggs was the right choice for me.

I contacted Fairfax EggBank, and the donor coordinator I talked to further confirmed we made the right decision. I ended up working with her throughout my process, and she was beyond amazing. I seriously cannot praise her enough. When I talked to her the first time, I literally felt like she and I were friends for years. I could call her four times in an hour with questions if I needed (which, I’ll admit, I totally did).  She was so encouraging yet down to earth, and it made the experience that much better.

 

Have questions for Heather? E-mail success@fairfaxeggbank.com

___________________________________________________

Heather’s Blog Series:

#1: Intro to my Donor Egg Story

#2: First Comes Love, then Comes Marriage, then Comes…Infertility?

#3: Our Decision to Use Frozen Donor Eggs

#4: Selecting an Egg Donor

#5: Three Resources to Use for Your Donor Egg Research


About PVED

Parents Via Egg Donation, or PVED, was created to provide an informational and supportive environment where parents and parents-to-be can learn and share information about all facets of the egg donation process.

Our mission is to educate, support, and empower families and individuals at any stage of the process who choose to use egg donation to build a family. We share information about agencies, legal and medical professionals, treatment centers, mental health therapists, pharmaceutical companies, and other resources.

PVED is a national, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization headquartered in Scappoose, Oregon

Their website contains a wide variety of information and ideas to help you in your family-building journey. If you can’t find what you are looking for, our listserves can link you to others who may have had similar experiences and are happy to share their knowledge.


First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes…Infertility?

Fairfax EggBank has partnered with Parents Via Egg Donation (PVED) to launch a blog series written by Heather, a recent egg donor recipient at Fairfax EggBank. Our hope is that through PVED, Heather’s voice can be shared with others who are just beginning their donor egg journey and are seeking authentic experiences of others who have been through it.

Stay tuned through either PVED’s website or ours to read Heather’s upcoming blogs.

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes…Infertility?

“You won’t be able to have a baby on your own”: Words that no one wishing to conceive wants to hear. Frankly, I wish no couple or individual has to hear them.

I don’t have to tell you about how this all feels like being a roller coaster; you’re most likely a reluctant rider too.

I embarked on my roller coaster ride in my late 20’s, though everything else took off as planned initially. It started by finally meeting the man I had been waiting for; the one whom I couldn’t wait to start a life with. We had a fairytale wedding and moved into our dream home together. Having a child was the next item down on our checklist. But, as months turned into a year with no pregnancy to bear, we turned to see a reproductive endocrinologist to see if he can easily fix our issue. Boy, was I wrong thinking it would be easy.

The Diagnosis

After my reproductive endocrinologist took what felt like half of my weight in blood to test for hormones and diseases, followed by a laparoscopy, he gave me my diagnosis: endometriosis. I had the severe type: the type that distorts pelvic anatomy and gets in the way of making a baby.

I still thought it wouldn’t be difficult to conceive despite this diagnosis. I figured drug treatment can help suppress endometriosis, and once I did the baby dance at the right time, BAM! I’d be pregnant.  Well, it obviously didn’t happen that way.

Months later, I developed a large ovarian cyst that caused me to be very, very sick. I couldn’t work for two months and it got so bad that I needed emergency surgery. Devastatingly, from this surgery I lost my ovary, fallopian tube, and appendix.

The pain I felt post-operation was indescribable, and it lasted over a month. Despite this, I pushed myself like heck to heal. I wanted to start IVF so badly, especially knowing my chances of conceiving naturally were that much lower with one ovary.

The Path to Donor Egg

To my excitement, in just two months after surgery, I was cleared to start IVF. However, the endometriosis and ovarian cysts still got in the way, and over the course of two years I completed two IVF cycles and one FET cycle – all resulting in BFNs (“big fat negatives” for those not on infertility boards).

My doctor explained that my egg quality was most likely being impacted by my endometriosis, and that my chance for success in future cycles was low. He recommended we look into donor egg or surrogacy.

My husband and I actually had the conversation two years prior to our journey about using potential donors on either side if we needed to. At that time, my answer was “heck no”.

But now that we were at this critical decision point, we thought about it more. If we chose surrogacy, we wouldn’t have the joy of seeing the first positive pregnancy test, or hear the dulcet sound of a heartbeat. To us, that meant the world.

We decided to pursue donor egg. And I can tell you I have never regretted this decision, not even for a second.

 

Have questions for Heather? E-mail success@fairfaxeggbank.com

___________________________________________________

Heather’s Blog Series:

#1: Intro to my Donor Egg Story

#2: First Comes Love, then Comes Marriage, then Comes…Infertility?

#3: Our Decision to Use Frozen Donor Eggs

#4: Selecting an Egg Donor

#5: Three Resources to Use for Your Donor Egg Research


About PVED

Parents Via Egg Donation, or PVED, was created to provide an informational and supportive environment where parents and parents-to-be can learn and share information about all facets of the egg donation process.

Our mission is to educate, support, and empower families and individuals at any stage of the process who choose to use egg donation to build a family. We share information about agencies, legal and medical professionals, treatment centers, mental health therapists, pharmaceutical companies, and other resources.

PVED is a national, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization headquartered in Scappoose, Oregon

Their website contains a wide variety of information and ideas to help you in your family-building journey. If you can’t find what you are looking for, our listserves can link you to others who may have had similar experiences and are happy to share their knowledge.


Intro to My Donor Egg Story

Fairfax EggBank has partnered with Parents Via Egg Donation (PVED) to launch a blog series written by Heather, a recent egg donor recipient at Fairfax EggBank. Our hope is that through PVED, Heather’s voice can be shared with others who are just beginning their donor egg journey and are seeking authentic experiences of others who have been through it.

Intro to My Donor Egg Story

If you’re reading this blog, you might be someone who is exploring the decision to use donor eggs. If that’s the case, you probably have a million questions you’re trying to sort out. How did I get to this point? Is donor egg the right choice for me? If so, how do I go about finding an egg donor?  Where do I even start?

I just want to let you know that all this soul searching, the confusion and doubts, the overwhelming feelings…it’s all normal. I’ve been in your exact shoes.

I have been beaten down by an emotional path of failed IVF and FET cycles. I questioned whether I will ever be the mom I’ve always wanted to be. I have been on the roller coaster of infertility with my husband, wondering if we will ever get to share our home with giggling children running down its halls.

But, guess what? I was able to stop that roller coaster…I’m finally pregnant! Donor eggs have given me that opportunity, and I have never looked back.

So, who am I? My name is Heather. I am (almost) 30 years old, and have struggled with infertility for two years. I have a professional career as a CPA. I’m a dog lover. I can be someone who is a tad stubborn…which, to think about it, offered me the strength I needed to never give up on my fight to become a mom. Like many of you, I’ve been through tests, surgeries, shots, retrievals, transfers and more.

I will share with you my journey in the upcoming blog series. Hopefully some of you will relate to my story and find encouragement that there is light at the end of the tunnel. And hopefully, like me, by choosing donors eggs you’ll also be blissfully pregnant a few short months from now.

 

Have questions for Heather? E-mail success@fairfaxeggbank.com

___________________________________________________

Heather’s Blog Series:

#1: Intro to my Donor Egg Story

#2: First Comes Love, then Comes Marriage, then Comes…Infertility?

#3: Our Decision to Use Frozen Donor Eggs

#4: Selecting an Egg Donor

#5: Three Resources to Use for Your Donor Egg Research


About PVED

Parents Via Egg Donation, or PVED, was created to provide an informational and supportive environment where parents and parents-to-be can learn and share information about all facets of the egg donation process.

Our mission is to educate, support, and empower families and individuals at any stage of the process who choose to use egg donation to build a family. We share information about agencies, legal and medical professionals, treatment centers, mental health therapists, pharmaceutical companies, and other resources.

PVED is a national, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization headquartered in Scappoose, Oregon

Their website contains a wide variety of information and ideas to help you in your family-building journey. If you can’t find what you are looking for, our listserves can link you to others who may have had similar experiences and are happy to share their knowledge.


Thank You Letter from a Recipient to Her Egg Donor

Below is a recent letter from an egg donor recipient, who wanted to express anonymously to her egg donor just how grateful she was.

Hello,

I don’t know even where to begin with my gratitude to you.  I know that you and I will never meet, but I want you to know every day I am so thankful you have given me and my husband hope to become parents.  I think about the sacrifice it took for you to be selfless to help people have a family.

When I started the donor egg process, I have to admit I was thinking I wouldn’t find someone who matched me or had the same values as me.  After reading your profile there were so many similarities.  You and I were both softball players and we have a lot of the same physical features, but the biggest reason why I chose you was how you wanted your kids to be kind.  That is what I have always wanted for my children.

I don’t think you realize what you have given to our family. We are now excited and hopeful for the future.  When I was diagnosed with my form of infertility, which was premature ovarian failure, I was so scared and anxious about the future.  We now have a plan something to look forward to.  Please know we consider you an angel.  I thank God every day for you giving us this opportunity.  Both of us have longed for a baby for so long and because of you we are one step closer.

I hope that every woman that goes through this finds an egg donor that fits them as perfect as I did.  I will continue to be thankful for you every day for the rest of my life.  Once again thank you, thank you, thank you!  I am forever grateful and you will always have a special place in our hearts.

 

Sincerely,

Your donor egg recipient


Fairfax EggBank’s Zika Virus Protocol

UPDATED FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  3/29/2016

Fairfax EggBank has been closely monitoring all new information on the Zika virus in order to protect our clients.

Based on the FDA guidelines and CDC recommendations, Fairfax EggBank has further tightened its policy, effective 3/29/16, to help prevent viral transmission of Zika. These actions are conservative precautions since there is no known case of Zika virus transmission through the use of donor eggs.

Donor guidelines:

Fairfax EggBank routinely collects information from our egg donors regarding any travel to a potentially infected area and travel of their sexually intimate partners.

  • Any donor who has traveled to a Zika area will be deferred to donate for 6 months
  • Egg donors with known and/or suspected Zika virus infection will not be allowed to donate until resolution of symptoms and a deferral of 6 months
  • Any applicant moving forward in the egg donation process is advised:
    • Not to travel to areas of active Zika virus transmission, and
    • If she had sex with an individual with Zika risk factors, she will be deferred to donate for 6 months

Recipient guidelines:

  • Please consult your health care professional for guidance and recommendations.

As new information regarding the behavior of Zika becomes available, we will update our policies and inform our donors and recipients. For more information regarding Zika please refer to the Center for Disease Control webpage.

As always, we remain deeply committed to ensuring our recipients conceive healthy babies. If you have any questions for Fairfax EggBank, contact us.


Why Donate Eggs? A Donor Egg Coordinator Shares Her Story

 

Why do egg donors decide to donate? As a donor egg coordinator for the past 15 years, I have been blessed to work with hundreds of donors and recipients. And I hear this question a lot.

They decide to donate because they care; because they have friends who have struggled to conceive; because they want to do something for others. Sure, the money is a nice bonus, but the money is fleeting. Donating eggs takes a very dedicated individual. The donors we know donate because it feels like the right thing to do.

Many recipients may not be aware of an egg donor’s journey and how she got to the place of being a fully screened donor. A donor has to undergo months of screening tests before compensation is even a possibility—and after that she has to undergo an IVF cycle to retrieve her oocytes before reaching full compensation. At Fairfax EggBank we accept less than 1% of those who apply to become a donor.

All in all, the minimum time frame is four months from screening to egg retrieval. Many potential egg donors start the process, and then quickly self-select out. For them, the investment of time isn’t worth the possibility of future compensation. Only egg donors who are truly motivated and have altruistic intentions to help others stay the course—and that motivation goes above and beyond the compensation.

Once starting an egg donation cycle, the donor’s life becomes quite regimented, following a strict schedule of appointments, injections, more appointments and more injections until the egg retrieval occurs. Donor egg coordinators speak to the egg donors almost daily during this time frame. Some are excited, some are exhausted, and some are scared.

Yet no matter how they feel, almost every single one I’ve worked with has asked me how their counterparts—the patients struggling with infertility— are doing. So many of them have expressed how they feel a great responsibility to do the injections correctly, to do everything as carefully as possible because they know how important this is to someone else.

After all, someone’s dreams are on the line.

And I think that says something important about our egg donors: They feel so much compassion for women they have never met. Only rarely do we see an egg donor who seems disinterested in the process. (Donor egg coordinators are very keen to pick up on this; egg donors who seem irresponsible are flagged by the coordinators, as we take their role very seriously.) Again, we see that money is not the prime motivation for our successful egg donors who make it all the way through this process.

Because of my role, I am often asked why an egg donor would donate. As the “middleman” on a very private journey, I have seen firsthand the reasons women donate. I have spoken with them about motivation, and my experience has taught me something very valuable: egg donors may originally be enticed by the money, but they don’t stay with the program for that reason. There is something else compelling them to proceed: a commitment to help.


Give the Gift of Hope to Families – Consider Egg Donation

At Fairfax EggBank, we speak with a wide range of patients and hear their stories. We all love the excited, grateful phone calls and emails from patients who have become pregnant and are enjoying their new babies. Those happy stories make our jobs worthwhile on a personal level.

Sadly, we also share in stories of frustration and heartbreak. As young women, we look forward to exciting careers, finding the right partner and eventually starting a family.   For many of us, starting a family is something we assume will happen down the road. Most of us could not imagine a life where our traditions are not passed down to our children or where our parents are not blessed with grandchildren.

Medical science has advanced significantly, and there is hope for women who need assistance to become pregnant. More and more this hope comes in the form of egg donation and donor egg ivf. However, even when a wide range of diverse egg donors is available, sometimes Asian families in particular have a hard time finding the right donor.  It’s no surprise that couples look for eggs from donors that have a compatible background. Patients have usually already gone through a long process of visits to fertility specialists before deciding to build a family using donor eggs. Imagine not finding the right donor after already being on such a long journey.

This is why, more than ever, we need the precious gift of donor eggs from donors of all ethnicities. This is where you can help. If you’re interested in becoming an egg donor and want to learn more, read on for more about how you can help.

Fairfax EggBank recruits egg donors all year round. We are seeking healthy women of all ethnicities to become anonymous or ID option egg donors and help infertile couples create a family. Once accepted into our egg donor program, egg donors receive $500 upon completion of screening process, and up to $8,000 for their time and travel at the conclusion of each completed egg donation cycle. Some of our egg donors have gone on to complete 6 donation cycles and received $8,000 for each completed cycle — it’s their choice as to how many times to donate. We always keep our egg donors’ identifiable information strictly confidential.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the attributes we look for in successful egg donors:

  • Healthy, educated women between ages 19 to 31
  • Reside within 2 hours of one of our partnered clinics
  • Good family medical history
  • Ability to commit to the time requirements of the egg donor program

Our egg donors provide a tremendous service to our patients. Read our egg donor stories to get three different perspectives from very special women who chose to donate eggs. If you feel you meet our above requirements, please complete our online application form at our donor site www.eggdonorcentral.com.  Consider becoming an egg donor and know that your donation represents hope to our families struggling to conceive.