It has been over ten years since Anna first became an egg donor. A little about Anna: she is a scientist with a PhD in molecular reproductive biology and a tri-athlete who is passionate about ironman triathlons and adventure races. She first learned of egg donation when she lived in Washington, DC and happened to see a Fairfax EggBank ad in the newspaper for egg donors. Seeing the ad made Anna remember a woman she had previously worked with who had dealt with infertility. She recalled how profoundly infertility had impacted her co-worker; until then Anna had never seen the toll infertility can take on an individual who deeply desires to have a child. It made Anna think, “maybe I could do something to help people.”
After she learned everything about the egg donation process and what would be required of her, as well as passed all the necessary requirements and screening, Anna knew she was making the right decision. Understanding the stress infertility can create for infertile individuals and couples, Anna felt wonderful to know she was helping people. The impact she was making really hit home when a recipient left a gift basket and note with Fairfax EggBank for her. The note said “to our wonderful donor, we have been through IVF cycles so we know the commitment and discomfort you have had to go through to help us start a family.” Years later, Anna still has the note.
Anna shared her decision to donate her eggs with her family and says they were very supportive of her choice. She was more selective in which friends to tell and says their reactions varied quite a bit. She was always sure to mention it fairly early in any romantic relationship, just in case it was a problem, but says “it never was, but if it had been I would have had to think hard about the relationship, because it really is part of what defines me even now.”
It has been six years since she completed her last egg donation cycle and Anna is still content with her decision of egg donation, as well as her life in general. She is very happy with her home, career, and athletic endeavors. While she has never desired children of her own, she finds it comforting to know she helped other people achieve their dreams. When asked if she ever wonders about the families she helped create, she says “I do often wonder about that.” Although she has no interest in meeting them, she hopes the families are happy.
When asked what advice she would give to other women about egg donation, she says “I found it a big commitment, a worthwhile one, but I don’t think everyone is cut out for it. I think you need to be very comfortable with yourself and know what you want in life.” She also added that someone needs to be prepared for the mental and physical effects from the cycles, but as she found, if someone is committed to donating for the sake of helping others, it makes the side effects and inconveniences worth it.