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Women seeking fertility treatment I desperately need your opinion...

(21 Posts)
Magurndy Fri 10-Jun-11 21:26:11

Hi,

I have a friend who has recently turned 20 years old. She has suffered depression from feeling extremely broody. Now for a long time she has been considering donating her eggs for use in fertility treatment. Her view is that whilst she can't have children now she would like to help those who are in the same position as her but for fertility problems. Now whilst i believe this is an incredibly noble thing to do I am extremely concerned that she is putting herself at risk at such a young age. There are several very severe risks that can occur whilst undergoing follicle stimulation, possible fertility issues for the future and even the extremely small chance of death as a result of the stimulation.

I have told her that if she is to do this she should wait until she has her own family and then the risk of a loss in fertility would not be so bad. She desperately wants a family of her own and if anything was to happen to her as a result of this i feel she will feel extremely awful as a result. The procedure itself is quite traumatic, a series of injections that could affect her moods a multitude of vaginal ultrasounds. She is still a virgin and has no experience of the pain that vaginal ultrasounds can cause and her own personal life at the moment is in upheaval as she is preparing to move away for university in september. I personally feel that women who are receiving fertility treatment would not want someone so young to risk their fertility and potentially put themselves into a similar situation as a result of helping them.

Sorry for a mass of text there, i am really hoping to gain some views from the women who would be benefitting from these egg donations. Either for or against a women of my friends age and background doing this so that it can either justify my friends argument for doing it now and settling my mind or for me to show her that whilst she is doing an incredibly thing she should be waiting till a calmer time in her life and when the risks for her are less.

Thanks

plumtrees Fri 10-Jun-11 21:36:44

What a very generous friend!

I completely understand your concerns for her and yes donating eggs isn't without risk.

I'm not going to say - yes she should do it, or no she shouldn't. It's her choice but I think there are things that she should know before she starts down the path.

I don't know whether I'm unusual but having just been through IVF and having 16 eggs collected, I can tell you 10 days on I'm still extremely uncomfortable. For the first day and a half I could hardly get out of bed for the pain. Having said that, I found the down-regulating and stimulation stage of the treatment a walk in the park. I didn't suffer many side-effects and the clinics are exceptionally cautious about over-stimulating the ovaries and risking OHSS which can lead to death.

These days clinics are very cautious and I believe it's fairly rare for this to happen. It may be that your friend, if she chose to go for donation could keep some of the eggs and freeze them for her own future? That way she would be minimising the risk to her fertility and would mean no matter how old she was, if she used the eggs, they would give her the same fertility level that she currently has. Just an idea.

It's natural for you to be concerned about your friend but if she is well advised on what the process will be and is prepared for the pain and discomfort (that perhaps not everyone suffers) then I think most women facing a future without children would be eternally grateful for the chance she is giving them of a family. I know people who have donated embryos after successful IVF treatment and they feel enormous pride that they might have helped other couples to find their happy ending. They are also quite excited by the possibility that they might have a young adult turn up at their door at some point in the future who was the result of their donation. Is your friend aware that any children could choose to find her when they become adults? (I assume you're in the UK?)

Hope that all helps - sorry for the waffle!

eurochick Fri 10-Jun-11 21:52:56

Can I be frank? Feck it, I'm going to be.

I think she needs counselling rather than doing this. Egg donation is an incredibly noble thing to do, but her motive of doing this in response to her own feeling of broodiness makes me very uneasy. The fact that she is a virgin and probably pretty immature (ok, that's my assumption and I accept it is only an assumption) when it comes to relationships and sex is another alarm bell. How would she deal with knowing that someone who is half her biological child being brought up by someone else, never knowing what they look like or are like? These are things everyone donating eggs has to think about, and are v serious issues.

plumtrees Fri 10-Jun-11 21:57:06

Sorry I missed the fact your friend is a virgin... umm, I have to agree with eurochick. I think having a trans-vaginal scan could be extremely traumatic for her.

Tell her to wait five years and then see how she feels. There will always be people out there desperate for donor eggs.

OddBoots Fri 10-Jun-11 22:00:30

I would like to think that and clinic ethics committee in this country would decline to accept your friend's kind but worrying offer or at the very least ask her to come back in a few years.

Magurndy Fri 10-Jun-11 22:02:23

Firstly Plumtrees what you say about freezing her own eggs is a very good idea and i will suggest that to her if she does continue with doing this and i will share your experience with the pain with her, i had a coil fitted which left me bed ridden in pain for a while and i would imagine that to be nothing on the scale of the pain you experience during this procedure so that concerns me. Eurochick i agree that i feel she is not in the right frame of mind at the moment for this, she is leaving her home town to train as a midwife in september and her extreme broodiness gets her down a lot she said she wants to help women who can't have children naturally to have children as she can't and she feels "she shares their pain". I too have suffered intense broodiness and in December last year i lost an unplanned pregnancy and whilst i think egg donation is a very noble thing to do it is not a good way to deal with this. The issue about her biological child wandering around is also what concerned me as i feel she would not be able to let that go she would always want to see them and i told her she could pass them in the street and never know and i think it would drive her crazy at the moment. I have urged her to wait till she has had her own family and then this would be a smaller concern, she is so young at the moment. She is still a virgin because of religious beliefs, i personally feel she is not an ideal candidate right now and i would fully support her if she did this later on in her life.

Magurndy Fri 10-Jun-11 22:08:45

I know that transvaginal ultrasounds can be very painful even if you are not a virgin. I personally turned one down when i had my miscarriage but i am a student radiographer and have witnessed women having them and they can be extremely uncomfortable, i would not want her to experience that without some sexual experience. I had trouble with intercourse when i was younger and had to have dilators and even though i was in complete control it was still rather scary so to just jump in and have vaginal ultrasounds with no sexual experience would be very scary to me.

eurochick Fri 10-Jun-11 22:41:15

Also, I might be wrong about this as I am only going by a friend's account of IVF rather than personal experience, but don't they extract the eggs through the vaginal wall? It's not a pleasant procedure from what I have been told (but a worthwhile means to an end for those helped by IVF).

plumtrees Fri 10-Jun-11 22:45:45

Yes Eurochick, that's exactly how it's done - but you are heavily sedated and in la-la land when they do it so you're not aware what's going on. Still, not something a young inexperienced girl needs to subject herself to!

Pipbin Fri 10-Jun-11 22:57:54

I agree with others here, she needs counselling.

Magurndy Fri 10-Jun-11 23:06:07

I agree to obviously, however she will not be honest with the counsellor i have tried her to go to one before because of this, she is also having some other personal problems at the moment that have been affecting her but she refuses to be honest with them she just can't bring herself to be honest. This also concerns me when they do the counselling and assessing of her before they go ahead with the procedure, it is also not long before she moves away to uni and she thinks that this would be all over by then. I am not so sure but then i do not know how long it would take for this to be done. I am all up for supporting her when she is older with this but right now i cannot bring myself to see my friend go through something so painful and risky for her circumstances. I think psychologically it will effect her and it could effect her sexual experiences when she does have them....

bugsylugs Sat 11-Jun-11 00:10:04

have a look at http://www.ngdt.co.uk/donation-and-the-law I'm sure you have. I would like to think any reputable clinic after counselling her would advise waiting. She is obliged to give past medical history including mental health. I would be really worried about her doing this when she is in a fragile state and she is about to undergo a big upheavel in her life and is starting a course which I am sure she will enjoy but could be personaaly hard for her as well with regards her broodiness. Good luck, you are akind and good friend

MattiR Sat 11-Jun-11 00:32:37

Ok, hi guys...I feel as I'm the one being talked about here I should get some say. Apart from how angry I am at the massive invasion of privacy by one of my "best friends" I want to reiterate (to her, and to all the lovely people that responded here) that I am ONLY going for the initial consultation and the counselling, no blood tests, no scans, no obligation. Yes, I really want to do this, yes I have looked in to all the risks, yes I understand the possible consequences with regard to anonymity and the possibility of a child being genetically half mine. I have a blog post about it, and a thread on another forum, if anyone is interested I will post the links. I also am aware of the possibility of increased discomfort/pain during the procedure and am happy to discuss this with the doctor at the consultation. I am happy to accept it, if they say they can't use me as a donor...but I am going to try because I know how hard it is to want a child and not be able to have one, and one day I will have my own family...but if my 20 year old eggs give someone else a chance to have that baby they have always wanted, then I am willing to give them that chance. I'm not crazy, I've thought long and hard about the decision....agonised over it, and I will do it, with or without my friends (although, ideally with)

Thanks for the honest responses on here

MattiR Sat 11-Jun-11 00:32:55

Ok, hi guys...I feel as I'm the one being talked about here I should get some say. Apart from how angry I am at the massive invasion of privacy by one of my "best friends" I want to reiterate (to her, and to all the lovely people that responded here) that I am ONLY going for the initial consultation and the counselling, no blood tests, no scans, no obligation. Yes, I really want to do this, yes I have looked in to all the risks, yes I understand the possible consequences with regard to anonymity and the possibility of a child being genetically half mine. I have a blog post about it, and a thread on another forum, if anyone is interested I will post the links. I also am aware of the possibility of increased discomfort/pain during the procedure and am happy to discuss this with the doctor at the consultation. I am happy to accept it, if they say they can't use me as a donor...but I am going to try because I know how hard it is to want a child and not be able to have one, and one day I will have my own family...but if my 20 year old eggs give someone else a chance to have that baby they have always wanted, then I am willing to give them that chance. I'm not crazy, I've thought long and hard about the decision....agonised over it, and I will do it, with or without my friends (although, ideally with)

Thanks for the honest responses on here

MattiR Sat 11-Jun-11 00:33:15

woops sorry double post

OddBoots Sat 11-Jun-11 10:30:28

Of course you should have some say MattiR. Your friend hasn't identified you and I am sure she has only posted out of concern for you, this kind of thing does worry people.

I was 22 and hadn't finished my own family when I had IVF and became pregnant with my first surrogate baby. Everything went well and I have no regrets, he is a lovely lad and still in my life but I do question the decision of the clinic to let me go ahead. I was sooo naïve and I am not too sure how I would have coped if things hadn't gone as smoothly as they did. Friends and family were very worried for me and if the internet was as popular then as it is now I could just imagine a post like this about me.

I hope the consultation goes well whatever you decide to do afterwards.

Magurndy Sat 11-Jun-11 16:31:12

I was hoping that if she wouldn't listen to her friends she might listen to the women who have experienced or who potentially are gaining from an egg donor. I am really hoping she takes into account what you all say. I tried to do this as anonymously as possible so that it could be about anyone but there we are at the end of the day i am primarily concerned about my friend's future physical and mental health. I would fully support her if she chose to do this further down the line as would all her other friends i am sure. I am just very concerned about the motivation for doing this at this point in her life when she is suffering in certain circumstances....

MattiR Sat 11-Jun-11 17:55:40

Thank you, I do appreciate the concern and I promise that I will be honest with the doctor and the counsellor...then if they say no, they say no I won't pursue it further at this time, if they say yes then I'm going to take more time to think about it, before I move ahead with it...or don't, as the case may be. I'm not taking this lightly, not in any way.

MarioandLuigi Sat 11-Jun-11 18:00:27

Im confused.

MattiR Sat 11-Jun-11 18:10:33

Hi MarioandLuigi, I can try and help...I'm the girl who wants to be an egg donor... Magurndy's friend, the original post was about me.

MarioandLuigi Sat 11-Jun-11 18:18:02

Riiiiiight.

hmm

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