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I donated my eggs - AMA

23 replies

LegoInjury · 19/08/2018 09:20

Ask away!

OP posts:
gumdropbuttons · 19/08/2018 14:50

Did the donations result in any births?
If so, will those children be able to locate and contact you when they’re older? I know that children from donor eggs born after a certain time can do that
What was your reasons for donating?

LegoInjury · 19/08/2018 15:52

gumdrop

Did the donations result in any births? As yet I'm not sure. I know that both recipients had a positive pregnancy test but they will currently (hopefully) still be pregnant. I'm undecided whether I will find out whether or not the donation resulted in children, I'm entitled to know if there were resultant live births and the sex and month of birth of any children but I need to make the enquiry to find out - I won't automatically be given the information.

Will those children be able to locate and contact you when they’re older? Yes. When they turn 18 they can request my name and last known contact details (up to me to keep the clinic updated if I want to). They'll also get a goodwill message from me (written at the time of donation) in which I've indicated I'd be happy for them to contact me if they want but equally I wouldn't necessarily expect that they would.

What was your reason for donating? I wanted to. I've known several friends who have suffered awful heartache through infertility and this was my way 'doing my bit' if you like. It was what's called an altruistic donation but to be honest I feel I benefited from doing it too, genuinely made me happy to know I could help someone out there have a longed-for family.

OP posts:
BabySocksNeverStayOn · 19/08/2018 21:25

😍😍 amazing ...would have loved to have done this.

DryAsThingysFootwear · 19/08/2018 21:26

How do they actually take your eggs? Does it hurt?

twolittleboysonetiredmum · 19/08/2018 21:31

I’ve done this too and have since had my own children. Have you had children? How will/have you explained it to them? Mine are still little and I don’t know what to do about it. Mine did result in twins who are approx 16 now.

LegoInjury · 19/08/2018 21:55

BabySocks thanks, I'm so pleased I had the chance to do it!

DryAs - How do they actually take your eggs? Does it hurt? You basically do the first half of an IVF cycle to stimulate enough eggs, so that involved injections but they were absolutely fine. Egg retrieval is under sedation, which I found weird and not particularly pleasant in that I was totally out of it but not actually unconscious, basically like being blind drunk! They retrieve the eggs through the vaginal wall with a needle which reaches the follicles on each ovary. It didn't hurt at the time or afterwards as far as I remember, although there was a bit of bleeding. In fact the only discomfort really was the bloating afterwards which I did find really unpleasant.

OP posts:
LegoInjury · 19/08/2018 22:06

Twolittleboys - Have you had children? How will/have you explained it to them?

Yes, I have three small children. They're still too young to really grasp the idea. I've told them that I went to the hospital to give some other people who wanted to be mummies and daddies some of my special seeds so they could grow babies from them, and they seemed happy with that at the time but haven't raised the subject since.

I think I'll probably broach the subject properly when we start talking about where babies really come from. I suppose it partly depends on whether there are any children actually born from the donation - if not it becomes a moot point but if there are then obviously my children need to know they have genetic siblings out there, and potentially in close geographical proximity.

How do you feel about having donated now after 16 years? Was egg donation still fully anonymous then or might you hear from the children in future?

OP posts:
Bobbiepin · 19/08/2018 22:10

When you say the potential resulting children from your eggs might be in close proximity to your children, does it worry you about them maybe accidentally dating in the future? Like would your children's partners all need DNA testing to ensure they arent related or am I letting my imagination run away with me?

mammmamia · 19/08/2018 22:25

What did you write in the goodwill message?

Would you feel differently about donating actual embryos? I have some frozen and can’t bring myself to donate what is mine and my DH’s biological child. I can hardly even write that down.
Thanks for starting this thread.

LegoInjury · 19/08/2018 22:34

Bobbie - Would your children's partners all need DNA testing to ensure they aren't related?

It's a fair question and in honesty, potentially it could be problematic, although obviously the likelihood of that happening by chance is extremely low. The HFEA (Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority) hold a register of donor siblings. Inclusion is voluntary, but all donor-born children, and I think also the donor's own legal children, can register at the age of 18 to find out if they have genetic siblings and potentially contact them if so. Certainly couples can apply jointly to the HfEA to find out if they're genetically related. Of course this relies on parents telling children that they may have genetic siblings out there. I'll certainly make sure my children are aware for this very reason, but can't guarantee that the recipients will tell their children about their conception.

OP posts:
LegoInjury · 19/08/2018 22:57

mammmamia - What did you write in the goodwill message?

It was only quite short, and in retrospect maybe a bit cheesy/trite but it's bloody difficult writing a letter to someone who hasn't been conceived yet! I just told them why I'd wanted to donate, that I hoped that they'd had a happy life thus far and that I'd be happy to answer any questions if they wanted to contact me but if they didn't I'd continue to wish them all the best in life. I also did a much longer pen portrait which the recipients will have seen and which was my best effort at describing myself to a stranger - now THAT was hard to write!!

Would you feel differently about donating actual embryos?

Gosh, I don't know. I suppose technically it shouldn't make a difference as it's still the same amount of my genetic material, and if DH felt that he wanted to donate as well it should be a no brainer. But it does instinctively feel like it might be harder to let go, especially after the emotional investment into IVF. And the fact the resultant child would be a full sibling to my own children would perhaps make it easier to imagine them as a real person, and thus harder to let go, whereas I honestly don't feel any familial attachment to the eggs I donated. I think the decision to donate embryos must be a very hard and brave one tbh and certainly not for everyone.

OP posts:
DeusEx · 19/08/2018 23:17

May I ask, superficially perhaps - what level of bloating are we talking?

How much more work / more intrusive was it than a male donation (wank in a cup)?

DeusEx · 19/08/2018 23:18

Oh and do you get asked questions like family background (for health), education etc?

mammmamia · 19/08/2018 23:22

deus I’m not the OP but having gone through IVF I can tell you that egg retrieval cannot be further away from a wank into a cup. Injecting yourself every day for 2 weeks then going into hospital to have eggs removed under sedation as the OP says with the associated recovery. It’s a very involved and uncomfortable process and the OP is remarkable for having done this voluntarily.
Thanks for answering my questions OP.

twolittleboysonetiredmum · 19/08/2018 23:33

Thanks for the reply Lego.
I feel quite mixed about it all really. I’m pleased I could help someone and feel proud, in one way. On the flip side I worry it will be confusing for our children and that it will be a big issue as they become angsty teenagers etc it’s made more problematic by my alcoholic/prone to drama mother and step dad know about it and are likely to do some big horrible reveal at some point in the future. Probably along the lines of ‘your siblings’
If I could remove that aspect of it, I’d be ok to share it with them in a detached and scientific way. I think I’ll have to somehow soon, introduce the idea but I’ve no idea how!
I also hope that by the time they are old enough to understand it fully, it will be more ‘normal’ than it is now as more of their peers will be a product of a variety of relationships.
How did you bring it up that you’d done it at all? I also worry that then they’d go and tell people about it. Which I also don’t want.

LegoInjury · 20/08/2018 06:50

Deus as mammmamia says, it's a lot more involved and the actual process took almost a year from my first enquiry to donation. There was a counselling session, blood tests at various times in my cycle, vaginal swab and pre-donation scans all before I even started the IVF cycle. The post-retrieval bloating was partly due to how many eggs I produced - the more you produce the greater the likelihood of severe fluid retention and a condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome which can actually be a severe health risk. I didn't get OHSS but I'd say the bloating was severe enough to make me look about 6 months pregnant and lasted until my next period, I had to go for several checkups after donation to keep an eye on it.

OP posts:
LegoInjury · 20/08/2018 07:10

deus - the required medical/family history is just enough to exclude you from being likely to have any serious genetic conditions which may be passed on, and they screen for cystic fibrosis. Also very basic physical characteristics, weight, height, ethnicity and eye/hair colour. Other than that, it's largely up to the donor to give as much or little info as they want in the pen portrait. I tried to include things that would be helpful when trying to fill in medical questionnaires in future, eg any family history of eczema/asthma, my dad's age-related condition, even little things like I have very slight hypermobility. Also little quirks I thought they might find interesting like having a double crown/freckles. I also told them about my education and work and a little about my children although it wasn't required - I think it would be terrible as a donor-conceived child to wait until they were 18 to find out about their genetic heritage only to find out their donor hadn't provided any information.

OP posts:
MnerXX · 20/08/2018 07:22

We have a son from egg donation. After two cycles using my eggs (i am good at quantity, not quality unfortunately), we switched to egg donation for our last and final IVF cycle. We were so lucky to have our son from that cycle.

I can’t thank my donor but I can thank you. The gift you/all donors provide is tremendous.

supercalifragilistic2 · 20/08/2018 09:17

Would you ever donate to someone you knew? I.e friend, relative etc?


Do you think you will find out if the donation resulted in a live birth?

LegoInjury · 20/08/2018 11:03

twolittleboys yes, the added issue with your mum/stepdad sounds stressful. I've been very open with friends and on social media about it so everyone knows - apart from my parents! They're not on social media and I somehow felt they'd feel sad or weird about having genetic grandchildren out there somewhere that they'll probably never meet, so I haven't told them yet. But I'll have to at some point as my children will know and no doubt mention it, maybe just when it's a bit further removed and I can bring it up in a 'oh this is a thing I did back when the kids were small' kind of way.

As for how I told my kids, they were aware I was going to the hospital for appointments so I just told them in very vague terms then. I think they've forgotten completely but they're taking a big interest in babies at the moment so plenty of opportunity to reintroduce the idea whenever we're talking about X's new baby brother etc.

I think you did a lovely generous thing, I'm sure your children will be very accepting as long as it's just part of their family story growing up - that's what I'm aiming to achieve for my kids.

OP posts:
LegoInjury · 20/08/2018 11:19

MnerXX how lovely to hear you finally had your son, stories like yours are exactly what made me want to do it xx

Supercali I think I will probably find out, yes. I also need to ask the clinic if there are any frozen embryos left as potentially there may be more children in future if so.

Would you ever donate to someone you knew?

I think it depends who it was, it's a very different kettle of fish knowing you'd meet and perhaps be close to the child as you don't have that buffer of anonymity. If it were my sister or sister in law, then yes without a doubt as we're quite a close family and I would be entirely happy to have some involvement as an aunt without wanting to take on any sort of parenting role. I feel like it would be more difficult with a friend or more distant relative, to see the child growing up but have little or no involvement in their family life, but I think I would at the very least consider it carefully, even if I eventually decided it would be too emotionally fraught.

OP posts:
MnerXX · 20/08/2018 11:44

They said less than 10% chance of success with my eggs (given my history) or a 50% chance of success with donor eggs. We were close to giving up, so it was a no brainer. In a 100 million years, it is never where I thought we would be but it worked. DS knows but it is not a big part of our lives. We are just getting on with being a family now and I/we think about the donor only occasionally (he looks like DH, not me but that could have happened anyway).

We had people offering to donate eggs and/or be a surrogate (Dsis, DSIL, PIL's neighbour's daughter !!!) but it was just too close to home to have someone we knew.

A humongous thank you to you and all the donors out there Flowers including ours if she is reading this now. We sent a little card at the time to say thank you for all her help - thank you again!

twolittleboysonetiredmum · 20/08/2018 14:36

That’s a good point Lego about it being part of our story. I think I’ll just have to accept the openness on my part that comes with it. I’m very worried it’ll become a big dirty secret when really it was a gift I gave and that’s all.
Re your question about anonymity - I knew the women I donated to through my aunt (vaguely) which is why I know children happened. I donated pre the regulations so they have no right but their parenrs know about me. We are no longer in touch and i plan to keep it that way. If one contacts me, I’d be happy to share details etc but not meet really.

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