pros and cons of donor egg please
AngelicaJones · 07/08/2021 18:09
We have been trying to conceive since Dec 2019 and we fell pregnant in May 2020, and sadly miscarried in July 2020. We've not since conceived again. MY GP referred me to a fertility clinic where they looking at all my test results and our personal situations, there's no reason we shouldn't be able to get pregnant naturally but due to my age (almost 45) I probably only have about a year left of being able to have a healthy baby. They did suggest a donor egg was an option available to us. We have also been considering adoption, but if we are able to have one, even if it's only 50% my partners DNA, this is something we are going to research and seriously consider.
I wondered if anyone who has been through IVF with donor eggs can tell me about their experiences (good or bad) if you feel able to as it will really help me understand the reality of going through this, as opposed to just the idealistic perspective.
Unfortunately, we probably would only be able to have one shot at it due to funds.
Thank you to anyone who feels able to help me with their comments and/or experiences, or even "have you thought about XYZ" as we are just at the start of our journey with a potential IVF experience.
Phineyj · 07/08/2021 18:25
Pros: We have a lovely 8 year old who wouldn't exist otherwise. The cons are very minor compared to that.
Cons: It was expensive (2 x treatments abroad) and stressful. I tend to overreact to parenting problems as I worry they've arisen because DD and I lack a genetic connection (rationally, this is silly as DH has his battles with her too). We have been totally open with her in an age-appropriate way but the country where we did the treatments only allows anonymous donations so we don't know her full genetic history. Possible she could encounter half siblings without knowing, as UK consultant sent a lot of couples from our area to same overseas clinic. No possibility of a full sibling as we used all the frosties up, plus the expense, so we've stuck with one.
Do have a think about what you will tell the child, as research suggests it's not a good idea to spring their origins on them as a surprise when they're older.
AngelicaJones · 07/08/2021 18:41
@Phineyj Thank you so much for your comment. Please can I ask what DD and DH means? - it might help me fully understand your comments (I'm completely new to this website and all the potential IVF and parenting stuff and don't know the common abbreviations).
I'm so pleased it was successful for you. Yes, that was one of the things we were thinking about when would be best to tell the child, as we wouldn't want to spring it on them, we want them to understand of an age when they can grasp the concept in a way that was easy for them to understand and be totally open with answers to any questions they may have. The clinic we were referred to can do the procedure without us having to travel abroad, but I think due to the cost we probably can only afford 1 round unfortunately.
AngelicaJones · 07/08/2021 18:43
@Phineyj was there a lot you had to do in terms of meds? and I read you have to inject yourself regularly, is that correct?
Phineyj · 07/08/2021 18:45
I suppose another pro is that with IVF you are the customer - it's about you and your needs (and err.. your bank balance unfortunately). Whereas with adoption it's very much not about you. We were rejected as adoptive parents before doing IVF.
Phineyj · 07/08/2021 19:04
It was a while ago but yes I had to do injections to stop my cycle then restart it to line it up with that of the donor. Second time round I think we did natural cycle transfer so I didn't have to do that. I had to take progesterone pessaries, folic acid, a mini aspirin and a steroid I think. It was 10 years ago so I can't totally remember.
The different clinics have different protocols, policies and effectiveness, so do very thorough research.
I would save up for two cycles if you can. For one thing you could end up with frozen blastocysts or embryos that would have to be stored or destroyed.
You have something to think about that we didn't - your donor could contact your child when they turn 18 and vice versa (I think, check on this).
We have talked to our child about her origins since she was a baby and gave her the (foreign) name of the IVF coordinator as a middle name to keep us honest. If you leave it until you think they're old enough it could make it into more of an issue I think.
Angliski · 20/08/2021 01:10
I’ve a ds from donor egg. He is the best thing ever: predate divf with own eggs was at risk of ruining our lives and marriage. We could not have asked foe a better little dude.
Pro: he exists
Cons: doesn’t really look like me- people comment on this. Is pretty big and ppl as if it runs in the family. Pretty minor…
Will he be cross about the manner of his conception, if we tell early and make it part of his story? Only time will tell.
Helpful advice for me was to make one decision at a time, try with de, see if you conceive. If you conceive make your both choices. Then decide how to parent… and how to tell…
Also, the biological grief is iterative. You don’t have to be totally over it to take the next step. Sometimes I still feel sad about loss of own egg but I never ever regret having him. So it’s both… sad and joyful… one doesn’t proclude progress with the other.
You know the stats for your age and the costs…. So the next choice is, would you rather massively improve your stats to make and birth a baby and do the pro’s outweigh the cons? Only you can decide as a couple.
I’m part of the donor conception network and actively volunteer to help thinkers and tryers… they are really a good support network to help you explore your thoughts and feelings.
AngelicaJones · 20/08/2021 22:22
@Angliski Thank you, you have given us more to think about x
Amongstotherthings · 20/08/2021 22:30
Can I ask why you were turned down to adopt OP? Wish you all the luck sure you will make a grate parent
OneMillionSteps · 20/08/2021 22:36
We had DS using a donor egg at the Reprofit clinic in Brno in the Czech Republic. I was 45 at the time, and we were very lucky with success on the first attempt.
We told DS how he was conceived when he was around 7 - he asks questions now and then but on the whole he doesn’t seem worried about it, just took it at face value.
I’m glad that he has some features from DH’s side so we feel a sense of continuity.
Paulinefowler · 20/08/2021 23:29
I have a child from IVF using a frozen donor egg. I also have a naturally conceived child- my infertility is secondary.
I found the IVF itself to be pretty straight forward. When using a donor egg there is no need to sync cycles so I didn't have to inject myself at all. We used a uk clinic which is only 45 mins from our house which made things simple- I didn't even have to tell work.
When we were considering donor egg IVF, I spent so much time going back and forth, thinking and worrying and playing out scenarios in my head. I have to say though, that all the things that I imagined would be a problem have, so far not been. My daughter is healthy and beautiful and loved and doted on by our whole family. She is the sibling that was much needed by my genetic child, and he adores her.
I only worry that my donor baby will be upset when she comes to understand the situation. I just hope I will be able to support her to deal with it however she feels fit.
Sorry to ramble-long story short: the pros outweigh the cons by miles.
Angliski · 21/08/2021 04:21
@OneMillionSteps our ds was ‘made in the Czech republic’ too! Currently cycling for sibling @Paulinefowler it’s really interesting to hear your experience. Sometimes I wonder if there would have been any difference in love for oe but time and again folks with a natural conception and a de child in one family tell me it really makes no difference.
Op I also have this perspective. I believe our children choose us, our set up and characters. So I needed to create a body for my chills to enter. The child I got was always meant to be my boy and this was always meant to be his story :)
AngelicaJones · 21/08/2021 08:04
@Amongstotherthings We haven't been turned down for adoption, we've not started the process yet, it's something are are considering
AngelicaJones · 21/08/2021 08:07
@OneMillionSteps thank you for sharing your story, I'm glad it all worked out for you
OhFFSNotAnotherVirus · 21/08/2021 08:13
I have an almost 2-year old DD from donor eggs and I can't imagine loving her more. She's my daughter, it's that simple! Definitely a few funny-uncomfortable moments in the last year or so, though - people remarking that she looks less like her dad and more like me now, that kind of thing. And I do wonder how I'll feel if/when she contacts her genetic mother when she's old enough - but actually, I'd love the opportunity to thank the donor from the bottom of my heart for giving us our amazing child.
Do you have any specific concerns/worries, @AngelicaJones?
AngelicaJones · 21/08/2021 08:14
@Paulinefowler thank you for sharing your story, I think the hard thing will be finding the right age to talk about it so they understand.
Donimo · 21/08/2021 08:59
I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your stories. I have just read these and it has reassured me we are doing the right thing. We accepted a donor a few weeks ago and look to start donor egg treatment next month. We already have a 2 year daughter who was naturally conceived. So I found @Paulinefowler post really supportive as we will be in a similar situation with siblings
Paulinefowler · 21/08/2021 09:54
Just re-read my post and realised I missed out a word it should have said: "When using a frozen donor egg there is no need to sync cycles".
@Angliski @Donimo I feel the exact same love for my children, and that was the thing I agonised over the most. Turned out not to be a problem at all.
54321nought · 21/08/2021 10:00
I have two donor- egg nieces
I don't know much about the ins and outs
they are adored by both parents and happy
One potential brother in law became an ex potential brother in law after making some comment to my other sister about them not being "real" nieces
IsabelHerna · 25/08/2021 15:09
Hey there, I don't have any advice for donor eggs but I am going to use donor sperm.
I know it's expensive, but as I don't have any other option, I am focusing on the pros. I can choose the best kind of sperm for my baby, it will be extensively tested for health and mental health issues and it will be tested to be a good match for me.
I am sorry I cant help more, but I wish you good luck!
Carajillo · 27/08/2021 18:34
I think you have had some great responses. I would just echo what has been said already about the Donor Conception Network which is such a great resource for those thinking about using a donor. They run workshops for preparing to use donor conception and have a helpline where you can talk to someone about your questions.
I would urge you to do your research, especially if going abroad to a country with anonymous donors. Also think about the support you might need in telling your child, preferably from the very start.
My children are now 14 years old and were conceived in Spain with anonymous donors and only age and blood group information. This has had a real negative effect on them in that I just cannot answer basic questions like how tall their donors are, what nationality they are etc. This had led to my children submitting DNA to 'find out where they come from' and with the potential to find donors and siblings.
In the UK and other countries (Portugal, Scandanavia) any donor conceived child has the right to find out the identity of their donor at 18. Donors are never given the identity of their offspring but can find out whether their donation resulted in a child plus gender and year of birth of any children.
Be aware that DNA testing is very widespread now, with both DC people, their parents and donors looking for genetic relatives.
I hope that is helpful and lots of luck! xx
youvemademyshitlist · 03/09/2021 14:44
Hi, I'm a little late to this thread but I'm currently going through my first cycle using donor eggs so I thought I'd chip in.
We've been ttc for 4 years in total. We've had 3 cycles of own egg ivf and one FET - the FET resulted in a positive test but I miscarried.
Our embryo quality was middling, not brilliant, not awful but due to our ages (me 40, DH44), we felt that the quality wasn't there, the clinic said we could continue but our bank balance wasn't happy!
We did loads of research into donor conception, the impact on us, any child we might be lucky enough to have, our extended families etc.
The Donor Conception Network website has been a great resource - especially reading the thoughts of donor conceived offspring who are now adults, although most of them are the result of sperm donors and some struggle with the large number of donor siblings they have - not as much of a problem with egg donation.
It's a really personal choice but we decided to use a UK clinic so that any children we have will be able to find out who the donor is if they want to when they're an adult. We've also decided to be open from the start (if we're successful!), there are age appropriate books you can buy to explore the story together - I read loads of examples of parents telling their babies about them being donor conceived before they can really understand - whilst changing nappies etc, so that they can 'practice' talking about it out loud and means the child just "always knows", the same way, I've "always known" my mum and dad are my biological parents.
I reconciled not having the biological link when I read up on epigenetics - there seems to be early research that the uterine environment influences which genes are switched on/off so during pregnancy, "I" would be shaping who my son or daughter is, that's even before my influence in being their mother day to day.
We chose frozen donor eggs so I didn't have to sync my cycle, it's been a bit easier than a regular ivf cycle as there's no egg collection. I've had to inject myself with buserilin daily to stop my ovaries from doing anything, then take oestrogen tablets to build my lining up, that's it. I've started the progesterone pessaries this morning, and I will have to start intramuscular progesterone injections but that's not something everyone does.
We chose a 2 cycle package so we paid £14000 for 2 cycles, if we're unsuccessful, we'll get 50% of that back. We'll see if the gamble pays off.
Whatever you decide to do, good luck. I really hope you get the family you want.
Donimo · 05/09/2021 07:39
Hi @youvemademyshitlist where are you in your cycle now? I am due to start our donor egg treatment in my next cycle (hopefully). We are doing fresh so just timing it all at present.
We only did 1 regular cycle of ivf prior to going this route but had such a poor result that didn't want to go through that again.
We are also using a UK clinic and donor for the same reasons as you. But also I didn't feel right with clinics abroad paying the donors. The donor we are using is very much altruistic and the reason she gave for donating her eggs is truly lovely, this is what made me confident we are doing the right thing.
Good luck to you
youvemademyshitlist · 05/09/2021 09:04
Our embryos are currently growing to day 5, all being well, I'll be going in for transfer on Wednesday. Then comes the dreaded two week wait!
It's taken us a long time to get to this point. We started exploring egg donation in November but we wanted to be sure. We also have an altruistic donor, she's donated after watching people in her life struggle with infertility. It's a wonderful thing for someone to do.
I imagine a fresh egg donation cycle is a little more complicated and a lot more medication. It's a gruelling process so take care of yourself. Wishing you lots of luck.
To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.