The Mommyish Definitive Guide To Infertility: Using A Sperm And/Or Egg Donor
Your infertility struggles have led you to a crossroads. The bad news is that for whatever reason, you or your partner doesn’t have viable reproductive genetic material. The good news is your body is capable of carrying a pregnancy if you use a donor to supply the necessary sperm and/or egg. Grab your life’s savings and a large chunk of time to dedicate to the project- here’s what you need to know about the process of selecting a sperm or egg donor.
How does a pregnancy using sperm/egg donation happen?
Just the facts
If using a sperm donor, the donation can be fresh or frozen and is obtained via masturbation by the donor. Your doctor can insert the sperm during an interuterine insemination (IUI) or utilize the sperm during in vitro fertilization (IVF).
If using donor eggs, the process is the same as that for IVF, except that it’s split into two parts. The donor takes the medications to stimulate egg production and gives herself the trigger shot of HCG to produce the eggs, then undergoes the egg retrieval. Meanwhile the recipient takes medications to match her cycle to the donor so that the recipient’s uterus will be ready for implantation at the same time the embryos are ready to be transferred. 3-5 days after the eggs are retrieved from the donor, the embryo(s) are inserted into the recipient.
The real deal
If there is any silver lining to being a woman who is using an egg donor to get pregnant instead of IVF with your own eggs, it is that you don’t have to undergo the egg retrieval process. Sure, remembering to take multiple pills and injections isn’t a picnic, but avoiding having to be sedated and feeling like a bloated balloon is a plus. Also, by using donor sperm or eggs with IVF, you know that the doctor is transferring an healthy embryo. For a couple having difficulty getting pregnant, it can be comforting to know part of the battle is already won.