To The Woman Who Chooses To Be An Egg Donor
Thank you for your kindness and selflessness. It is not an easy decision to come to. You may have heard about it from your friends, a member of your family or the internet, but the thought of donating your eggs is a noble act that needs your careful consideration.
Respect your body. Have your annual physical, and even better see your OB/Gyn to have a pap smear and ask for an ovarian reserve assessment. It could be as simple as an AMH test but the more accurate diagnostic tool would be an ultrasound to check your Antral Follicle Count. Advocate your right as a young woman to learn about your fertility as part of your routine OB/Gyn visit. Not only should you have pap smears and choose birth control methods, you should also know your potential for having children in the future.
Egg Donation is similar to tissue donation. When you donate your eggs to a couple, you will be screened using FDA regulations. Just like donating an organ or blood, donated eggs from the moment of retrieval belong to the recipients. You will have legal representation when signing the egg donor agreement and it is always good to speak to your third party fertility lawyer and ask questions (including those about payment structures and fees) before signing.
Know your boundaries. Provide the clinic or agency your availability and commit to it. Ask to consult with a mental health professional specializing in third party fertility for ethical questions and feelings regarding your donation. Although not very conclusive at this point in time due to limited studies, you need to know the risks involved as currently researched as possible. A good clinic or agency will provide genetic counseling when results of a required genetic testing come back with carrier statuses. Know that you are also a patient in this process and will be provided medical insurance while in cycle.
Be part of the fertility community. According to the CDC, one in 11 IVF cycles in the United States are done using donor eggs. You are an important piece to helping a family realize their dream of having a baby. You have a voice in how this process continues to evolve towards more success stories. Join communities such as We Are Egg Donorsand share as much as you are comfortable sharing, so that lessons are learned and positive outcomes are celebrated. Educate yourself about why someone chooses to use an egg donor to have children on infertility community sites like Resolve, IVF Babble and Pregnant-ish.Anna Baylon is a Nurse and Fertility Advocate. As Program Director at Donor Concierge, she has helped hundreds of Intended Parents find their egg donor options. As an RN, she has cared of women undergoing a variety of procedures from fertility treatments to Caesarian Sections. Anna also works as a lactation and infant care specialist with new parents in transition, when they take their newborns home from the hospital.