Will I Feel Jealous of My Egg Donor?

Posted in Fertility Experts on May 31, 2016 by Dr. Carrie Eichberg

For those struggling with infertility, making the decision to use an egg donor can be fraught with feelings of uncertainty. Fertility expert, Dr. Carrie Eichberg answers some common questions about the emotions surrounding egg donation and surrogacy.

Dear Carrie
I've done 7 rounds of IVF and I'm done. I can't do this to my body. Our doctor told us we need to consider donor eggs, but my husband and I are having trouble moving forward with this. I feel like a failure. I'm worried I'll be jealous of the donors when I see their pictures?

Feeling like a failure because your reproductive system is not working is a normal feeling. You didn’t grow up thinking “I’ve always wanted to use a donor to build my family.” Adjusting to using donor eggs involves processing feelings of loss on many levels: loss of having a genetically connected child, loss of control of building your family, and loss of a healthy reproductive system. Your worry about seeing a donor’s picture is likely related to these feelings of loss. She has healthy young fertile eggs while you do not.

Seeing a picture of an anonymous donor is akin to seeing a model in a catalog or fashion magazine. They are putting their best self forward in the application. You see she is tall, slender with perfect hair and has a 4.0 grade point average. But it is important for you to remember that donors are real people. They have bad hair days, fight with their relatives, and get the occasional D on a paper. You have your own individual strengths and weaknesses that the donor doesn’t have that make you special, some of those are why your partner chose to be with you. The donor is providing genetic material to you and your partner, not a life of raising children together. If you are worried about feelings of jealousy, perhaps you might select a known donor, someone you can meet and get to know a bit. She will be more real to you and this may help you see her as a partner in your quest for parenthood and not a competitor.

Dr. Carrie Eichberg is a licensed psychologist based in Boise, Idaho.

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