Anyone Under 35 with Poor Ovarian Response Using DE?


Hi Ladies -

After 2 failed IVF cycles, my RE is suggesting our best chances of a successful pregnancy would be with donor eggs. [I](*He is not saying it is our [B]only[/B] option but if he was giving his daughter advice, this is what he would recommend.)[/I] My history is in my signature but you can see we’ve never had more than one embryo make it to our 2 day transfer. On Antagonist (with 450/day of Follistim), I only produced 4 eggs of which 2 were mature and iCSI’d. Only 1 embryo survived more than 48 hours for the two day transfer.

My hormone levels are normal (FSH 4.2) so my RE suspects my ovary is simply not functioning as well as it should given my age (29 at the time of both cycles.)

Although I have two younger sisters, neither is able to donate at the current time due to personal issues. They might reconsider in a year or two but I don’t plan to wait another year just for the possibility of using a sister donor.

I know the decision for DE is easier for those in their 40’s or those with elevated FSH levels. Anyone else my age make the jump? I’m leaning towards DE because I don’t know how much more time, money and emotional energy I can spend on another cycle with just a 5% chance of success.

Would love any feedback - especially from those under 35 who might be in my shoes!!

Thanks Ladies!


Hi LDC - You have been on a couple other threads with me. I am so sorry that your sisters are unable to donate at this time. I am only 31, but I do have an elevated FSH. I know you said your FSH isn’t elevate, but have they checked your AMH? That is a better indicator of ovarian reserve than FSH is.

We have made the leap to donor egg. Although we have been through 5 cycles, only two cycles made it to transfer (see signature). We have 3 snowbabies left and are planning on doing FET in a couple months.

Being so young was the hard part for me moving to donor egg, but hoenstly we just want to be parents…so it wasn’t that tough of an issue. Since you are not going to wait for your sisters to be able to donate…here is how I approached choosing my donor.

I am mixed, so I prefered that she be mixed or at least black. I didn’t realy care too much if she looked like me (I kind of lucked out though and she actually looks like she can be related). Physically, she has a similar body type to me. I am 5’5" (almost) and weight 160, She is 5’6" and weighs 156. I obviously wanted someone much younger than me (she is 22). With respects to health history, if she had something that I had in my family, I didn’t discriminate against that. Afterall, if I was able to use my own eggs…I wouldn’t have a choice in the health history… With that said though, if there was anything in her family history that was extremely serious…I would have shyed away from her.

I also chose someone who was proven. When you are making your decision…ask your agency or clinic what they consider to be a “proven” donor. Some agencies/clinics consider a donor “proven” if she has completed a cycle…meaning went through ER…not necessarily that the recipient got pregnant from a cycle. Also, if you do find a donor where the recipient got pregnant…I would ask if it resulted in a live birth.

It’s all a bit overwhelming and if you are a control freak like me…then it will be difficult to ‘let go’ and realize that it’s mainly out of your hands.

Hope this helps a little. I am more than willing to answer any other questions you may have.



[B]Melissa: [/B]I actually thought of you when I wrote my post this morning!! I knew you were under 35 and could provide some great feedback. I’ve never had my AMH tested…perhaps I will. We are getting a 2nd opinion this Wednesday so I will ask. Did you have sisters to consider? I think the hard part is having the option of a sister to ask. Two of them actually.

I did set up a therapy session tomorrow. :slight_smile: Thank you!!

Would love feedback from anyone else!!



I am 33 …we have been going through treatment for 4 years this jan. I did 2 IVF cycles with my own eggs. I had a suspected egg quality issue that was confirmed through the IVF cycles. Both cycles I had 8 eggs that were mature but only 2 that made it to day 3. Both times I did get pregnant and both time I miscarried due to genetic abnormalities. We did a donor cycle in august that failed. I had no issue at all choosing to use donor. I felt rather then waste anymore time with my crappy eggs that donor would give me the best shot at a family. Our donor was proven and responded like a rock star. The cycle failed and the dr gave me some BS reasoning but I do have 6 frozen embies. I actually just switched dr’s and this morning found out I have uterine polyps which may have been there during the donor cycle…so who can say why it failed but perhaps this was a cause.

My donor was proven -had 2 kids of her own and 4 women got pregnant from her…so I scewed her stats a bit. It is overwhelming and as pp above said…I like to have control and with DE you just go with the flow. We chose based on ethnic background but I can tell you that the donor and I did not resemble eachother at all. We also went with unknown as in my mind it was easier-I think of the frozen embies as mine and know that if we are blessed with a child from them it will be mine 100%-it is a frough choice for some…for us not so much since we were looking to be agressive and move forward without dealing with any more guesses and such…


[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]LDC – I actually have 4 sisters, but they are all older than me. One of them would have donated, but she is 41 and the doctor probably wouldn’t have allowed it. We actually didn’t want a known donor. Although our children will know that donor egg was used, we prefer it to be from someone we don’t know.[/SIZE][/FONT]


Yep! I am 31 and using donor eggs. I think you reach a breaking point where you just don’t care and just want to start a family! Currently going through a donor cycle with my sister, but her eggs may not be good either. So I have my donor already picked out! :clap: It does suck that is happens to us under 35, but we will get through it and have our happy families! :cheer:
:pray: for you!


[B]Duffy: [/B]Thank you for sharing your story!! I’m glad you have a lot of frosties. I’m also happy to hear you feel those babies are 100% yours. Good luck to you!!

[B]Positive: [/B]I love your attitude!! I feel exactly the same way - at this point I just want to have a family and share my love. It’s not the route we originally had in mind but it is our route.

[B]AFM… [/B]I have a therapy session tomorrow to talk about using an anonymous donor. Looking forward to it!!


I am 33 and using DE. I fall into that “all your tests are normal, we can only guess there is a reserve/quality issue based on IVF results.” Nurse even said I baffled the Dr - should’ve been textbook IVF. We did a few failed IUI’s and then 5 IVF’s all with different protocols. 4 were converted to IUI as I only produced 1 or 2 follies. Last one we went through with the entire IVF as it was our last shot, but did not make it to transfer.

At that point we started looking into adoption as i was not open to DE. It just seemed wierd - DH and another person. But, as we started pursuing adoption, I became more open to DE. I started looking at it as I would have control of how I nurtured our baby for 9 months. And, this way I was only missing out on 1 of the 3 main pieces - we would still have DH genes and I got to carry. So, we switched gears and pursued DE.

We are trying this before moving to adoption and found a clinic that offers a $ back program so if this doesn’t work, we can put that toward adoption.

We picked our donor in May. At first I thought I wanted more of a resemblance, but ultimately went with a donor that I “felt”. I just loved the answers to the questions and felt a connection.

It is still hard to be younger and not have a true answer to our IF. But I am so glad we are trying DE first. Honestly, I already don’t think about the donor as much and already think of them as my embies. Good Luck at your session tomorrow!


[B]Bekee: [/B]I love your thoughts!! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’ve heard similar versions elsewhere about the embabies feeling like your own right away. And like you said, 2 out of 3 aspects of having a baby are better than none. Thank you!


LD-how did the session go??? Did it bring up any new feelings or mayve give you a fresh prospective???


[B]Duffy: [/B]Thank you for asking!! Session went very well. We discussed what I had learned in the book “Having Your Baby Through Donor Eggs” that she recommended. She also reviewed pros/cons of using known vs. anonymous donor. Here are my takeaways:

  1. People sink or swim in these situations. She has no doubt DH and I will swim.

  2. Most women who have had kids with donor eggs actually say they often forget that the child ever came from a donor egg.

  3. My therapist screens every single prospective donor who comes through the door. She said she is perfectly willing and able to offer us her opinion/guidance as to whether someone would be right for me since she knows me so well. (We do not get to see a photo or meet them so this is very valuable since she knows me pretty well.)

  4. I told her about my 2nd opinion tomorrow and she said we are smart for doing that!

  5. She doesn’t get paid any more or less for screening more donors or letting them donate. Unlike major donor agencies, this clinic pays on the smaller side so most people donating are doing it because they know someone who has suffered with IF, not to make quick cash.

So…that’s the scoop. :slight_smile: I also put down a deposit and we are officially on the waiting list for DE. :cheer: Also, DH has phone appointment with her for next week!


And I just had to say this, since going the DE route I have been looking at everyone’s kids. They don’t even look like their parents! I mean, look at Bristol Palin’s son, doesn’t even look the parents. They are both brunettes and the baby is a blonde. Just a thought I had to share. :slight_smile:


DE was suggested to me at age 31 when I miserably failed at IVF with my OE. It was a shocker since I was so young, but now have met several young girls in our shoes!

We had our DS via anonymous DE and he is simply amazing! We never think about the donor part and I get comments all the time about he resembles me in certain ways and other people in my family!

For us, it was about having a family asap so we did what we needed to do to move on with our lives and create our family! I cannot even imagine my life without my precious son…

PS We didn’t get to see photos either and we preferred it that way…I was considering a clinic that showed photos and boy, I couldn’t get those girls faces out of my mind and still remember them to this day! I didn’t want to picture my donor every time I looked at my son…but that’s just my feeling on it.

Good luck!!!


[B]LGB: [/B]I completely agree with you about not wanting to see photos!! I was thrilled to hear my clinic doesn’t share them. (Although we do get to see a few childhood photos.) Thank you for your feedback on your. This is so helpful as we navigate through this fork in the road. Thank You!

[B]Positive: [/B]I shared your story with my mom at dinner. We were laughing at all the kids that don’t look like their parents!


LD-yeah for such a positive experience. I also had picked my donor through my RE office and the person who we met with was the one who met with the donors. I did not see pics of my donor at all but did get to see baby pics of her. Trust me she is the complete opposite of me and I have no concerns. I agree…i know plenty of babies who do not look like their parents…plus there are several studies that show even though some traits are genetiaclly determined already at time of conception…there are several things that are determined by the mother (the one who is carrying the child). it is all very intreseting…plus your kid will pick up your personality traits from just growing up around you.


I’m 34 and as you can see from my signature, I have a DD who was conceived at 29. We tried to have a second on our own, but after 2 years, went to an RE. We found out that I have severe endometriosis that has damaged both my ovaries and tangled up my tubes. My RE said our best bet was IVF. We started 3 cycles, but only made it to ER with one. I had empty follicle syndrome.

After hearing that it hadn’t worked, my mother and aunt both confided in me that my sister (29 at the time) and cousin (23 at the time) both offered to donate their eggs to me. I wasn’t ready to seriously consider DE at that time, so went on to try 2 more OE cycles. Ultimately, I made the decision to move to DE because of money and the desire to have another child (We also got our foster care license at the same time.). After considering our options, we decided to ask my cousin to donate (My sister has 3 kids, but also has severe endo. She had a hysterectomy, but retained one ovary. My cousin is younger and has a DD.). She agreed and the rest is history.

There are several things to consider when going with a known donor. There is no way to keep it a secret. Everyone in my family knows we used my cousin’s eggs. Lines are also blurred. I was (and am still a little) concerned that these babies will be treated differently than my DD. I plan on being firm with people, but I can only do so much to change opinions.

I hope this helps. Feel free to ask any other questions you may have about using a known donor.


[B]Duffy: [/B]Thank you for sharing your thoughts!! I am reading more and more about the impact of 9 months in utero and how you can actually turn on/off certain threads of DNA that affect obesity, mental illness, heart disease and more. It was in Time Magazine. Here’s the article: Fetal Origins: How the First Nine Months Shape Your Life - TIME

[B]LILCBru: [/B]That is so wonderful you are able to use your cousin!! Unfortunately, the timing doesn’t work out for me to use my sisters eggs (they are both young and haven’t had children yet) so we are moving forward with donor. Perhaps one day in the future I might use my sisters egg or even my own egg. We just want to get our family started. I know what you mean about everyone finding out. I confided in my cousin who is one of my best friends. (She is married to my blood cousin.) Anyway, her husband read a text from me to her about donor eggs and now he knows. I just worry it will spread but I’m hopeful no one will talk about it.


Thanks LD…that is exactly what I am speaking about. That article was very interesting.


Hi! I’m kind of in the same boat as you. After my first IVF at 29yo, my doctor too was baffled. They only got like 6 eggs and only 2 made it to a 3 day transfer. My labs and hormone levels have always been “perfect” so my doctor too thought I should have been a textbook case. Also nothing wrong with my DH who was only 28 at the time. So with the second go at it, he changed the protocol a little, but the results were no better, actually worse. Only had one fair quality 6 cell embie at day 3 to transfer. At that point, his exact words to me were, “Your ovaries and eggs are acting ‘old’, and I don’t know why”. We moved and started with another RE. Same scenario. First try, cycle was cancelled, I wasn’t responding to the meds. Next try, same scenario as before. AT day 3, only had 2, heavily fragmented 4 cell embies to transfer. My doctor even tried to talk me out of a transfer b/c my chances were so low. That’s when DE was mentioned to me. I was 32 by that point. It’s like a few people have mentioned, by that point, I was spent emotionally and physically. I just wanted a baby. I had already accepted adoption before the 3rd try, but DE was such a better option. I get to carry the baby and it has my hubbie’s DNA! That was actually an easy pill to swallow b/c I knew it was not going to happen with my eggs. Also, do some googling on “epigenetics”. It’s this new field of research that talks about how the gestational carrier (you and me) is not just an “incubator” but actually has a lot to do with how certain genes are turned on and off. Our womb has a lot to do with exactly what kind of baby comes out. Simplistically put, if you could actually do it, the same embryo put in 2 different women would make 2 completely different babies. It’s really interesting.


[B]Amanda: [/B]Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m so excited to see that you are currently pregnant with twins - congratulations!!! I’ve also read similar articles about the importance of gestation and how much it affects a baby/child. Thank you so much for passing along your insight. We are currently reviewing donor profiles and are number 5 on the waiting list. Hoping to be matched ASAP!

Thanks so much!