Thinking about using donor eggs - need advice


#1

Hello everyone-
I need ideas/thoughts/concerns/experiences/things I should think about as I consider pursuing IVF with donor eggs.

I just jumped over from the November board as I found out yesterday my 1st IVF cycle with my own eggs didn’t work, missed m/c at 5.5 weeks. (and having already attempted 4 iuis) Heartbreaking, but I guess I have to face that I’m 42 and I’m considered old - even though I disagree.

On a positive note, I am close to making a decision I never even considered before, which is using donor eggs for one last attempt in July. I never even thought of it, but we had a long conversation with my doctor today, and I found myself kind of excited about it. It would make me very happy to know that the baby would represent 1/2 my boyfriend. And I would get to be a mom, which I want to be so badly. And besides, no one would know!

Any thoughts or success stories or things I should consider about using donor eggs? We have to decide in a month…Any info would be appreciated.


#2

Hello,

The “noone would know” statement was a bit troubling. Do you plan to keep it a secret? I strongly urge you to see a counselor before deciding to take this step. Most reputable IVF clinics have this as a mandatory part of the process but even if they don’t I highly recommend it because there is a grieving process that is a natural part of this.

As far as the “noone would know”. Your child should be given access to his/her genetic history. Secrets about origins can have a very large impact on a child or adult if they find out (harken back to when people would adopt and keep it a secret from the child). I also think that children are more sensitive than people give them credit for. They may not ever know the secret but they will “sense” something if you hide this from them. And if you don’t hide it from them but feel the need to keep it a secret from your friends or family then you are imparting a sense that this is something to be ashamed of.

When I was at the point where I had to consider donor eggs I was unwilling to go down that road unless I could find an egg donation program with open identity donation. Almost all clinic programs are anonymous in the U.S. I think this is also potentially damaging to the child because when they grow up and have questions, they will have no recourse, no way to find out about their biological roots. What if they have a genetic condition? What about more long term considerations like if THEIR children have a genetic condition or want to know about their biological roots? You aren’t just making a baby, you are creating a human being that will create other human beings down the line and those humans should all have a right to trace their heritage.

But on the positive side, in trying to address these concerns I was able to find an egg donation program that does overseas egg donation cycles at half the cost of what it is in the U.S. and they have the ability to help find open id donors.

Another positive side to this is the field of epigenetics! It’s a science in its infancy but the reality is that pregnant women and babies actually share dna during pregnancy and the pregnant mother also affects gene expression during pregnancy in many ways that are not yet understood.

I had my children through an open identity embryo donation and even our donors say that they look freakishly like me.


#3

Thank you for sharing your thoughts - it really is helpful. I should have spoken more carefully I guess. Yes we absolutely will see a counselor & we have had a very lengthy discussion about it with our doctor. I feel very prepared as far as the grieving process, after 4 failed IUIs and now this, I had started accepting the idea that I may not even have children quite some time ago. The possibility with this approach makes me so happy.
I think what I mean with “noone will know” is that I like the fact that since I have such limited time to work with, I will have ample time to decide when & how I will share with family/friends but more importantly my little person. I am in full agreement that their knowledge of their genetic history is extremely important. All in all I want to be extremely thoughtful in how I approach this, with my little person’s well being at the forefront of it all - as far as friends/family, they are secondary and I don’t feel I have to share anything with them now.
Thank you for bringing up the open identity piece - we are considering donors now (fresh) and that was one of the things I was going to check with my doctor on to confirm, I believe that is the case - because it is very important to me that we have access to that info.

Can I ask what approach you took in sharing?

I had never heard of epigenetics! That is so exciting & I am excited to learn more.

[quote=silverbrumby]Hello,

The “noone would know” statement was a bit troubling. Do you plan to keep it a secret? I strongly urge you to see a counselor before deciding to take this step. Most reputable IVF clinics have this as a mandatory part of the process but even if they don’t I highly recommend it because there is a grieving process that is a natural part of this.

As far as the “noone would know”. Your child should be given access to his/her genetic history. Secrets about origins can have a very large impact on a child or adult if they find out (harken back to when people would adopt and keep it a secret from the child). I also think that children are more sensitive than people give them credit for. They may not ever know the secret but they will “sense” something if you hide this from them. And if you don’t hide it from them but feel the need to keep it a secret from your friends or family then you are imparting a sense that this is something to be ashamed of.

When I was at the point where I had to consider donor eggs I was unwilling to go down that road unless I could find an egg donation program with open identity donation. Almost all clinic programs are anonymous in the U.S. I think this is also potentially damaging to the child because when they grow up and have questions, they will have no recourse, no way to find out about their biological roots. What if they have a genetic condition? What about more long term considerations like if THEIR children have a genetic condition or want to know about their biological roots? You aren’t just making a baby, you are creating a human being that will create other human beings down the line and those humans should all have a right to trace their heritage.

But on the positive side, in trying to address these concerns I was able to find an egg donation program that does overseas egg donation cycles at half the cost of what it is in the U.S. aaaaaaaand they have the ability to help find open id donors.

Another positive side to this is the field of epigenetics! It’s a science in its infancy but the reality is that pregnant women and babies actually share dna during pregnancy and the pregnant mother also affects gene expression during pregnancy in many ways that are not yet understood.

I had my children through an open identity embryo donation and even our donors say that they look freakishly like me.[/quote]


#4

I think telling your future child the history of their creation is a personal decision. MANY adopted children do not ever know there genetic history and they have wonderful beautiful lives :slight_smile: and alot of donors DO NOT want to be sought out. We contemplated the donor route but have decided to cross our fingers on our snowbabies due to the cost of DE. I did look over the donor my clinic offers and actually chose a girl who looks nothing like me but loves the same things as me and shares my heritage. I do have a very very close friend who chose donor eggs 10 years ago due to her age. She has never told her son of how he was concieved and I have never asked her if she plans because it is none of my business. That boy grew in her and is her whole world. Best decision she ever made :slight_smile: best of luck on this exciting journey!


#5

Hi,

My approach to sharing started with trying to conceive. I am a single mother by choice, so it’s not like anyone in my circles was expecting to hear news of a pregnancy. I had shared with many family members and friends that if I was still single by a certain age I’d be pursuing a family solo, and lots of people knew this because I was a foster/adopt approved home and had included many of those people in the home study process.

When it came to TTC, I told very few people, mostly because I didn’t want the pressure of having to update people or have people ask me if I was pregnant yet and then feel double the disappointment at a failed cycle knowing I’d have to share the bad news. When I got pregnant, I waited until I was out of the danger zone before announcing it to everyone and at that point, I told a few people face to face the whole story and then wrote a newsletter for everyone else. In the letter I included the details of my long struggle, why I had not shared while TTC, and how I ultimately found my donors. So, pretty much, I announced my kids were donor conceived when I announced that I was pregnant.

I have had a few people who were curious and asked how I found my donors, but most of those people have been ones who were considering the route themselves. It’s really been a non-issue. Everyone sees these as my children and I have gotten nothing but positive responses about the choice to be a mother and the way I became one. It really was a load off of my shoulders too. I don’t have to feel uncomfortable when someone I know (and who knows their story) says that my kids look so much like me (and I don’t have to say anything or feel like I am lying by omission if I don’t say anything) because they already know our conception story. If I meet a stranger and they make a comment about the kids looking like me and “what does the father look like” I just say “thanks” and say I am a single mother by choice. If they’re rude or nosey, sometimes I just say I was abducted by aliens, but most of the time I am open and say a family donated embryos to me to help me have children. Sadly, there are people on this planet who don’t even know what an embryo is and then I just smile and say it’s complicated and wish them well.

I’m so glad you have found a path and are pursuing it. If you really want an open ID donor, you can be assertive about that with your clinic and they may have the option but are not disclosing it. Some clinics are starting to offer open id egg donors. If you want to look into the overseas option I found it is called Global Egg Donors. It’s based in South Africa but they work with clinics across the world. Total cost depends on what country you choose but it was anywhere between 12-16K when I looked into it.

I started looking into epigenetics after my kids were born and they looked so much like me and my family. It was quite shocking the resemblance. My son looked like a clone of my brother when he was born. I also had several friends who had used donated embryos or eggs and had noticed their kids looked a lot like them too so I think it is a bit more than a coincidence. One cool story here is that I was born with a mole on my hip. My dad had a mole in the same spot and so he used to point to my mole and say that was where he “kissed me” when I was born. Well, both my twins have a mole in that exact same spot.

If you’re not convinced, here are two photos. One is me, and one is my daughter.


#6

Hi Boise:

I am in the same route as you. Just decided to go with donor eggs a month ago. Personally I never thought I could take this route but after losing baby at 19w, emotionally it crashed me. I don’t have it in me to go through another miscarraige. And I wanted my husband to have his genetic child so my mind just accepted it automatically that I have to do this if I want a live healthy baby. I am at peace now.

Thats the first and easy step. I have been researching for past 2 weeks and it is just overwhelming. It’s all about cost, cost, cost. I am from India and I can easily go there and get IVF at much cheaper price but I like the quality of treatment here and the fact that I can get acupuncture too to help the process a little bit. Even though I mentally prepared to pay 35k, I couldn’t find many donors of my ethnic background. May be 3. I am at cross roads. I am unable to decide. Should I go to India, have multple donor options, cheaper price and 50% success rate or do it here with high price, limited donor choice but 70% success rate.:grr:


#7

Thank you SO much for your thoughts! I definitely have to put a lot of thought into what/if/how I do it. But my little person is the priority above all. I unfortunately have very close family members who I love dearly but have very different approaches to life & thinking than I do. And I have friends who I’m not sure would understand or get it. So I just feel like it’s really none of their business, and I would never ever tell them first before my little person was old enough to understand first.
I am really excited about the future!


#8

To tell about DE

[quote=silverbrumby]Hello,

The “noone would know” statement was a bit troubling. Do you plan to keep it a secret? I strongly urge you to see a counselor before deciding to take this step. Most reputable IVF clinics have this as a mandatory part of the process but even if they don’t I highly recommend it because there is a grieving process that is a natural part of this.

As far as the “noone would know”. Your child should be given access to his/her genetic history. Secrets about origins can have a very large impact on a child or adult if they find out (harken back to when people would adopt and keep it a secret from the child). I also think that children are more sensitive than people give them credit for. They may not ever know the secret but they will “sense” something if you hide this from them. And if you don’t hide it from them but feel the need to keep it a secret from your friends or family then you are imparting a sense that this is something to be ashamed of.

When I was at the point where I had to consider donor eggs I was unwilling to go down that road unless I could find an egg donation program with open identity donation. Almost all clinic programs are anonymous in the U.S. I think this is also potentially damaging to the child because when they grow up and have questions, they will have no recourse, no way to find out about their biological roots. What if they have a genetic condition? What about more long term considerations like if THEIR children have a genetic condition or want to know about their biological roots? You aren’t just making a baby, you are creating a human being that will create other human beings down the line and those humans should all have a right to trace their heritage.

But on the positive side, in trying to address these concerns I was able to find an egg donation program that does overseas egg donation cycles at half the cost of what it is in the U.S. and they have the ability to help find open id donors.

Another positive side to this is the field of epigenetics! It’s a science in its infancy but the reality is that pregnant women and babies actually share dna during pregnancy and the pregnant mother also affects gene expression during pregnancy in many ways that are not yet understood.

I had my children through an open identity embryo donation and even our donors say that they look freakishly like me.[/quote]

I agree with you!!! Most experts believe that a child should be told early. I personally don’t want to start my relationship with a child with a lie. The child does have a right to know about thier genetic background. Also, I have personal experience with finding out someone was not my genetic father. My mother told me at 12 out of anger towards y father. I was so hurt about not knowing earlier. I am also suprised that she thought she could keep it a secret forever. It is because of this that I continue to question anything my mother tells me.


#9

Your daughter is beautiful! I can’t believe how much you look alike - and I love your story. I’m reading like a fiend about epigenetics tonight - it’s SO interesting. I can’t thank you enough for mentioning it to me!
I really like your approach with telling people. I still have a lot of thinking to do, but feel like I want to wait until after my little person arrives. I don’t need any judgement or comments or the risk thereof, and once the family/friends meet & fall in love, it just won’t matter when I do share.
Maybe I’ll give them an article on epigenetics while I’m at it.

[QUOTE=silverbrumby]Hi,

My approach to sharing started with trying to conceive. I am a single mother by choice, so it’s not like anyone in my circles was expecting to hear news of a pregnancy. I had shared with many family members and friends that if I was still single by a certain age I’d be pursuing a family solo, and lots of people knew this because I was a foster/adopt approved home and had included many of those people in the home study process.

When it came to TTC, I told very few people, mostly because I didn’t want the pressure of having to update people or have people ask me if I was pregnant yet and then feel double the disappointment at a failed cycle knowing I’d have to share the bad news. When I got pregnant, I waited until I was out of the danger zone before announcing it to everyone and at that point, I told a few people face to face the whole story and then wrote a newsletter for everyone else. In the letter I included the details of my long struggle, why I had not shared while TTC, and how I ultimately found my donors. So, pretty much, I announced my kids were donor conceived when I announced that I was pregnant.

I have had a few people who were curious and asked how I found my donors, but most of those people have been ones who were considering the route themselves. It’s really been a non-issue. Everyone sees these as my children and I have gotten nothing but positive responses about the choice to be a mother and the way I became one. It really was a load off of my shoulders too. I don’t have to feel uncomfortable when someone I know (and who knows their story) says that my kids look so much like me (and I don’t have to say anything or feel like I am lying by omission if I don’t say anything) because they already know our conception story. If I meet a stranger and they make a comment about the kids looking like me and “what does the father look like” I just say “thanks” and say I am a single mother by choice. If they’re rude or nosey, sometimes I just say I was abducted by aliens, but most of the time I am open and say a family donated embryos to me to help me have children. Sadly, there are people on this planet who don’t even know what an embryo is and then I just smile and say it’s complicated and wish them well.

I’m so glad you have found a path and are pursuing it. If you really want an open ID donor, you can be assertive about that with your clinic and they may have the option but are not disclosing it. Some clinics are starting to offer open id egg donors. If you want to look into the overseas option I found it is called Global Egg Donors. It’s based in South Africa but they work with clinics across the world. Total cost depends on what country you choose but it was anywhere between 12-16K when I looked into it.

I started looking into epigenetics after my kids were born and they looked so much like me and my family. It was quite shocking the resemblance. My son looked like a clone of my brother when he was born. I also had several friends who had used donated embryos or eggs and had noticed their kids looked a lot like them too so I think it is a bit more than a coincidence. One cool story here is that I was born with a mole on my hip. My dad had a mole in the same spot and so he used to point to my mole and say that was where he “kissed me” when I was born. Well, both my twins have a mole in that exact same spot.

If you’re not convinced, here are two photos. One is me, and one is my daughter.[/QUOTE]


#10

Wow I am so sorry for the challenges you are having to go through - that is a big dilemma. $35k sounds really high to me? Our doc charges $18-20 for fresh donor. I think frozen is less actually. You have a tough set of choice to make…I don’t know what I would do either…perhaps India so at least you have better choices? I guess all of our trials will be worth it in the long run, right? Keep me posted!

[QUOTE=smvgkp]Hi Boise:

I am in the same route as you. Just decided to go with donor eggs a month ago. Personally I never thought I could take this route but after losing baby at 19w, emotionally it crashed me. I don’t have it in me to go through another miscarraige. And I wanted my husband to have his genetic child so my mind just accepted it automatically that I have to do this if I want a live healthy baby. I am at peace now.

Thats the first and easy step. I have been researching for past 2 weeks and it is just overwhelming. It’s all about cost, cost, cost. I am from India and I can easily go there and get IVF at much cheaper price but I like the quality of treatment here and the fact that I can get acupuncture too to help the process a little bit. Even though I mentally prepared to pay 35k, I couldn’t find many donors of my ethnic background. May be 3. I am at cross roads. I am unable to decide. Should I go to India, have multple donor options, cheaper price and 50% success rate or do it here with high price, limited donor choice but 70% success rate.:grr:[/QUOTE]


#11

I’ve heard there are actually some really good clinics in India. Lower cost, better donor selection for your ethnic background, and a chance to visit friends or relatives if you have any there… to me, it seems like a no brainer. Anyone who is giving you a 70% success rate for donor egg is not being honest with you. Even with the best most healthiest embryo, your chances aren’t that high. I think 50% is a fair and optimistic assessment of your chances of success with a donor egg cycle. But even if it doesn’t work the first time, I would assume that you’d have frozen embryos to store and try again as a FET cycle, which is way cheaper than DEIVF.


#12

If I go with current RE and their donor, it is 24k. But the problem was not finding donor with them, otherwise I love my doctor. He did fix me good even though I got asherman’s syndrome after my last miscarraiage.

Can you tell me who is ur doctor?


#13

Actually I meant clinic success rates, not success rate of my IVF. I think it might be due to lab technicians. They play an important role as our embroyos are handled mostly by them.

And congratulations to u. I saw ur signature. Very happy for u.


#14

I go to Dr. Cristin Slater at Idaho Center for Reproductive Medicine in Boise, ID. [quote=smvgkp]If I go with current RE and their donor, it is 24k. But the problem was not finding donor with them, otherwise I love my doctor. He did fix me good even though I got asherman’s syndrome after my last miscarraiage.

Can you tell me who is ur doctor?[/quote]


#15

Boiseidahogirl- I was actually going to mention this about the clinic success rates. Being from Boise myself, I had checked out the clinic there and decided not to use them due to their low success rates on SART. It’s not that they aren’t a good clinic or good docs, it’s just that there are much better and more advanced out there right now. If you are willing to try again with your own eggs, I would look into clinics in larger cities that have higher success with women in your age bracket. Just some food for thought. Best of luck with whichever path you choose!! :babydust:


#16

Wow that is really helpful. Can I ask where you decided to go?
quote=musicgal]Boiseidahogirl- I was actually going to mention this about the clinic success rates. Being from Boise myself, I had checked out the clinic there and decided not to use them due to their low success rates on SART. It’s not that they aren’t a good clinic or good docs, it’s just that there are much better and more advanced out there right now. If you are willing to try again with your own eggs, I would look into clinics in larger cities that have higher success with women in your age bracket. Just some food for thought. Best of luck with whichever path you choose!! :babydust:[/quote]


#17

I did my FET at PacificNW in Seattle. We moved here a few months back for work. I know there are a lot of clinics in the U.S that have better success rates, I believe Colorado Center for Reproductive Med is one although they are expensive. There is a thread on this forum for women 40+ who are doing IVF and they probably have the best insight into the highest success rates/clinics/docs for your age group. I dont know anything about your labs or numbers but if it were me I might try a second opinion and give it one more shot at a clinic that has great success rates


#18

Thanks so much for your advice!
quote=musicgal]I did my FET at PacificNW in Seattle. We moved here a few months back for work. I know there are a lot of clinics in the U.S that have better success rates, I believe Colorado Center for Reproductive Med is one although they are expensive. There is a thread on this forum for women 40+ who are doing IVF and they probably have the best insight into the highest success rates/clinics/docs for your age group. I dont know anything about your labs or numbers but if it were me I might try a second opinion and give it one more shot at a clinic that has great success rates[/quote]