About 1-in-8 couples of childbearing age experience fertility issues; that makes up about 7.3 million people in the United States alone who have tried to become pregnant unsuccessfully or have experienced a miscarriage. For those couples who are seeking a biological bond with their potential future-child, in vitro fertilization, or “IVF”, has become a widely-utilized fertility treatment. However, IVF is not always successful, and for some couples, may never be successful, even after spending years undergoing several cycles of treatment. For these couples, egg donation becomes the next available course of action.
Using eggs supplied by a donor allows women who lack healthy and viable eggs of their own to become pregnant at a high overall success rate. This treatment option is used most often in women who have already undergone several cycles of in vitro fertilization, who have premature ovarian failure, or elevated FSH levels.
If you are considering undergoing treatment using donated eggs, it is crucial that you understand the process that goes into this specific course of treatment. This process is made up of 7 steps, from the initial consultation to embryo transfer and hormonal supplementation.
The initial consultation is the very first step in the process of seeking IVF using donated eggs. This is the time the woman undergoing the treatment, commonly referred to as the “intended mother,” will have various fertility screenings. The intended parents will also have the opportunity to speak with and be counseled by a fertility specialist on treatment using a donor egg.
The second step of the process is what is called a Mock Cycle, where the health of the intended mother is ensured and she can begin taking hormones to prepare her womb for a mock embryo transfer. This is done so that when she proceeds with receiving a donor egg, it is confirmed that the procedure will go as smoothly as possible. Then it is time for the intended parents to work with an egg donation agency and select a donor.
When a suitable donor is chosen and begins working with the intended parents, the donor and the intended mother’s menstrual cycles are synchronized through the use of hormone therapy. The donor undergoes an egg stimulation cycle for egg retrieval, and if that goes smoothly, the donor’s eggs are retrieved and fertilized with the intended father’s sperm. Within the next 24 hours of the fifth step of this process, fertilized eggs within the batch can be identified.
The sixth step of the process is when the embryo transfer takes place. After developing for three-to-five days in an IVF dish, the fertilized embryo is transferred to the intended mother’s uterus. Pregnancy can be confirmed within one week of the transfer. If successful, the intended mother will then receive supplemental hormones for the first 12 weeks of her pregnancy.
Many fertility specialists and treatment centers have developed an extensive list of helpful resources for those who are interested in learning more about fertility issues and treatment. Santa Monica Fertility has their own Santa Monica fertility blog that discusses a myriad of fertility issues, from miscarriage and how it can be prevented, legal aspects of egg donation, and even videos of the IVF process, and more.
The decision to begin the process of fertility treatment is an important and deeply personal one. When gathering information about the process and what it entails, be sure to get your information from a variety of different resources and your counseling directly from trusted and respected fertility specialists.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Santa Monica Fertility. Incentive was provided to me, and opinions are my own.
Photo by pattiesolace