Decision

Fertility Seminars

The decision to try egg donation may take many years. After many unsuccessful attempts of fertility treatment, one day your doctor might have told you about alternatives: adopting a child, or “adopting” an egg. What is important at this stage is that you do not allow your grief to break down your relationship, that you speak to each other and that you do not to hesitate to ask your consultant/doctor to give you the explanation again. Many people who have tried egg donation themselves are very open about their experience and are happy to support you. I have years of experience in talking about egg donation concerns to my clients and helping them through the difficult decision-making process. If you have questions or need any help, please do write in our question-answer section. We will use all our experience and attention to help.

The decision to attempt egg donation may take many years. After many unsuccessful attempts of fertility treatment, one day your doctor might have told you about the alternatives: adopting a child, or “adopting” an egg. I very much hope that this counselling was done in a very delicate and humane manner, because the way you hear this information may have a huge impact on how long the decision-making process will take and what the decision will be. But even after a highly professional consultation about egg donation, the first message about alternatives such as these may even not be received by you and be rejected by your consciousness. Also, you and your partner may close your souls and avoid speaking about this matter. Do not lose yourself as a couple! What is important at this stage is that you do not allow your grief to break down your relationship, that you speak to each other and that you do not hesitate to ask your consultant/doctor to give you the explanation again.

You may be afraid that your partner may not accept a child if it is not genetically related to you, or that he will love you less. Please do not think your partner is so narrow-minded, as many women in your situation have been very much surprised to find out how wise and supportive their partners can be. So please do not try to go through this difficult stage alone; just place a part of this burden on your husband’s shoulders.

Also it is important for you and your partner not to close yourself in a shell with your confusion and worries, but to know that even if you are in a sad situation, you are not the only one. There are thousands of people who are at the same stage of the decision-making process as you, or a couple of steps further, who have taken the decision and are looking for a clinic, who are on their way,  who have done the embryo transfer, had a positive pregnancy test, are enjoying a pregnancy, have given birth, celebrated the first birthday of their baby…

Many of these people are very open about their experience and are happy to support you. Just enter one of the anonymous forums and see how other people can help you, without even having seen you before!  [Link to the bottom of the page where the links to the forums are]

I have many years of experience in talking about egg donation concerns to my clients and helping them through the difficult decision-making process. I would never pressurise anyone into trying egg donation because I feel you must make your own decision. I will answer your questions and worries with attention, respect and support and will help you to evaluate the pros and cons objectively.

What do my patients report about their decision-making process?

 

“The only remaining option is an egg donation”, said the physician more or less in passing. But we’d had enough! We didn’t want to hear anything about having babies anymore. So we took a longer break. Remember to take a deep breath now and then. Enjoy life, even without children. Don’t lose sight of your spouse; after all, a relationship is more than sperms and egg cells.

…So, consider the other option: adoption. We started looking into adoption as well. My wife couldn’t really imagine raising a kid that wasn’t her “own”. But at the same time, the idea of using donated eggs became a priority once again: What if we asked ourselves in ten or twenty years’ time, why didn’t we even try? …All of these questions are perfectly legitimate BUT one can answer them oneself or find someone to answer them. So, here we go again, another appointment at the fertility clinic… There are other questions that one needs to discuss as a couple and figure out the right answer all by oneself.

So, it’s your decision! Just like it was ours at that time…And we decided that we wanted an egg donation.  If we hadn’t tried, we might have a foster child now or there’d just be the two of us. Neither of the two alternatives is bad, but events unfolded as they did.

…We made the effort and were rewarded twofold.  Double the reward!

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Moving onto Egg Donation seemed the next obvious choice but for me this was something that i'd always had reservations about…Over the next few months we did some research and the more I read up on about Egg Donation the more I wanted to give it a go. Unfortunately for us living in the Middle East it was not available and if we went back to the UK we would more than likely be on a waiting list for many years so we started to look at clinics abroad, we really wanted to have a European donor so in the end we chose a clinic in Russia…

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For me egg donation was not a big and difficult step since I believe in reincarnation, as did the early Christianity too. The key issue for me is that the soul maybe coming to us through egg donation will be spiritually connected to me or my man. We all have our lives among souls we have met before in previous existences and family constellations. We may change the position in the relations to learn more and develop.

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I had a son of 9 but my husband did not have any children. I had realized the fact that my eggs were too old – we only had one choice, we needed an egg-donor. In DK there is years to wait, in UK We could get my sister to become the donor – but that was not what I wanted – I wanted an anonymous egg-donor at very fast.

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Our two little princes have celebrated their first birthday by now and we are counting our blessings every single day. Sending an e-mail to St. Petersburg with the contact form was the most important step in totally turning our lives around.  

We are happy that we took this step…

The laughter of our two little princes is worth all the past strain and stress and we are reminded of that at least 100 times a day! 

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We wish everyone who is still hesitating whether to try an egg donation or not — the courage to make a decision! And we wish everyone who has already made the decision all the very best for a successful pregnancy!

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…my wife is 44 years old and I am 48 years old. We met each other later in life and decided we would like to have a child together. Because we really wanted to "crown" our love for each other with a child we decided to try IVF.  After long consideration we then decided to go the route of egg donation, which is a big step for any couple. The reason we went this way is that we found out that the quality of the eggs of my wife was not good enough anymore to have a good chance of success with IVF. 

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I had my concerns about becoming a father by egg donation, as I would have about any kind of donation. My wife and I had long talks about it, about going to Russia to have this treatment, mostly about how we would feel if it was a success. Would we feel different about having a child by egg donation than by “the natural way”? Maybe we men think about this in a different manner than women do? We do not have this biological clock after all.

What made us make up our mind? Well, we had our love for each other, deep and honest…

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Both of us had passed the first physical limits, he was fifty, I was forty, but emotionally both of us were ready. From my present-day perspective, I would say we made it through more than five different medical options quite well. But with every phone call inquiring whether the HCG-level was increased and getting the answer “no, not this time”, an emotional wall was building up, getting higher and higher. Adoption was out of the question for us. And I, who initially hadn’t even wanted artificial insemination, felt that treatment with donated eggs was absolutely unthinkable.

My husband pointed me in that direction nonetheless and asked me to talk about that option at an infertility center, which wasn’t in Germany of course… 

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I had thought of egg donation a lot, but was very hesitant about it because I wanted my genes to come through. I felt all along that I got a lot of support in making the right decision and I also feel very fortunate to have had a unique opportunity regarding embryo transfer, when my own uterus was “ready”. I feel very blessed that I “jumped” and made a quick decision when I had the chance. 

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We had very many long discussions about the question of egg donation. One issue in particular was whether such a donation would be accepted in our partly very devout environment. But the discussions also focused on concerns about the woman donating the eggs and if we would ultimately really accept the child as our very own. Another issue was if and when to tell the child about its origins. But only our parents and two of our closest friends each were involved in these discussions. The thought that an egg donation represents an adoption at the earliest possible moment helped us a lot in our decision for such treatment.

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I was then told about egg donation, which sounded fantastic. All of a sudden the percentage success went up enormously, although there was the slight concern that it isn't “your” egg. Fortunately though I had a friend who had just had a second child, a gorgeous baby girl, from egg donation in Spain at 47 years old. Her first, a boy, was natural and she reassured me that her feelings for the girl were exactly the same as her little boy. “After carrying a baby for 9 months, it's totally your baby,” she told me…

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After various failed ICSI infertility treatments our fertility clinic suggested that we think about an egg donation. …I was pretty skeptical at first. Would that still be my child? Would I be able to accept it? After giving the question much thought, after many long conversations with my husband and some of my closest friends and after watching a Hollywood movie about a mother’s love for her adopted son, which admittedly was very soupy, we decided to take this step and opt for an egg donation. 

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Every morning I can hear my daughter’s laughter coming from her room, it wakes me up and I’m overjoyed. She is one-and-a-half years old by now, fit as a fiddle and pretty as a picture.

…She is a wanted child indeed and the egg donation has shown that everything is possible. It’s worth going through with it, not giving up but going on fighting for it. We are going to go down that road yet again so that our child can have a little brother or sister. This was the best decision of our lifetime and I would like to encourage everyone who wants a child and is unable to conceive to pursue this path as well. 

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The wish to have a child together was of enormous proportions. But still, I needed time to get used to the idea of an egg donation. I’ve never regretted my decision and I am the happiest person in the world now that I have twin daughters. 

…the woman is the only one who can make this decision and who can look forward to the event. I had this wonderful feeling all along and was thrilled like a little girl eagerly looking forward to having two babies of my own after 9 marvelous months of being pregnant. 

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We deliberately avoided mentioning our various attempts with IUI and ICSI fertility treatments in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic.  Every single one of these unsuccessful efforts, which had started with so much hope, inflicted a lot of pain. At some stage, we realized that an egg donation was the only option left to have a baby after all. A time of reflection and contemplation began, because all things considered, this step would be more sweeping and far-reaching than we could have imagined at the outset. To cut a long story short: We resolved our doubts and made an appointment in a suitable clinic after having done extensive research. This year we became the proud parents of a wonderful little boy who is the spitting image of his father! It’s virtually impossible to describe our joy and we are so happy that we took this step. 

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After some 10 IVF-cycles with embryo transfer over the course of more than two years, I had to face the fact that fewer and fewer embryos had developed from my own egg cells and that I hadn’t gotten pregnant. This is when you have to grapple with the question: where do I go from here? I had two choices only: Adopt a child or try an egg donation. However, only an egg donation will let you capture the experience of a pregnancy as well. You can feel the baby growing inside you and live through all the ups and downs of being pregnant. And pregnancy is a special, irreplaceable time – for you, for the child and the future family as well. The bond with your child is built up at this stage already and nowadays we know that maternal hormones also have an influence on the child’s character, similar to the influence of genes.   

In retrospect, looking at things from the perspective of a happy mother, all I can say is that all the doubts one had beforehand vanish as soon as the result of the pregnancy rnd_test is positive or, at the latest, once you hold your baby in your arms after giving birth to it. Nobody cares about that slight genetic difference any longer! 

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The whole affair had frayed our nerves, we were very emotional and there was a lot of pressure on our relationship. We had a number of arguments and during one of those disputes I told my husband that I was so desperate, I might even be willing to consider an egg donation. Much to my surprise, he didn’t seem to have a problem with that either. So don’t lose heart, maybe one does misjudge one’s partner after all! 

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We tried IVF without any success. The beauty in it was that we got closer in our relationship and decided to go one step further. After recommendation from our Swedish doctor we took the decision to try egg donation…

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We started up with the adoption, but with adoption you never know how long it will take or how old the child will be. That is why we also decided to try egg donation. This decision wasn’t easy and one year before it would have been totally excluded. But the entire situation also affected our marriage, so today are we happy about our decision of egg donation. It gives us other kinds of concerns, now we are looking forward with excitement and joy, instead of pain with thought that we maybe never will be parents. 

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Only two reasons would stop me from having more babies: If I was unable to become pregnant for health reasons or if my monthly menstrual cycle stopped. But as far as my feelings are concerned I would love to have babies for the rest of my life. Here’s my recommendation to any woman who wants to fulfill her dreams of having a baby like I did: Never give up and always put your wish first, everything else isn’t really important.

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Our advice to couples who would like the same chance as us is following:

Be mentally ready for the trip, treatment and country
Have faith in that it will work out for you
Be mentally ready to be depended on medication for the first period of your pregnancy, it can be overwhelming

Have a doctor in your home country that FULLY supports you regarding medication and scanning’s — it can be tough to deal with a non co operable doctor.
JUST DO IT.

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Patient story

 

We found out quite fast that it would never be possible for us to get pregnant on a natural way, as I in the age of 28 found out that I was in early menopause - which means NO EGGS to fertilize.
Further my husband got tested and he was told that his sperm quality was bad and not good enough for natural fertilization so there we were.
We talked about our situation and decided that 2 times minus will be PLUS! 

We started egg donation treatment

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Initially my husband was very shocked and sad, it was hard for him to accept that we had to stop trying new IVF treatment, it was difficult and to early for him to accept this new alternative of oocyte donation. He saw this option as a way for me to desert or abandon the couple we were representing. To say yes to one oocyte donation was for him like saying no to the opportunity of giving life to a future family member of the family, erasing any possibility of recognizing me through this child…


…It took a lot of energy trying to get him to understand and trust that it could work, but it was not enough for him to give in. I also explained him what my local physician said regarding becoming epigenetic mother, the impact it would have on our child etc… that the presence of the embryo in my belly means that some factors will still have a naturel influence on our child regardless of the origin of the oocyte… Unfortunately, as I feared, my dear husband begin to find excuses for complaining.


He just was not ready yet, this time, he feared complications of administrative procedures…

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After the consultation, myself and my husband went back to our car and just sat there in silence. All the information was swimming round in my head, I had the shock of knowing that it was highly unlikely that I would get pregnant with my own egg and that if I wanted to have a baby, I would have to visit another country and use another woman's egg. It all felt very daunting and scary. I felt numb.

But the decision to go ahead however was so simple. When myself and my husband were in the car, I looked at him and said 'can we really say that we are not going to do this?'

He just looked back at me and 'no'

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My decision to accept egg donation was a long process, taking about 1.5 years from the first time we thought about the idea. During this time it became clear that due to my age, it would be impossible for me to have children with my own eggs. I had to discuss very carefully with my husband the possible positive and negative aspects of egg donation. The positive thing is of course that we would get a chance to have own children. Possible negative things were more difficult to predict. To be honest, after having made the decision to go through egg donation, but before getting pregnant, I was a bit anxious what I would think of these questions if we succeeded. Before I got pregnant, I was afraid that if we succeeded, I would feel that the baby inside of me was not mine. But I did not have to worry, I can honestly assure that all the time I felt that the growing baby was, and would become, entirely mine. I was very lucky to be in good health during the whole pregnancy, and thinking back these 9 months is a very good memory. Even before our daughter was born, I felt that we already had shared quite a lot of time and good experiences.

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When we decided to try to get our second child, I was 47 and my husband was 48 years. I had no more viable eggs and egg donation was therefore the only option for us. We had no qualms about choosing egg donation. Our old age was a more major topic of discussion than what biological origin our second child would have. Maybe the choice was easier for us because we have gone through an application process in connection to adopt a child a few years ago. 

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I also thought about what other people would think about my decision– but I quickly made up my mind that I didn´t care about that, which was actually a relief - I think my determination and my wish to have a child was so strong that what other people might think was a minor issue.

As if a higher power had listened to my considerations, a friend of mine, who knew about my struggle, told me in the spring of 2010 that he would like to help me and become a father himself. I felt that this was a way to make sure that my child would be able to feel genetically ”grounded” so to speak, to give her a ”genetic anchor” in her life – as well as an emotional anchor of course that a father is. So we began talking about how that kind of untraditional family could look like and work.

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Despite the fact that my boyfriend was eight years younger than me, he knew that his opportunity to farther could be low. After getting confirmation that his low count was not related to testicular cancer we moved into two unsuccessful cycles of IVF. My eggs did no longer respond to the FSH injections. No sign of pregnancy left fewer options to discuss .We narrowed these down to either egg donation or adoption. Here you find more links to forums in different countries, which have helped many of my patients to cope with questions/emotions they could not cope with alone and helped them to reach their decision.

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Do you have questions?

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