5 Things To Know Before Becoming An Egg Donor
Access to younger eggs from egg donors helps in the impregnating process when no other option persists. Donors are in the age group of 23-35 years as per current ICMR recommendation. Know more before you donate your eggs
Assisted reproductive technology (ART) includes finding an egg donor, sperm donor, or a surrogate
Over the years, fertility treatments have gone a long way in revolutionizing the way we tackle infertility in today's age. Most couples who marry late or are having low reserve, facing trouble in conceiving turn towards assisted reproductive technology (ART), which includes finding an egg donor, sperm donor, or a surrogate individual for the process. Since it is known that men continue to reproduce sperm their entire lives, the same luxury is not enjoyed by women. Women's eggs lose quality right after they hit 35, and even with treatments like IVF, the percentage of conceiving remains about 30%-35%.
According to the WHO, the prevalence of infertility across India lies between 3.9 to 16.8%. However, lower fertility rates are becoming more common worldwide over time due to various health issues. Therefore, it is no surprise that women often embrace pregnancy through egg donors, which gives them another chance to start a new family. Access to younger eggs from various egg donors helps in the impregnating process when no other option persists. Donors are in the age group of 23-35 years as per current ICMR recommendation. The response to fertility drugs is highly favourable at a younger age, and both the quality and quantity of eggs produced are higher.
Before you become an egg donor, here are five essential facts you should know.
1. Criteria for choosing Donors
Since this treatment process is usually complicated, it requires many tests before being accepted as a donor. A rigorous screening test is done to check any possible STDs such as HIV, hepatitis, etc. Other general tests like blood tests, ultrasound for reproductive organ screening, and other potential diseases. A psychological screening will also be conducted for evaluating an individual's mental health as it puts the donor under immense emotional stress. The evaluation is done as per ICMR guidelines.
2. Are There Risks Involved?
The procedural risks involved are relatively low but occasionally bleeding or damage to nearby blood vessels or bowel might occur while injecting the needle into the ovary, even though all due precautions are taken to avoid such complication. Rarely infection can be caused during the removal of eggs which can be managed with antibiotics. Ovarian stimulation may cause mild or severe OHSS, which could require hospitalization in some cases.
3. Does the amount of treatment time required also vary widely based on that choice?
The entire process of recommending a donor, egg harvesting from donor and frozen embryo transfer may take 2-3 months. The female partner is given medication to prepare the uterus for an embryo transfer. Two weeks after an embryo transfer, a pregnancy test is taken.
4. Collaboration with ART Bank
ART banks registered with ICMR can supply egg / egg donor/ semen sample to ART clinics on demand. Complete documentation as per the ICMR requirement is done and procedure is carried out with complete confidentiality while maintaining anonymity.
Keep in mind that the treatment process requires patience to bear fruit; it also requires an immense amount of mental and physical strength to go through it. However, thanks to advancements in research and development, success rates are becoming higher than ever. Though this process is not a cure to infertility, it certainly helps couples opt for a process of natural birth through genetic means.
(Dr Souren Bhattacharjee- Consultant - Birla Fertility & IVF)
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