Infertility, IVF, and Using Donor Eggs

new parents and important criteria for choosing an egg donor

When you’re trying to get pregnant and start your family, and it’s taking longer than you had hoped, you can feel frustrated, disappointed and angry. Why does pregnancy come so easily to others? How many more Instagram posts of baby announcements do you need to see?

If you’re having challenges conceiving naturally, you may have met with your OB/GYN or a reproductive endocrinologist (RE) to see what your options and next steps might be. Your doctor may have suggested fertility testing, fertility treatments, and – if you are still facing infertility, using egg donation – to achieve pregnancy. 

Using an egg donor? That is likely not how you imagined growing your family. Managing infertility, undergoing IVF, and then making the decision to find an egg donor and use donor eggs to have a baby can take an emotional toll on you. Moving forward with an egg donor is a very personal decision, and it’s not for everyone. However, those who choose this path have gone on to have amazing families.

What is it like having a baby with an egg donor’s eggs?

Using an egg donor to conceive can be a wonderful and fulfilling way to have the family of your dreams. Women donating their eggs do so because they have a desire to help others; in fact, many women become egg donors because someone close to them faced infertility or needed IVF to have a baby. Egg donors are selfless, giving young women.

If you are starting a journey to parenthood using an egg donor, you can prepare by doing your research. Understanding the egg donor process, egg donor requirements, searching through egg donor databases, and even speaking with an egg donation agency can help you feel more comfortable with your decision and move you one step closer to parenthood.

5 Things To Consider Before Using Donor Eggs

  1. Are you emotionally ready to become a parent using donated eggs? This may be a hard question to ask yourself. Some intended parents require time to grieve the loss of creating their family on their own and having their child be biologically linked to both parents. Deciding to be a recipient of donor eggs is a big decision; take the time you need to accept this new path to parenthood and if it’s right for you. How do you feel about carrying a baby that isn’t genetically tied to you? How will you feel once the baby is born? 
  2. Do you understand what goes into the egg donation process? Starting an egg donation journey as an intended parent can feel both exciting and intimidating. Intended parents have a few options when it comes to finding an egg donor: through their IVF clinic, through an egg donation agency such as Circle Egg Donation, or through an egg bank. Being an egg donation agency, Circle highly suggests working with an agency for a few reasons: Intended parents will have someone managing every step of their journey and guiding them through the process; a larger, more comprehensive egg donor database with qualified egg donors; and the peace of mind of having a team of people (including a lawyer!) to ensure everything goes smoothly. The process consists of finding an egg donor, matching with your donor, medical evaluations, medications, an egg retrieval, embryo creation, and embryo transfer. Your egg donation agency would coordinate all of these steps for you.
  3. What type of egg donation are you interested in? Known egg donation is becoming more popular. It allows communication and contact between intended parents (IP) and donors. You can carry on the relationship to your agreed-upon level of comfort during the process. Some intended parents and egg donors continue their relationship after their journey is over, too. In an anonymous donation, you would not have contact or communication with your donor. The contracts would use only first names, and all information would be exchanged through the agency. You can learn more about the different types of egg donation in our related blog post. Getting to know your donor is beneficial for both you and your child. It helps your child understand where they came from, provides your child with a healthy sense of identity, and allows you and your child to remain updated about their genetic parent’s medical history as it changes over time.
  4. Do you know what egg donor qualities you’re looking for? For some intended parents, this topic can spark many conversations about what qualities are most important in an egg donor! Through Circle’s egg donor database, intended parents can filter egg donors by certain traits, such as hair color, height, age, eye color, education, experience and ethnicity – the possibilities are endless. Intended parents may choose donors who look like the parent who isn’t biologically connected to the child. Others choose an egg donor based on personal interests, talents, or personality. If you’re having trouble agreeing on egg donor qualities, Circle will counsel parents to find an egg donor who could “fit in” with the family and who has similar traits to the intended parents.
  5. The cost of donor eggs. There is a financial component to growing your family through egg donation, in addition to your IVF treatments at the clinic. Egg donation costs include the compensation for your egg donor, agency management fee, legal work, and additional expenses for her travel, and so on. 

If you’re considering using an egg donor, the Circle Egg Donation team is happy to speak with you about using donor eggs, and what goes into the egg donation process. You can start by sharing a little information with us, and we will reach out to connect with you and answer your questions. Fill out our egg donation form. Read more about our egg donation program.