Why donate eggs and how you can help?
Why donate eggs and how you can help? Artificial insemination and assisted reproduction is the only chance for many couples to start a family. Today, almost a quarter of the European population faces the problem of getting pregnant. Modern medicine has reached such a high level that it can help up to 90% of couples have their own child thanks to IVF methods. In many cases, however, assisted reproduction clinics need help from both egg and sperm donors. A number of factors play a role in deciding why to donate eggs, from the desire to help others fulfil their own dream to the financial reward associated with giving.
What are the requirements for egg donors?
Reproduction clinics select donors according to strict criteria, because only in this way is the highest chance of successful artificial insemination attainable. Assisted reproduction is a financially demanding process for a couple who are unable to conceive, physically, mentally and in some cases when artificial insemination is not covered by health insurance. Therefore, it is necessary to do everything to ensure that fertilisation runs smoothly and without any problems. Doctors and embryologists from the Gynem clinic carefully monitor the whole process, from the hormonal stimulation of donors, through to the collection of eggs, their cultivation and to the artificial insemination itself.
Eggs can be donated by women between the ages of 18 and 33, and in some clinics, they accept donors up to 35 years of age. The woman must be in a generally good mental and physical condition (BMI index in the norm, up to a maximum of 30). It is also a condition that she has at least a high school education. The donors are then checked for fertility, blood type is determined and the woman undergoes genetic tests, liver tests, tests for sexually transmitted diseases and jaundice. The donor must not be pregnant or breastfeeding at the time of egg donation. If the gynaecologist concludes from the examination that the woman is in perfect health, it is possible to move forward with the donation process itself.
Benefits of egg donation
Thanks to a comprehensive set of examinations, the donor will receive complete information about her health and fertility. These tests are not normally performed to such an extent, and if so, their cost is in the thousands. Another benefit is financial compensation for egg donation and the costs associated with this process. The financial reward is 28,000 CZK and a woman can undergo collection up to three times. Last but not least, giving is also associated with feeling good, because other women can fulfil their dream of having their own child.
How can I help by donating eggs?
Many couples who opt for artificial insemination have tried having their own children via many means. First, it is necessary to try to conceive naturally for at least a year, and only then is it possible to approach the methods of assisted reproduction. The gynaecologist will decide if it is possible to try any of the basic methods of artificial insemination, such as intrauterine insemination (IUI). This is a hope especially for couples, where a sperm count shows that the man has a lower sperm quality, or successful pregnancy is prevented by irregular ovulation of the female partner. The IUI method facilitates the path of sperm to the egg by applying the sperm directly into the uterus.
If this procedure is not successful, artificial insemination comes into play. And this is where egg donors can help. If the recipient's eggs are not of sufficient quality, a donated egg may be her only opportunity to have her own child. Donation is a way to end the long and difficult process of trying to conceive, donors are the only hope for many women.
What awaits the donor during egg donation?
If a woman decides to donate eggs, the easiest way is to fill out an online questionnaire on the clinic website. The coordinator will evaluate the questionnaire and invite the donor to the first consultation, during which you will receive all the information about the donation process, the doctor will go through your family history with you and you will have the opportunity to ask any questions. Gynaecological examinations and blood samples. A blood test shows:
- sexually transmitted diseases
- Cystic fibrosis
- spinal muscular atrophy
- thrombophilic mutations
- blood type and Rh factor
- sex hormone levels
If all is well, the woman will be accepted into the egg donation program and will receive the first part of their financial compensation. Subsequently, it is necessary to start with hormonal stimulation of the ovaries, which causes the formation of eggs, accelerates their maturation and improves their quality. The exact schedule of hormone dosing is individual and the whole process takes about 8-12 days. During this time, the woman has to inject hormones subcutaneously with a thin needle. It is also necessary to have regular follow-up visits to the IVF clinic, during which your blood will be taken and an ultrasound examination will take place, thanks to which it is possible to determine the condition of the eggs in the follicles. The collection itself is performed under general anaesthesia, and may take up to thirty minutes. After collection, it is necessary to stay under observation and rest for about two hours. It is then possible to go home with an escort.
Egg donation is in many cases the only way infertile couples can start their own family. At the same time, it is an opportunity to help others.
This article is translated from Czech original to English language by Bobby Pacewicz.