The ABC of egg donation
There are many couples across the globe that is struggling for parenthood. The aspects are multiple and so are the treatment methods. Sometimes it is a minor problem that is causing infertility and Doctors are able to treat it easily. The time, money and efforts all are very minimal. However, some aspects of infertility are very complex and even experienced doctors are unable to find out the exact reason. International Fertility Centre, New Delhi has been working in the field of research and development of infertility and under the guidance of Dr. Rita Bakshi it is engaged in providing the best treatment for the childless couples. The eagerness to have a child is universal and across the countries, cultures and societies couples feel deprived of the biggest pleasure of life if they are unable to conceive after few years of try. Among various options that are used by the experts to bring a new dawn in the dark life of those who are not blessed with a baby, egg donation is also one of them.
The need of egg donation
The complexity of infertility gets increased when a female has problems in ovulation, the process of production of eggs. In this case, there is no other alternative then taking healthy eggs from a donor that can be fertilized with the sperm of the male partner. According to Dr. Rita Bakshi of IFC, there are many cases when the female is able to produce the eggs, but there are some fundamental genetic shortcomings or diseases that might get carried forward in the next generation. Therefore, experts suggest not using the eggs of genetic mother. Although the parents know very well that the intended mother won't have any genetic connection with the baby and only father will be contributing in the birth. However, this option is much better than adoption where there is no genetic connection at all. Social activists, reformers and thinkers praise adoption much and there are certainly positive factors as well, but couples sometimes prefer egg donation over adoption. The process of egg donation is quite complex and require tremendous coordination between the intended couple, the doctors and the egg donor. However, there are clinics like International Fertility Centre that work with utmost care and sincerity to make it a success.
Prerequisites for selection of donor woman
Infertility clinics are very particular about the selection criteria of egg donors and there are valid and logical reasons behind it. Dr. Rita Bakshi of IFC refers it as the 'most critical juncture' of the whole process. The doctors have a challenge of matching physical as well as other aspects of donor woman with the intended mother. The baby is going to carry genetic characteristics of the donor woman and therefore she has to be as close as possible with the intended couple. This would resolve problems regarding the physical appearance of the baby in the later time. The educational and intellectual background is matched to ensure the overall mental status of the baby. Of course, these precautions do not guarantee 100% matching, yet it makes it as close as possible. The main prerequisites are:
- Age between 20 to 40 years
- Good physical and mental health
- History of at least one successful pregnancy
- Ability to take risk and willingness to help others
- Positive attitude and high degree of motivation
- Readiness to take physical and mental strain
Types of egg donation
There are three types of egg donation and any of these is used according to the choice and desire of intended couples and the egg donor. It purely depends on the intention and willingness of both parties about what type they want to adopt. Infertility clinic never puts any pressure or judgement on it.
Open egg donation: When there is complete transparency between egg donor woman and the intended couple and they know each other by face and by name. Normally this happens when the donor is a known person or relative. Both parties are clear about future relations of the baby and egg donor. In very rare case it happens that both parties agree to go with open process when they are unknown and not related with each other.
Semi open egg donation: In this type, egg donor and the intended parents interact with each other without knowing the personal details. They chat, talk using phone or SMS each other to resolve the queries, clear the doubts and to maintain a harmony in relationship. However, they never ask personal questions or try to reveal the identity. This makes both parties comfortable and relaxed about the whole process. However, they are not very much interested in knowing each other in person and want a purely formal relationship.
Closed egg donation: In this type, no interaction happens at all. Doctors play the role of the mediator. No information about each other is exchanged and they never know who has donated the eggs and who has used. Some people are more comfortable with this process and do not want any interaction during or after the process.
Process of egg donation
The process of egg donation is certainly complex one and needs a great degree of patience and positive attitude. In fact, more than the medicine and treatment high morale and motivation give success. The involvement of two females makes the thing more complicated because ovulation cycles are different. Doctors use external hormonal injections and pills to match it. Once the ovulation timing is synchronized, doctors extract matured eggs from the donor woman and keep them preserved. Normally one egg is produced in one ovulation cycle, but for egg donations multiple eggs are matured using medicines. Intended mother is given special drugs to make the uterus ready for pregnancy. The father donates sperms that are used for In Vitro Fertilization in the laboratory. In the process of egg donation, multiple embryos are produces through IVF and two or three (depending on intended mother's age) planted in the uterus. The growth is monitored continuously and after two to three weeks the pregnancy is confirmed.
Egg donation has become a great measure to bring happiness in the life of childless couples. The woman who has left all the hopes of enjoying motherhood because of some biological problem or disease can also think of enjoying it with this option. There is no doubt that egg donor also plays a key role. Without her willingness and readiness to help it is not possible at all. The process is long, complex and with various ups and downs. Complete coordinated efforts of egg donor, infertility clinic and intended couple can bring the dream of parenthood in a reality. The development in medical science has brought revolution in infertility treatment. Couples can expect the possibility of pregnancy with these advance techniques although it may require a long time and dedicated efforts.