Blog > The pros and cons of using donor eggs

The pros and cons of using donor eggs

It's normal to want to understand the full picture of any fertility treatment you are considering. In this article, we look at the advantages and disadvantages of using donor eggs.

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Written by Apricity Team
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    Embarking on the path to parenthood with the assistance of fertility treatment can involve considering various options, including IVF with donor eggs.  

    Even though using donor eggs offers hope to those who face barriers to achieving pregnancy without a little help, we understand that the decision to use donor eggs involves weighing up the advantages and challenges of treatment.

    In this article, we explore the pros and cons of using donor eggs. By shedding light on both the benefits and potential considerations, we aim to empower you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision about your fertility journey.

    The advantages of using donor eggs

    Expanded family-building options

    Around 1 in 6 heterosexual couples in the UK experience infertility according to the World Health Organisation. Moreover, many individuals have genetic or medical conditions that impact their ability to conceive. Donor eggs offer a chance at parenthood for these individuals and couples who have trouble getting pregnant using their own eggs.

    Donor egg IVF also provides an option for LGBTQ+ individuals and partners, including same-sex male couples and transgender people, who do not have their own eggs and/or need a surrogate to have a child.

    Increased chance of a successful pregnancy

    Donor eggs can significantly increase the likelihood of a successful pregnancy, particularly for individuals or couples who have struggled with infertility due to issues with egg quality or quantity, and for women over the age of 40.

    According to data released in 2018 by the HFEA, the chances of a live birth more than double for a woman over 40 when using an egg donor. And if you’re over 43, IVF with donor egg success rates are seven times higher than if using your own eggs. At Apricity, we have an 88% cumulative clinical pregnancy success rate using donor eggs and our success rates are higher than national averages, regardless of age.

    Using donor eggs is incredibly safe

    The IVF donor egg process is a highly regulated and safe procedure that prioritises the health and wellbeing of you and your egg donor.

    For the women undergoing egg donation, screening processes are thorough, identifying individuals in good physical health and free from genetic disorders or infectious diseases. Donors also undergo comprehensive medical evaluations, including physical exams, genetic testing, and psychological assessments, to ensure their suitability for egg donation and the quality of the eggs they donate.

    In addition, the process of fertilising donor eggs and transferring the resulting embryos into your uterus is performed using advanced technologies and state-of-the-art equipment, under the careful supervision of fertility specialists and embryologists.

    Emotional support

    Many clinics, including Apricity, offer counselling and support services to help individuals and couples navigate the emotional complexities of using donor eggs. We provide unlimited supportive counselling for egg donor recipients and, as we operate on an at-home care model, you can access this support online from the privacy and comfort of your own home. 

    Our digital resources and virtual consultations provide invaluable support throughout the IVF with donor egg process, fostering a sense of understanding and ensuring you never feel alone.

    Excess embryos can give you the option to try for more children in the future

    Another advantage of undergoing IVF with donor eggs is the potential to create additional embryos during the fertilisation stage. These embryos can then be frozen and stored for future use, offering the possibility of additional attempts at pregnancy.

    Storing excess embryos provides flexibility and peace of mind if you want to expand your family in the future. It allows you to take your time in deciding if and when you are ready to pursue another pregnancy.

    egg donor heart sign

    The disadvantages of using donor eggs

    Financial costs

    No private fertility treatment comes without cost and donor egg IVF is more expensive than IVF with your own eggs due to the extra steps involved. However, Apricity has a transparent, all-inclusive pricing structure, so that you can manage your expenses effectively and don’t have to worry about hidden costs once treatment has begun. The price you pay includes our donor search and match service and all treatment, monitoring, consultations, and medication.

    We have a range of egg donation packages to suit the unique needs of our patients. With our 1:1 fresh egg donation package, for example, all of the donor’s eggs are exclusively for you. We also have an 8 fresh egg donation package that guarantees you 8 donor eggs to use in a fresh egg donation cycle, with any excess eggs used to create embryos for freezing. If seeking egg donors for surrogacy, we have packages for that too.

    Processing emotions

    Using donor eggs can evoke complex emotions including feelings of loss and grief. It's important to acknowledge and address these emotions throughout the process which is why we provide unlimited counselling. We also signpost you to resources such as the Donor Conception Network and give you six months of access to Paths to Parenthub when you sign up with us to find a donor.

    Egg donors are anonymous at the time of donation, and this can invoke feelings of insecurity. However, our bespoke matching service and your donor’s Personal Profile make sure that you feel like you know them inside out and that they are a person you’d likely be friends with. You’ll receive plenty of non-identifying information about them including what they do for work, what their hobbies are and why they decided to donate their eggs. If they provide one, you’ll also get a photo of them as a child.

    Health risks and complications

    As with any medical procedure, there are risks with egg donation and health risks and potential complications associated with donor egg IVF, including:

    • Adverse reactions to medications

    • Ectopic pregnancy

    • Multiple pregnancies

    • High blood pressure during pregnancy

    • Pre-eclampsia

    • Preterm birth

    • Low birth weight

    Our experienced team understands the risks associated with donor egg IVF. Throughout your treatment, we minimise these risks through careful monitoring and a personalised treatment plan. We’ll discuss any risks and side effects with you, and you can raise any concerns and ask any questions you might have at any time. In addition, you can contact an advisor online seven days a week should you ever want more information.

    Logistical considerations

    An IVF cycle typically takes 6-8 weeks, Although, with egg donor IVF, there is the additional process of finding the perfect donor match and synchronising treatment cycles.  This does mean that there’s a significant time investment and that the process can present logistical challenges.

    fertility advisor in the apricity app

    At Apricity, we aim to make everything as hassle-free as possible. In most instances, your appointments will take place online and the majority of our patients only need to visit their clinic in person 1-3 times. You can chat with your Apricity advisor at any time through the app’s instant chat, and they’ll coordinate you and your donor's treatment with the clinic so that you don't have to spend your time making calls or sending emails.

    In summary, there are pros and cons of using donor eggs which you need to consider before pursuing treatment. However, when you choose Apricity, you can be sure that we are there for you at every step, even those that are a little harder than others. If you are interested in starting your IVF with donor eggs journey, book a free consultation with an Apricity advisor.

    Written by Apricity Team

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    Written by our group of fertility experts and doctors consultants

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