Everything you wanted to know about Donor Eggs or Donor Sperms

Of ten couples walking into a Fertility Clinic for Fertility Treatment, 25% will show up due to poor ovarian reserve and will finally need Donor Eggs. Of the rest 10% will be due to Azoospermia or absence of sperm in the semen, many of such patients will eventually need Donor Sperms.

Prevalence of social stigma in India forces many couples to secretly opt for Donor Eggs/oocytes or Donor Sperm services. The low level of social acceptance due to various myth around the Donor Gametes, makes treatment of such patient very tricky and difficult. 

One obvious concern that patients have is that they feel that having used a Donor Gamete will lead to complex emotional affect and might impact their ability to accept the child as their own.

In a study done recently in India that involved many leading IVF Centres, it was found that Indian females have same level of acceptance for both donor eggs and donor sperms, however, Indian men find it easier to accept donor eggs as compared to donor sperms.

Let us try and respond some common questions about gamete donors.

Do I need IVF with Donor Eggs?

Please visit our blog on the same to know more.

How commonly is IVF done with Donor Eggs?

POI or Primary Ovarian Insufficiency is one of the most common reasons for Infertility amongst women visiting Infertility Clinic. There is a stark decline in ovarian reserve after the age of 35 and more so for Indian women who tend to reach menopause approximately 6 years prior to their western counterparts.

IVF cycle attempted on patients with poor ovarian reserve, leads to fewer oocytes retrieved per cycle which ultimately impacts the IVF success rate. Such patients will eventually need Donor eggs or Donor oocytes. To know more about other factors that impact the decision of IVF with Donor Eggs, please visit our Donor Egg Program Section.

How much does IVF with Donor Eggs cost?

Cost of IVF with Donor eggs differ from city to city. The average cost of donor eggs in Indore is approximately 60 thousand rupees.

Can we meet an Egg Donor to see if she matches our profile?

Gamete donation is done anonymously to safeguard both couples as well as donors. So no, you will not be able to meet or see pictures of egg donors. However you can choose a donor profile based on the following factors:

Colour of skin

Colour of Hair

Color of eyes

Height / Weight

Blood Group

Can someone known to me like my sister become an egg donor for me?

No. Gamete donations are strictly anonymous. 

Are egg donor tested for knowing their medical health?

Yes, Donors are extensively tested to assess their general physical health as well as fertility. Following tests are usually done:

  • Infectious disease testing like HIV , Hepatitis B & C
  • CBC including testing for haemoglobin
  • Hb Electrophoresis to rule out genetic disorder like thalassemia
  • Test for ruling our STD’s
  • HbsAg to rule out diabetes
  • Oocyte donors are thoroughly screened to rule out inherited disorders within the family or hypertension.

Are Oocyte donors tested genetically? 

There is no guideline that mandates that oocyte or egg donors be screened for Chromosomal abnormalities by using techniques like Karyotyping. However such tests these days are very inexpensive and turn around time is within a week. So if patient want they can request the IVF clinic to perform such test on the donor.

Does my child or family need to know that I have used Donor Eggs?

No law mandates that identity of the donor should be disclosed to the child, the couple is not obliged to inform their child about the same. A child once mature may ask about such questions, many child psychologist advise that the couple or others in the family should not attempt to hide this information.

In India, children born by using donor gametes, have no right to know the identity of their genetic parent. Hence there is no question that they will be able to find out about the address, name or any other identifying parameters to locate their biological parent.

Is there a possibility that the donor will come to know that we have used her eggs?

IVF Clinics do not directly get in touch with Donors. They deal with reputed ART Banks who either provide cryopreserved oocytes or donors for egg retrieval. Hence there is no possibility that a donor will be able to know which patient visiting the clinic will finally use her oocytes.

Will I have issues accepting the child if I use Donor Eggs?

Many research suggest that motherhood becomes more enjoyable because of the genetic connection with the child. But honestly genes are not everything. It is just a part of the entire journey of parenthood that lasts a lifetime. Since the baby growing inside your womb, shares half of the genes of your partner, you already feel that bond even before the baby is born. Motherhood is not defined by the genetic makeup of the child, it is the constant nurturing and caring for that creates the intimate bond between a mother and her child. So in short there is no reason to believe that you will have issues accepting the baby. 

If you still think you need counselling related to this, you may get in touch with us for a one on one counselling session.

The views above are expressed by Dr. Gajendra Singh Tomar (MD, MRCOG), who is a leading IVF and Infertility Specialist practicing at Indore Infertility Clinic, Indore, India.

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