Donating eggs so that somebody else can fulfill their dream of having a baby is a selfless act. However, there are often questions about the process. One common question potential donors often have is whether or not they’ll still be able to have babies of their own after the donation process.
When it comes down to it, egg donation has no impact on your ability to have babies in the future. Egg donation is a safe procedure, and the vast majority of women who donate eggs go on to have healthy babies of their own.
The Egg Donation Process
If you sign up to be an egg donor, the first step, after submitting your application, is screening. The screening process involves a physical and psychological examination, as well as a review of any personal and family medical history. The purpose is to make sure that you’re physically healthy and able to donate eggs.
Here at EOS Conception, we recognize the importance of this step for the donor and make sure that all of our potential donors go through thorough screenings.
Once the screening is complete, you’ll be given medication to help you produce multiple eggs. Then, you’ll come into our facility for egg retrieval. The egg retrieval process is completed under anesthesia and takes about 30 minutes. You can watch this video to learn more about the egg retrieval process.
During the procedure, a needle is passed through the vagina and into the ovary to remove the eggs.
Post-retrieval process? Ultrasounds and blood tests throughout to monitor the process.
Your Future Fertility
There is no evidence to support a negative impact on fertility from the egg donation process. However, there is a small risk that the egg retrieval procedure could cause problems with fertility.
For example, if the needle accidentally punctures the ovary, it could cause bleeding or infection. In rare cases, this could lead to scarring and damage to the ovaries, which could affect fertility.
It’s critical to choose a reputable egg donation service who are experts and will monitor the entire process to ensure the safety of the donor.
If I Donate My Eggs Will I Produce More?
One of the most common myths about the egg donation procedure is that it will cause you to produce fewer eggs, thereby making it more difficult to get pregnant in the future. This is actually a myth.
A woman is born with all of her eggs, which means you’ll never produce any more. Some women may be afraid to donate eggs because they have a limited supply.
By the time a woman hits puberty, she’ll have between 300,000 and 400,000 eggs, but only 300 to 400 will be ovulated during her lifetime.
Ultimately, donating eggs won’t affect your supply of eggs in a way that’s noticeable.
- What Is The Menstrual Cycle?
The menstrual cycle is a complex process that controls the release of eggs. The menstrual cycle starts on the first day of menstruation (bleeding) and ends the day before the next period. The average length of the cycle is 28 days, but can range from 20 to 45 days.
- What Is The Ovarian Reserve?
The ovarian reserve refers to the number of eggs a woman has remaining in her ovaries. At birth, a female can have over a million eggs, however, by puberty, this reduces to around 300,000 to 400,000.
This number continues to decrease with age, so by the time a woman reaches menopause she has about 1,000 eggs remaining. The ovarian reserve also decreases after a woman gives birth and during times of intense physical or emotional stress.
How Will Hormone Medication Affect My Body And Fertility?
To stimulate your ovaries to produce multiple eggs, you’ll be injected with hormone medication. This medication is a hormone that helps to regulate the menstrual cycle and egg production.
Gonadotropins can cause some side effects, including hot flashes, headaches, mood swings, and bloating. However, these side effects are usually mild and go away after a few days.
- Can Gonadotropins Affect Fertility?
In rare cases, the injection of hormones can cause a condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). OHSS is a rare condition that occurs when the ovaries produce too many eggs. However, most women who develop OHSS experience mild symptoms that go away on their own.
In very rare instances, you may experience pain in the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, and shortness of breath. In severe (and extremely rare) cases, it can lead to kidney damage and blood clots.
OHSS is a rare complication, and it usually only occurs in women who are taking high doses of gonadotropins. The risk of OHSS is higher if you have a history of the condition or if you’re taking other fertility medication.
There is some evidence that OHSS can cause fertility problems, but it’s not clear how often this happens. OHSS usually goes away on its own within a few days, and most women who have had OHSS still go on to have healthy pregnancies.
The risk of OHSS can be significantly reduced by making sure that you’re working with a reputable clinic and by following all medical instructions throughout the egg donation process.
Are There Potential Complications From The Process?
Egg donation is a safe and common procedure, but like any medical procedure, there are potential risks and complications.
The most common complication from the egg retrieval process is soreness or bruising around the area where the needle was inserted. These side effects are usually mild and will go away within a couple of days.
There is a risk of developing OHSS, however this is rare. Even if you do develop OHSS, symptoms are usually not severe.
What Can You Do To Protect Your Future Fertility?
Many potential egg donors want to have their own children sometime in the future. Fortunately, there’s no reason to worry about egg donation affecting your future fertility – it won’t.
Your ability to conceive in the future is based more on your well-being, and taking care of your eggs and fertility is something that you should be doing whether or not you’re thinking about becoming an egg donor.
With that in mind, the following are a few things you can do to protect your fertility.
Stay Healthy And Fit
One of the best things you can do for your fertility is to stay fit and healthy. Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight will help to improve your fertility. This is because being overweight or obese can lead to hormonal imbalances that can interfere with ovulation.
Keep Your Alcohol And Caffeine Consumption In Check
Drinking too much alcohol and caffeine can also negatively impact your fertility. Alcohol can interfere with ovulation, and too much caffeine has been linked to a higher risk of miscarriage. If you’re trying to conceive, it’s best to limit your alcohol intake to one drink per day and to limit your caffeine intake to 200 mg per day.
Smoking is also bad for your fertility. Smoking can damage the eggs and make it harder to conceive. As such, if you’re looking to preserve your fertility, you should strongly consider quitting smoking.
Be Aware Of Your Sexual And Cervical Health
Having a sexually transmitted disease (STD) can impact your fertility, so it’s important to be aware of your sexual health. If you’re sexually active, make sure to use protection and get tested regularly. It’s also important to have regular Pap smears to check for cervical malignancies. Cervical cancer can interfere with fertility, so it’s important to detect it early.
Get Routine Fertility Checks
If you’re over the age of 35, you should start getting routine fertility checks. Fertility starts to decline after the age of 35, so it’s important to make sure everything is still on track. Your doctor can do tests to check your ovarian reserve and to see if you’re ovulating normally.
Consider Freezing Your Eggs
If you’re not ready to have a baby yet but want to protect your fertility, you may want to consider freezing your eggs. This is a process where your eggs are harvested and then frozen for later use.
This gives you the option of having a baby in the future when you’re ready – and you won’t have to worry about your fertility declining. Egg freezing is becoming more and more common and the success rates are increasing.
Can You Still Get Pregnant After Donating Eggs?
Yes, you can still get pregnant after donating your eggs. Although there are a few side effects that can occur in very rare instances, the egg retrieval process will not impact your future fertility, and most women who have donated their eggs go on to have healthy pregnancies. Be sure to maintain a healthy lifestyle to help prevent your fertility issues.
Wondering if you’re a good candidate for egg donation? Click below to complete our short pre-screen application.
Do You Qualify To Donate Eggs?