If you're not using your cryopreserved eggs, consider donating them

In 2017 just before Mark and I got married I went through two egg retrieval processes for preservation of fertility. I wasn't 100% sure at that point whether we wanted to have children, but definitely wanted to have the option to have children if we or I decided in the future.

As you might have read in my last blog posts, pregnancy wasn't always a given that would work out for me, so I also considered that even if I had eggs cryopreserved (technical term for frozen) maybe I wouldn't be able to get pregnant anyway.

In July last year, just before I got pregnant, I consulted a fertility specialist in Brazil (Fertilitat, in Porto Alegre). After reviewing my files they recommended (shall I try IVF again) that I try a fresh cycle, since all my documents suggest I have no problems with egg quality. This would also rule out any issues with the eggs because of the long transport between US and Brazil.

When I was still pregnant, I decided that I wouldn't go back to the US for fertility treatments. It just didn't make sense given the US has one of the most expensive healthcare systems in the world. Then I started to ask myself: what am I going to do with those 16 eggs?

I started to research donation. Maybe I could make it possible for someone who cannot have children because of egg quality or same sex partnerships where none of them is an egg producer. I started to inform myself and learned that, even though human tissue sales are illegal in the US, there's a big network with agencies and what not facilitating "donations" where the donor gets a compensation for taking part in the process (I won't discuss here if I find it fair or not) and of course, agencies also charge their own fees, etc.

Matter of fact is that many families end up not being able to afford having children because between agency fees, compensation to donor and IVF procedures fees in the United States, it is basically out of their reach financially to even consider it.

 I already had the eggs, and I was so lucky to have an employer who actually paid most of the process for me (thanks Facebook!). For me the answer was clear: I would find someone who needed eggs to conceive a child and donate my eggs to them, without getting any compensation, as long as they covered all costs associated with it.

A few months later voila! Last week Mark and I finally signed the contract for my independent, free of compensation, egg donation (yes, even though the eggs aren't fertilized, somehow Mark needs to sign he's fine with it too).

After struggling with infertility for a few years, I feel very happy and fulfilled to help in someone else's journey to build or increase their family. 

Not everyone who decide to freeze eggs end up using them. Many are discarded. In the US, the fees around this type of donation can be prohibitive to families to have children. So if you froze your eggs and aren't going to use them, consider donating them to a family. 

There are Facebook groups where independent individuals self-organize to match donors and intended parents. That's how I found the intended parents who are taking my eggs, thanks Facebook again! You're not incurring any costs or health risks, and you might make the day, or years to come even, of a couple or single parent. 

If you would like to chat about my experience, feel free to contact me.


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