The three major mental hurdles connected with using donor eggs.

Emilie's picture

Coming to the decision to use a donor egg usually doesn’t come easy. Donor eggs are never anyone’s first option. They can however, be an amazing gift to get you back on the path to parenthood when other options have not succeeded.

There are a lot of decisions that must be made throughout the process, but the 3 mental hurdles I see most commonly are,
1. Sharing the news of the donor egg
2. Grieving the lack of genetic connection to the baby  
3. Wondering if you will connect as well once the baby is born

1. Sharing the news of the donor egg

One of the dilemmas you may face in this case, is whether or not you decide to share the information about using a donor egg with family, friends, your child etc.  Unfortunately with this decision, I can’t really guide you. To tell or not to tell, who and when, and the reasons behind it, are all very personal decisions. There is no wrong choice. You must do whatever feels right for you (and your partner if you have one). I highly suggest seeing a counselor who specializes in fertility and is familiar with IVF and donor eggs and embryos. They can help you wade through the many emotions and decisions that arise during the process.

Here is a list of counselors we like

 

2. Grieving the lack of genetic connection to the baby  

Another common hurdle people often need to overcome when choosing a donor egg is the thought that the baby does not carry their genes. And while that is true in some ways (it is someone else’s egg after all), it is not completely correct.  2015 was a big year for Donor egg parents and IVF doctors. Researchers Felipe Vilella and Carlos Simon discovered in new research that even in the case where the embryo and or egg was from a third party, the person carrying the baby not only imparted genetic material to the baby, but their womb (endometrial cells) actually helped decide which genes would be expressed or not expressed in the child. This is huge news for both people using donor eggs as well as people choosing to use a surrogate.

Here is an article discussing their findings

 

 

3. Wondering if you will connect as well once the baby is born

Finally, I feel the need to share that no matter how hard the decision has been for my patients who chose donor egg was once they birthed their child, without fail, they always tell me that any fear, doubt or concern about whether they would fully connect to the child completely dissolved. Oxytocin and all of the amazing connection/love hormones do their amazing job and all the original doubt is replaced by the sudden realization that they are parents!