It is proven without doubt that Infertility is on rise impacting as many as 1 in 6 couples in India. One of the major reason for declining female fertility is Poor Ovarian Reserve due to advanced maternal age. Urbanization and female empowerment has resulted in girls marrying late and choosing to start their family at a later age. In principle, the great contribution that female education and empowerment has made to the society is challenged by decline in female fertility.
It is estimated that 2 to 3 out of 10 couples walking to the IVF Centre globally will eventually need Donor Eggs or Donor Oocytes. The acceptance of donor oocytes in European countries is far better than in India. The use of Donor eggs is usually done secretly in India due to the social stigma and misconception of patients that using Donor eggs will reduce the biological connection between mother and baby.
In one study done recently in India, it was very ironic yet not too surprising to know that acceptance of Indian females for Donor Eggs or Donor sperms is similar, while men are more open to accept donor eggs than donor sperms.
Here are a few commonly asked questions related to IVF Program with Donor Eggs or Donor Oocytes. Hope this helps in clarifying some myths and provides more acceptance by patients.
How commonly do women visiting Infertility clinic, need Donor Eggs?
Nearly 30% of cases of female infertility can be attributed to Diminished Ovarian Reserve or Primary Ovarian Insufficiency. Poor Ovarian Reserve is one of the most common factors impacting the fertility and hence ability to conceive for women visiting IVF Clinics.
Also, it is important to know that in a study of Indian women undergoing IVF treatment, ovarian age of Indian women was found to be approximately 6 years older than their western counterparts. Hence Indian women will deplete their ovarian reserve earlier.
Poor ovarian reserve leads to fewer or no oocytes retrieved during an IVF cycle and hence eventually the need for Donor oocytes or eggs arise. It is important to note that poor ovarian reserve is NOT the only reason for the need for Donor eggs or oocytes. To know more about other factors, please visit our Donor Egg Program Section.
At our clinic at Indore, nearly 30% of patients who visit us are above age 35 and show declining ovarian reserve. IVF Cycle with self oocyte should always be considered first if there are chances of retrieving even a few oocytes. However, the decision is not merely based on one parameter, hence considering the fact that success rate of IVF Cycle with Donor eggs will be higher than success rate of IVF cycle with self oocytes for some patients, the decision to opt for Donor eggs is usually chosen considering limited financial resources to try further IVF Cycles.
How do I know if I need to undergo IVF with Donor Eggs?
Of many primary reasons for opting for Donor Oocytes, the main reason is very poor ovarian reserve. To know more about other reasons for choosing IVF Program with Donor Oocytes, please read our blog on the same.
What is the cost of IVF with Donor Eggs?
Donor Oocyte cycle cost depends on the number of oocytes allocated per patient and some other factors. The average cost of donor eggs or oocytes in Indore is approximately seventy five thousand rupees. To know the cost of Donor Eggs at our Clinic, please visit the cost of treatment section.
Will I be able to meet Egg Donor?
No. Donors are always kept anonymous as per the ICMR guideline. This is done in order to safeguard both the Donor and the recipient couple from social as well as legal implications.
Patients can however choose a donor profile based on following factors:
- Blood Group
- Colour of skin
- Colour of Hair
- Colour of eyes
- Educational Qualification
- Family Background
Can my sister or relative be an egg donor for me?
No. As explained above, egg donor or oocyte donors are always kept anonymous.
What kind of tests are done on Donors before recruiting them as Oocyte or Egg donor ?
The following tests are done in order to assess the general wellbeing of oocyte donors:
- CBC including testing for haemoglobin
- Hepatitis B and C
- Hb Electrophoresis to rule out genetic disorder like thalassemia
- Test for ruling our STD’s.
- FBS to rule out diabetes.
- Oocyte donors are thoroughly screened to rule out familial disorders or hypertension.
Are Egg or Oocyte donor genetically tested?
It is not mandatory to screen all oocyte / egg donors for Chromosomal Abnormalities using Karyotyping (Test for ruling our Chromosomal Abnormalities). However if the patient want they can request for chromosomal testing of the Donor. Such tests are fairly inexpensive and turn around time for results is usually within a week.
There is difference between CHROMOSOMAL TESTING and GENETIC TESTING for specific gene disorder. Chromosomal testing usually tests for errors in chromosomes number and their structure. Whereas testing specific genes on specific chromosome takes longer to test and are much more expensive.
Will I have to disclose to my child if I have used Donor Egg Services?
There is no law in India yet that mandates that parents will have to disclose the identity of the Donor to the child. A couple is not obliged to inform their child about usage of donor gametes on their own. However, a child on attaining maturity if asks about usage of donor gametes, it is advised that the couple or others in the family do not try and hide this information.
Children born by using donor gametes have no right to know the identity of their genetic parent(s) and hence have no right to know the address or name of the Donor.
Will the Donor come to know that I have used her oocytes / eggs?
No. Donors are not recruited by ART Clinics so there is no chance that Oocyte Donors and patient will ever meet at the same place. Donors are recruited by ART Banks and ART Clinics deal with only reputed ART Banks. There is no question of disclosure or possibility that the Donor will be able to identify which patient has used her oocytes or eggs.
Will I feel less attached to my child if I use Donor Eggs?
This is a very honest and profound thought and frankly no one knows an answer to this question but you. Genetic connection to a child does make motherhood natural or instinctive, but at the same time genes are not everything. Having half of your partner’s genes growing inside you and nurturing a baby inside you does help to create that bond before the baby arrives.
PARENTHOOD IS A JOURNEY !
Genetic connection is just a small part of the entire Journey!
No one is born a Parent. Parenthood is nurturing, caring for, providing and loving for a little one who is incapable of caring for himself/herself. Parenthood is a huge journey that lasts a lifetime and in this entire journey, genetic connection with the child is just a minor part of it which doesn’t seem to matter over the years.
If you still think you need counselling related to this, you may get in touch with us for a one on one counselling session.WHATSAPP TO BOOK A FREE COUNSELING SESSION
FINAL WORDS OF WISDOM FROM THE EXPERTS
Every patient would want to be the biological parent of their child, which is an inherent natural instinct. However if you have reduced chances of success in IVF due to poor ovarian reserve or a genetic condition that you do not want to pass to your offspring, you could opt for donor oocytes. But the decision to opt for donor eggs should be taken only after weighing in all the options.
If you have time, money and patience to undergo treatment options like Oocyte/Embryo pooling, Dual Stimulation Protocol, PGS etc. then you should definitely discuss this with your Fertility Specialist, but you should have an honest expectation about the success rate with such programs.
On the other hand if you do not have the financial or emotional capacity to undergo multiple IVF cycles with self-gametes, then you should consider Donor Oocyte Program which will give you a higher success rate and eventually a higher take home baby rate.