All over the world, many men and women long for the day they will hold their newborn in their arms for the first time. Even as children, they may have looked forward to the day they had their own baby to love and care for.
Unfortunately, nature doesn’t always align with our dreams. Women are increasingly finding that getting pregnant is challenging, and in some cases, impossible. And for men, it may simply be a matter of not finding the right partner with whom they want to build a family.
In these situations, there is still hope: an egg donor.
There are many reasons that someone may need an egg donor, and it’s not always as simple as you might think. Let’s take a look at a few of the most common reasons.
1. Using an egg donor after cancer treatments
Dealing with cancer is distressing enough on its own. It’s even more heartbreaking when it eliminates your chance of having biological children.
Some cancer treatments can affect fertility in both men and women, making it difficult to conceive or carry children. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery can cause long-term damage to reproductive organs. The damage can include reducing fertility by lowering sperm count or egg production or disrupting the hormone levels that control reproduction. Scarring or removal of the reproductive organs may also reduce the likelihood of conception or normal development of a pregnancy.
In other cases, women may have to undergo a partial or total hysterectomy to prevent or treat their cancer.
2. Risk of Passing on a Genetic Condition
Many debilitating health conditions can be passed on to genetic offspring through a mother’s egg.
Some examples of genetic disorders include:
- Huntington’s Disease
- Tay-Sachs disease
- Cystic fibrosis
- Sickle cell disease
- Duchenne muscular dystrophy
- Spinal muscular dystrophy
Egg donors are generally screened for cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia or thalassemia (depending on ethnicity), so using a donor egg can prevent these disorders from being inherited by the child.
3. Egg donation for same-sex couples
Just like heterosexual couples, some same-sex couples can face infertility along with functional infertility. Individuals who identify as intersex may also be infertile or have reduced fertility due to hormone therapy.
For obvious reasons, men in a same-sex relationship are missing an essential ‘ingredient’ to create a child – an egg. For these couples, an egg donor and a surrogate can help them fulfill their dreams of becoming fathers.
LGBTQ+ couples now have more options for having children than ever before. In 2019, almost 29% of people identifying as LGBTQ+ said they were raising children.
4. Single fatherhood through egg donation
We often automatically assume that only women are affected by the ticking of their biological clock. However, many single men want to become fathers but haven’t found the right partner.
Rather than continuing to search for a female counterpart, choosing a surrogate and an egg donor means they can become a dad and still have a biological connection to their child without a partner.
5. Women who are experiencing fertility decline due to age
Research shows that women are now delaying childbearing until much later in life. In the US, the average age of first-time mothers has jumped from 21 to 26. For fathers, it’s 31, up from 27. But this is not only a US phenomenon. Around the world, women from nearly all developed countries are having their first child at the average age of 31.
A woman’s reproductive potential decreases rapidly with age, and fertility can end around five to 10 years before menopause. By the age of 40, a woman’s chance of getting pregnant is less than 5% per cycle. Fewer than five out of every 100 women over 40 will get pregnant each month. Sadly, even women who look after their health cannot change this natural age-related decline.
6. Premature menopause
Sometimes, a woman’s period may stop before she reaches her 40s, meaning that her ovaries are no longer producing eggs. This is called premature menopause. There are many reasons this can occur, including chemotherapy or radiation or an autoimmune disorder such as hypothyroidism, Graves’ disease, or lupus. Premature menopause also tends to run in families.
Like during typical menopause, the estrogen and progesterone in the body are significantly reduced, causing ovulation and menstruation to cease.
7. Unexplained infertility
One of the most common reasons for choosing an egg donor is unexplained infertility. Unexplained fertility is a term used when there is no identified cause for infertility. Around 15-25% of heterosexual couples wind up with this diagnosis, often after many months or even years of trying to start a family.
Unexplained infertility can occur in women who are ovulating regularly and have an otherwise healthy reproductive system. It can occur in men who have normal sperm parameters and couples who have a healthy sex life.
The most frustrating part is that some couples never find out the cause of their infertility, even after many tests showing normal results.
Becoming an egg donor
There are many different reasons why someone may need to use donor eggs as there are reasons why women become egg donors, so egg donors are always in high demand.
Thanks to compassionate women who have stepped forward to assist those who cannot achieve pregnancy without an egg donor, the dreams of countless parents around the world have been fulfilled. And as an added benefit to the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel, when you become an egg donor with Family Source Consultants, you can earn up to $10,000 while helping hopeful parents have a child of their own!
Egg donors need to meet a few criteria, so it’s best if you have a chat with one of our friendly team members to see if you qualify.