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Egg donation myths, debunked

August 12, 2021

If you've been thinking about becoming an egg donor, chances are you know someone who has struggled with fertility, or hope to give someone a chance to create a family of their own.

However, you're probably wondering if donating your eggs will affect your ability to get pregnant in the future. 

Egg donation does not hurt your fertility, and many egg donors go on to become mothers, gestational carriers, and multiple cycle donors. 

Does egg donation deplete your ovarian reserve? 

One of the most frequently asked questions by egg donors is, “How does egg donation impact my fertility?”. This stems from one of the most common myth about egg donation: that donating your eggs will deplete your egg supply, hence losing the ability to get pregnant in the future. However, egg donation actually does not impact your egg supply or affect your ability to have children.

Every time a woman ovulates, the body starts to mature about 15-20 eggs but the only one makes it to ovulation. The rest are reabsorbed into your body and disappear.

An egg donation cycle is similar to your typical ovulation cycle. The only difference in the egg donation cycle is that, with the help of fertility medications, your body matures all of the produced eggs at once, rather than just the one. We "rescue" some of these excess eggs that your body would have naturally discarded anyway.

Therefore, at the end of an egg donation cycle, you're left with a comparable number of eggs in your body as you would have after a natural ovulation cycle. 

In fact, you can donate your eggs multiple times and still retain your ability to get pregnant. However, for the safety of all ovum donors, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine established a guideline that one person can donate no more than six times.

Will fertility medications affect my hormones in the future?

During an egg donation cycle your fertility clinic will provide you with hormonal medications and instructions on how to self-administer those medications. This facilitates equal egg growth in your ovaries. Studies have shown that fertility medications only impact your hormones during the cycle they were taken and have no long-term consequence on fertility.

Once you stop, your hormone levels will bounce back to normal typically by two weeks after your egg donation cycle has been completed. It can also be as soon as your next menstrual period after retrieval.

Do fertility drugs used within egg donation have any side effects?

It's completely normal to be hesitant about taking hormones due to concerns about possible side effects such as bloating and mood changes. These side effects may or may not occur. Some women report similar to premenstrual symptoms (PMS).

However, the birth control pill you may or may not be prescribed before the donation cycle could be the culprit here more so than the fertility medications. Please consult your doctor about potential risks or side effects with any medication as this could vary with individuals. 

How to prevent complications during egg donation

To ensure that your egg donation cycles go smoothly, use these tips: 

1. Follow your clinic's instructions

Take the medications according to your clinic's guidance. It's also equally important to provide feedback on how you are feeling, especially in the two weeks before and after the egg retrieval. We want to make sure that you're well cared for.

2. Don't engage in vigorous exercise during the cycle

You should avoid vigorous exercises like yoga that involve twisting movements to the abdomen. This may cause the ovary to twist in a rare occurrence of ovarian torsion and this can lead to the loss of an ovary.

3. Abstain from sexual intercourse two weeks before and after the egg retrieval

During this period, there is a higher risk for pregnancy, and we recommend abstinence. A pregnancy during this time could also be a twin or higher-order multiple pregnancies. You should wait for at least a month after egg donation to become pregnant.

When you become an egg donor you're bringing joy into a family's life. At Hatch, your contributions will be generously compensated, and you'll be assigned your own dedicated coordinator every step of the way to make this journey as smooth as possible for you. 

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