In vitro fertilization using sperm (usually from one of the partners), donated eggs, and a surrogate uterus are needed to get the job done. Both anonymous and known egg donors can be “cycled” to provide eggs for the procedure. There are pros and cons of both:
Anonymous egg donors: Most couples select this option. Anonymous donors are doing a “job” for a couple they will never meet. They get compensated for complying with our center’s rules and protocols and taking their medications as directed. At New Jersey fertility center North Hudson IVF we have rigorous criteria that all anonymous egg donors have to meet. One of these is a minimum of twelve follicles at baseline sonogram. As approximately 80% of follicles seen at baseline will respond to stimulation we believe that ten eggs is a minimal acceptable yield for an egg donor. (Twelve to fifteen is the usual yield.) At New Jersey fertility center North Hudson IVF we recruit and screen our own egg donors. If couples choose to select an egg donor from an agency instead, any potential donor is screened by us first to ensure that she meets our strict criteria.
The Pros: Anonymous egg donors must meet our criteria in order to be cycled. In addition they do not learn if a pregnancy has resulted from their donation – they just know that they are doing a “good deed” in hopes of helping a couple have a child. Thus there are no potential legal problems with the egg donor should a child result from the donation. The Cons: The egg donor, although screened in great detail for personal and family medical and social history, is an “unknown”.
Known egg donors: A couple may wish to use a friend or family member as a source of eggs. This individual must undergo the same screening as a donor who is anonymous. The Pros: With a known egg donor the cost of treatment may be reduced considerably. The donor’s personality, characteristics and appearance are well – known to the couple. She will know if a pregnancy has resulted from her donation and, if so, she may come to play an important role in the upbringing of the child.
The Cons: Initial follicle screening of the chosen known donor may not yield the number of follicles that meet our standards. If a couple is committed to using her she may yield fewer eggs than is optimal. In addition if a child results from the treatment with a known donor this donor may wish to play an active role in the child’s upbringing. This may or may not be acceptable to the intended parents. Legal issues in such circumstances may become a problem.
At our New Jersey infertility center, North Hudson IVF we discuss the above options with all gay couples to help them find the egg donor who best fits their needs.