Understanding egg donation to fight misinformation

Egg donation and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a promising and safe option for anyone who dreams of becoming a parent. But why is it still being discussed and stigmatized? Simple, because of misinformation. Here we debunk some common myths.

“It’s dangerous, and you can get in trouble.”

Many people believe that donating eggs is risky and may pose a legal problem because the baby’s biological mother is somewhere. It is utterly understandable but not true.

The fact is that the egg donors undergo a rigorous medical evaluation. Although many women wish to donate, not all of them are eligible, thus avoiding genetic and lifestyle-related problems such as Hemophilia, Cystic fibrosis, Childhood myopia, Sickle cell anemia, infectious diseases such as Syphilis, Hepatitis, Chlamydia, plus smoking, drinking, or drugs.

In addition, a fully protected by law confidentiality contract is established while donors receive fair remuneration (if desired by the donor).

“It affects fertility.”

One false issue about egg donation is that it “affects the donor’s fertility.” Being a donor does not jeopardize or reduce fertility. All women are born with 500,000 or 1,000,000 eggs. Although it may vary for each woman, many of them are lost in each cycle because only one grows to become a fertilizable egg.

The stimulation treatment in the donation process allows taking use of those oocytes that would be wasted either way.

“The baby won’t be like me.”

A common concern is that “the baby will be the same as the genetic mother.” First of all, the mother alone cannot have a child identical to herself. Second, the baby’s characteristics are influenced by the father and mother if the reproduction is through eggs from the same mother.

On the other hand, there are egg donors, where fertility clinics closely study the donors’ physical characteristics and select them according to each couple to assign the donated gametes to the most suitable and similar receiver. But does it matter what the baby-to-be looks like?

Another major concern is the personality of the future baby. Although heredity indeed defines a certain part of the personality, integrating social and biological factors is more important to understand how genes are modified to build personality. Thus, the environment, social relationships, nurturing and parenting influence the future baby’s personality rather than its genome.

Egg donation benefits

Getting pregnant through donated eggs has multiple advantages besides overcoming infertility as you get older. With assisted reproduction, you can avoid potential genetic problems within the receiving family to recruit a healthy donor.

Also, as we age, both women and men lose the ability to produce quality eggs and sperm while gradually deplete our reserves. In some cases, the little remaining ones are inadequate and lead to problems that put the pregnancy and the mother’s life at risk.

Therefore, egg donation is the safest option for both men and women with infertility, endometriosis, premature ovarian dysfunction, uterine fibroids, unexplained infertility, among other conditions.

Learning the true meaning of egg donation

Egg donation gives patients who cannot have children the opportunity to conceive, using the donor’s eggs and the sperm of the recipient couple if they have one, or, if not, the sperm sample from a donor.

Gestation is much more complex than donating and carrying, so the egg is not the same as the baby. The truth is that baby’s development depends not only on the donated egg but also on the paternal and maternal-carrier contribution.

Yes, as you read it. A study proved that there are mother-embryo communication thanks to the union between endometrium and the growing embryo. This union allows the flow of mother-embryo information leading to modifications in the future baby’s genome, breaking the paradigm that the carrier mother does not contribute her biological characteristics to the fetus.

Donation overcomes so many obstacles related to fertility and family planning that spreading the correct information could make us live in a better, more planned world in the years to come. Do not be afraid to donate; you will be the opening key to a new life for a family.

If you had the opportunity to change a family’s life completely, would you do it?

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