Can I have children after egg donation?
Potential egg donors should always ask if they can still have children after donating eggs, and the answer is a definite yes. In this article we explain how your eggs and ovulation work, where an egg donation fits in, and why you can definitely still have children even if you donate some of your eggs.
When deciding whether to donate some of your eggs to help another woman to have a baby, there are some important factors that you should consider. Certainly, one of these is whether the donation will affect your own fertility, in other words, if you will still be able to have children after the donation. Another important consideration is where to go for your egg donation.
In this article, we answer your question: “Can I have children after egg donation?”, firstly by helping you understand how your eggs are produced and discarded, and also how donating your eggs can actually empower you with knowledge about your own fertility.
Where your eggs come from
Dr Lizle Oosthuizen, one of our highly qualified and impressively experienced fertility specialists at Cape Fertility, shares amazing insights into the ovaries and the eggs in a video about Egg Freezing, some of which are shared below.
Each woman is born with approximately 2 million eggs, and the number of eggs in each ovary has already been determined by the time you are born. Your ovaries contain all the eggs that are ovulated during your life. How many eggs left in your ovaries is termed your ovarian reserve, also commonly referred to as your egg reserve.
As women grow older, these egg reserves decline. The number of eggs is reduced to approximately 200,000 by the time menstruation starts. Women also continuously losing eggs as they go through their menstrual cycles. Several eggs are recruited each month with every menstrual cycle: at times at a faster rate, and sometimes at a slower rate.
At the very beginning of your cycle every single month, many eggs are recruited, even though you will ovulate only one egg. The number of eggs recruited varies dramatically between different women and will also decline with age. So, for example, when you are younger, you might recruit 20 eggs in a cycle. When you’re 30, you might be recruiting 15 eggs. When you’re 35, you might be recruiting 7 or 8 eggs. When you’re 40, you might only be recruiting 1 or 2 eggs.
All these recruited little eggs show up in follicles, which look like little black balloons full of fluid on the ovary. All these eggs will start to grow, but the majority of those will die out in the ovaries. Usually, only one of them – the strongest egg – will continue to grow, and you will release that egg during ovulation.
When you ovulate each month, unless an egg/s are fertilised, those eggs are removed from your body as part of your monthly period.
Knowing where your eggs come from, how many you might have and how many you lose naturally over time makes it easier to understand why you can still have children after egg donation.
Can I have children after egg donation?
When you donate your eggs, approximately 10 to 20 eggs which you don’t need and would otherwise be removed as part of your period, are retrieved to help another woman, who is in need of healthy eggs, because she is unable to produce healthy eggs from her own ovaries to conceive a child.
Because these are eggs that you would not have used, but discarded, egg donation does not affect your ability to get pregnant.
There will definitely be enough eggs left after donating to have children. When their menstruation starts, most women have around 200,000 eggs. The 20 or so eggs retrieved during an egg donation are a tiny percentage of this number. Even if you donate the maximum number of times allowed by law (six times) you will still have thousands of times more eggs than you need to get pregnant.
Even so, at Cape Fertility, we make absolutely certain that you have ample eggs to donate a few, and that you have more than sufficient eggs to protect your own fertility. We do this by making sure that certain medical checks are done before you can donate.
At Cape Fertility, we have facilitated thousands of egg donations over the last 27 years. Our egg donors go on to have children of their own if and when they decide. Follow up studies have shown that the fertility of egg donors is not affected.
Egg donation has been practised safely for three decades, and there is no proven evidence that donating your eggs affects your health or fertility. There are, however, medical risks associated with any medical procedure. When you meet you’re your fertility specialist, he/she will explain in more detail.
Where to go for your egg donation?
If you have decided to donate, it is extremely important that you are certain that the clinic at which you donate is a world-class medical facility, and dedicated to your care and medical safety.
At Cape Fertility, we want to make sure that you are fully informed about egg donation, and why donating with Cape Fertility and our premium Egg Donor Program is the best option.
We are a registered and accredited medical fertility clinic and a leader in the legal and ethical requirements as set out by both the Department of Health and South African Society of Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy (SASREG).
Before you donate with us at Cape Fertility, a detailed screening visit will be arranged to confirm that you are medically suitable to proceed. These include a blood test to assess the quality and quantity of your eggs and infectious disease markers are also tested simultaneously. Your fertility specialist will also perform an internal vaginal ultrasound, like those done during a gynaecological check-up. These medical checks actually empower you with information about your fertility status.
The blood, physical exam and scan performed by your fertility specialist before you are cleared to donate will give you important information about your fertility status and state of health. You can also ask any additional questions when you meet with your fertility specialist and our psychologist.
At Cape Fertility, we value each individual patient and pride ourselves on providing truly individualised and personalised care. Our highly-qualified fertility specialists at Cape Fertility are impressively experienced and supported by a qualified team, including our Egg Donor Fairy God Mother, Linda, and her team, dedicated solely to taking the best care possible of our egg donors.
Your care is our priority and attention to your medical safety is our primary concern when you donate eggs in a friendly, relaxed and caring environment at our advanced, purpose-built facilities in the beautiful city of Cape Town.
To find out more, simply fill in your contact details here, or contact our Egg Donor Fairy God Mother, Linda, on 066 22 55 003 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your information is 100% confidential and will under no circumstances be made available to anybody else. Contact us now to join our friendly, professional and leading Egg Donor Program!