Can I Still Have Kids After an Egg Donation?
Many kind-hearted healthy young women think about becoming egg donors to help other women to experience the joy of having their own babies. Because most of these egg donors will also want to have a family of their own one day or may want to extend their existing family in the future, one of the most important questions they should ask is whether they will still be able to have their own kids after donating eggs.
In this article, we provide the answer – which, in short, is: yes, you can still have kids after an egg donation – and explain exactly why this possible.
An egg donation is a truly great gift to another woman, who would otherwise not be able to carry a pregnancy of her own. And there are thousands of couples worldwide waiting for an egg donation to help them to start or grow their families.
Some egg donors may donate some of their eggs to give a family member or a friend the chance to have a family, while others may have heard of or know of someone who struggled to fall pregnant and want to alleviate this anguish for even just one other woman in the same situation, even if they will never meet or even know each other’s names.
In giving this amazing gift, these kind-hearted healthy young egg donors who selflessly donate their eggs should make absolutely certain that it will not in any way affect their own ability to have a child in future. As a result, one of the most important questions women considering egg donation should ask is “can I still have kids after an egg donation?”.
The simple answer to this question is: “Yes, you can still have kids after an egg donation.”
In the longer answer below we explain why donating some of your eggs does not affect your ability to fall pregnant or to have children in the future, even after multiple donations.
Egg donation will not deplete your egg supply
Your egg supply – or the number of eggs in each of your ovaries – has already been determined by the time you are born. Your ovaries contain all the eggs that are ovulated during your life and this is called your ovarian reserve or your egg reserve.
On average, a woman is born with approximately 2 million eggs. This egg reserve declines with age and is reduced to approximately 200 000 by the time menstruation starts.
Only about 400 of these eggs are ovulated during a woman’s lifetime. During each menstrual cycle of a young woman, about 10 to 20 of the little eggs show up in the follicles, which look like little black balloons full of fluid on the ovaries, and begin to grow and mature. Eventually, one egg takes the lead, growing strongest, and is the one egg that will be ovulated for that cycle. This egg sends a signal to the other eggs to stop growing and these eggs are not ovulated, but essentially die away and are reabsorbed by the body.
The number of eggs recruited in each menstrual cycle sharply declines with age. When you’re 30, you might be recruiting 15 eggs, but by the time you are 35, it may be just 7 or 8 eggs. When you’re 40, you might only be recruiting 1 or 2 eggs.
During an egg donation cycle, the number of eggs collected are comparable to the number of eggs lost in a menstrual cycle – around 20.
Even so, when you donate at Cape Fertility, we make absolutely certain that you have ample eggs to donate and that you have sufficient eggs to protect your future fertility, by doing thorough medical checks before you can donate.
What are the side effects of egg donation?
There are some common side effects egg donors may notice during the donation cycle or after the egg retrieval.
During an egg donation cycle, egg donors take hormone medications to ensure all of the little eggs in the ovaries grow equally and can be retrieved on egg retrieval day, even those that would have died away to be absorbed back into the body in a normal menstrual cycle. So, essentially, egg donation retrieves eggs that would otherwise have been lost.
The medications mimic natural hormones already produced by the body and are administered by injection for 10-12 days. While you are taking the medication, you will need to attend about four doctor’s appointments over the two-week period for regular ultrasounds to ensure you are responding well to the medication and to check the development of the eggs. Hormone levels return to normal about two weeks after the egg donation or as soon as a menstrual period occurs after the egg retrieval. There is no scientific evidence that these medications have any effect on future fertility.
Before the egg retrieval, the ovaries are enlarged, which creates a feeling of fullness or bloating. Another common symptom is slight cramping. There are other complications that could occur from egg donation, such as Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome or OHSS, however, they are usually very rare.
What can you do to ensure you can still have kids after egg donation?
Donating your eggs also has no known impact on your fertility. Egg donation has been practised safely for three decades, and there is no proven evidence that donating your eggs affects your own long-term fertility.
Even so, the most important thing to do to make sure that you can still have kids after egg donation is to choose a fertility or egg donation clinic that is accredited by the Southern African Society for Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy (SASREG). Visit the SASREG website to check if the clinic you are considering is registered.
Cape Fertility is not only registered and accredited with SASREG, we are also a driving force for ethical fertility treatment in South Africa. We are very proud that our chairman, Dr Sulaiman Heylen, serves as the President of SASREG.
At Cape Fertility, we have facilitated thousands of egg donations over the last 30 years through our premium Egg Donor Program. 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 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.
Here you can expect dedicated one-on-one attention – including face-to-face consultations with our experienced specialist team members as well as a free and full assessment of your own fertility status by a fertility specialist before donating – to make your egg donation a positive experience. If you don’t live in Cape Town, it is not a problem – all your travel and accommodation arrangements will be explained to you and all your expenses will be covered if you are chosen to donate.
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 email@example.com. 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!