If you and your partner are struggling to conceive a child naturally, you are probably feeling very frustrated and disappointed. While you may feel like everyone around you is having children except for you, this is not the reality. There are many myths and a general lack of understanding on the issue of infertility and its prevalence in society. In this article, we will clear up some common misconceptions and take a look at the alternative treatment of getting pregnant through egg donation.
Many women think they are the only ones who can’t get pregnant and believe that it is all their fault or that they may be doing something wrong. The truth is that one in six couples have a hard time getting pregnant. Furthermore, men experience infertility as often as women and in 20% of cases, both partners struggle with this diagnosis.
Another myth is that you will get pregnant if you just take time and relax. While this may be the case for some, if you have been trying to get pregnant for more than a year and you are under the age of 35, you should go see a doctor for a fertility diagnosis.
Now let’s look more closely at the factors involved in conceiving a child.
Even though it may seem simple for some, conception is actually a complex process. It requires optimal conditions in both the male and female.
Conception for men typically involves having a high quantity of sperm that are the right shape and have a good motility. There must also be an adequate amount of seminal fluid to transport the sperm, and penile erection and ejaculation must deliver semen adequately.
Women need to have a high quality, mature egg that is expelled from the ovary and has moved through the fallopian tube in time to sync up with the prepared uterine lining. The cervical area and vaginal fluid must accept the sperm, and the uterine lining then must accept the fertilised egg.
Looking at all of the factors at play, there are many things that can prevent a successful pregnancy. If any one of these elements is off, contraception is going to be very difficult. However, that doesn’t have to be the end of the story.
Alternative Treatment Method: Egg Donation
If you have come to the conclusion that you won’t be able to conceive naturally due to decreased ovarian reserve or poor quality eggs, you can have eggs donated and implanted into your womb in a process known as in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Here is how it works:
During this initial evaluation, doctors will do various diagnostic tests to make sure that your uterus and body can support pregnancy.
Choose a Donor
Choosing a donor involves selecting the person whose eggs you want to use. If you are using an egg bank, you can choose a donor based on physical traits, ethnicity, education, and profession. If you are not using an egg bank, you can also use a friend or family member’s egg if you know someone who is willing to donate.
It’s recommended to go to counselling so that you can be emotionally prepared for the road ahead. If you know your donor, it is helpful for them to attend as well.
Decide how much or how little involvement you want your donor to have in your child’s life. Then, get it all in writing through your attorney so there are no questions later. If you are acquiring an egg through an egg bank, this step will have generally already been done for you.
If you are using a fresh egg, you and your donor will undergo treatment to sync up your menstrual cycles. When the time is right, the eggs will be retrieved from her ovaries, fertilised, and implanted in your uterus.
Frozen eggs are collected and then frozen for later use, so no cycle synchronisation is necessary. When you choose a set of eggs, they will be thawed, fertilised, and then implanted after a few days of waiting and medication. There are tests and treatments done to ensure you get the implantation at an ideal time.
Two weeks after the implantation, you can do an at-home pregnancy test. Also, schedule an appointment with your doctor for final confirmation.
IVF is an option that has become much more popular, with success rates continuously improving. However, it is ultimately going to be up to you and your partner when choosing what’s right for you. Be informed, seek counselling, and above all, know that you are not alone on your journey to parenthood. There are viable options to have the child or children you have always wanted and you have the power to decide what’s right for you. Best of luck on your journey!