I Am One in Six: My Infertility Struggle (and Solution)
Nobody ever mentions infertility when you’re younger – sometimes even into early womanhood. It’s a natural assumption that when you’re ready to start a family, it will just happen. At least, that’s what I thought. The news of my infertility came as a devastating shock, but fortunately it became a lot easier after coming across donoreggbankusa.com. This is my story of how a donor’s egg turned my sense of helplessness into a story of hope, which I believe will empower others going through a similar experience.
When my husband and I married in 2007, we shared bright visions for our future. We were undertaking a business venture together, and having kids was in the cards for us, but not a priority at that time.
A few years later when we decided to start trying, we were shocked to find it wasn’t working. It was hard not to blame myself or feel like I’d “missed my chance”.
We consulted fertility specialists and found some comfort in learning that we weren’t alone. In fact, one in six Canadian couples will have problems conceiving. We were advised that In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) would be our best chance, but even then, the chances weren’t great. By then, I was in my late thirties and was aware that declining egg health could very well affect my chances of conceiving.
Sure enough, traditional IVF didn’t work for us. A couple years and several rounds later, we still didn’t have the baby we longed for. After more consultations with our specialists, we were told that IVF with donor egg might be our best chance of becoming pregnant and having a baby.
At first, the idea of donor egg seemed a bit strange. We started to consider if there were any family or friends we could ask. We wondered if we should search for donors we didn’t know, but quickly realized that regulatory restrictions made that difficult. The entire process seemed completely overwhelming until someone pointed us in the direction of a frozen donor egg program. We were thrilled to discover that California Cryobank’s Donor Egg Bank had helped many Canadian couples in recent years achieve their dreams of starting a family using frozen oocytes.
Not only that – the Canadian Assisted Reproductive Technologies Register reported that there had been a 10% increase in frozen donor egg cycles from 2015-2016. We were pleasantly surprised by the high success rates using frozen donor eggs and that treatment wasn’t as expensive as we thought it would be.
The Frozen Donor Egg Process
The process starts with selecting your donor from the egg network’s extensive database. There you can access important information about the donor, including health and educational background. Once you select a donor, five to eight of her viable eggs will be shipped to your fertility clinic of choice.
My experience was relatively simple. I was given medication to thicken my uterine lining and make it a hospitable environment to receive an embryo. Initially, I was worried about taking the medication, but I didn’t experience any side effects.
Leading up to the embryo transfer, my egg lot was thawed and each egg was fertilized with my husband’s sperm. A few days later, the two most viable embryos were chosen for transfer. The transfer itself was very straightforward – two embryos were placed in my uterus via a thin catheter. The procedure felt similar to having a pap smear.
The following two weeks were perhaps the most difficult. I was hoping so hard for it to work, trying to imagine the embryos implanting as they should. At the end of the two-week period, I had a blood test to check if I was pregnant, and couldn’t believe it when I got a positive result. One of the embryos had stuck! I was so grateful for the opportunity to carry my child for the next nine months, and even happier to meet our little girl in person.
If you, too, are battling infertility and think age or egg health may be a factor, I highly recommend you consider donor egg IVF as a path to parenthood.
By Janet F.