Becoming an egg donor is a rewarding and selfless experience. The process involves helping an individual or couple grow their family tree. However, many young ladies like to understand the risks associated with egg donation. The most common question we receive is “Will it affect my ability to have kids in the future?” Even though you don’t want a baby right now, some day you’ll probably want to become a mom. This question is a common concern, but often has many misconceptions associated with it.
Some misconceptions have led people to believe they will have a problem conceiving as a result of donating their eggs, preventing them from taking on the opportunity. Here at, Physician’s Surrogacy, a leading egg donation agency in San Diego CA, we want to help potential egg donors understand these common misconceptions.
Studies and research do not show evidence of egg donation affecting future fertility in any way. A recent study of 60 egg donors in Belgium found that 57 got pregnant within a year and a half of trying to get pregnant.
To help you make fully-informed decisions, we have answered some of the most common questions and concerns about egg donation.
Will donating my eggs deplete my egg supply?
This is a very common question from potential egg donors. The simple answer is no. During ovulation, your body releases one egg, while in an egg donation cycle your body might mature up to 20 eggs. Here’s the explanation: every cycle your body starts to mature 15 to 20 eggs, but ultimately only one will win and make it to ovulation. The remaining eggs get absorbed back in your body and “die”, a process called atresia. The only difference in an egg donation cycle is that your body will mature all the eggs instead of just one. At the end, the number of eggs left in your reserve will be the same as it would have been anyway.
Are the fertility medications going to affect my hormones in the future?
No, fertility medications have no long-term consequences on fertility. The egg donation process is very similar to the first phases of IVF. It is not a new science and is often done to help with fertility treatments. The hormone injections do nothing more than boost your hormones while you’re taking them and after that they leave your body quickly. It’s normal for your period to take a month or two to get back on its regular schedule.
What are possible complications?
Egg donation is very safe, but it does have its own risks. These complications are very rare. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is one complication in which bloating, and cramps are caused as your body overreacts to fertility medications. In extremely rare case OHSS can lead to ovarian torsion. This is when the ovary gets twisted and causes severe pain, but the risk of ovarian torsion is less 1%. To further reduce the risk, your doctor will recommend reducing your amount of exercise and high impact activities while you’re donating.
What can I do to protect my future fertility?
Even if you decide not to donate your eggs, thinking about your future fertility can help your chances of getting pregnant when you want. At this stage in life, lifestyle choices are the most important part of protecting your future fertility and you can also get help from your doctor.
Diet and nutrition do have a big impact on an individual’s fertility. Being significantly under or overweight makes it harder to conceive, by messing with hormone production which affects how you ovulate. Nutrition is also important as trans fats have been shown to disrupt ovulation. Although a good balance of protein and healthy fats will ensure that your body has everything that it needs to reproduce.
Regular exercise not only helps you stay in shape and reduces stress but is also great for your fertility as well. It’s good to exercise but make sure you don’t over do it. Over exercising may adversely affect your fertility and the way your body produces hormones.
Nicotine is harmful to us in many ways, but it’s especially bad for fertility. Cell damage from smoking can extend to your ovaries and it’s known to damage your eggs. Smoking can make your body enter menopause sooner, which is basically game-over for your dreams of getting pregnant.
Limit Alcohol and Caffeine Intake
Alcohol and coffee aren’t quite as bad for you, if used in moderation. Even though it may seem normal to drink during your college years and 20s, the damage it causes may lead to irregular cycles.
Research on caffeine and its effect on fertility is still unclear, but there is evidence that a high dose of caffeine may cause some complications (more than 2 cups of coffee a day).
Be Mindful of Your Sexual and Cervical Health
The best thing you can do to protect your fertility is to practice safer sex and get regular screenings for STIs (sexually transmitted infections). Untreated STIs may damage your fallopian tubes and create other awful problems that may affect your fertility in the future.
The worst part is that many STIs are sneaky. There are no obvious symptoms, so you might not even know you have one until it’s already caused damage. The good news is that these infections can be treated with antibiotics or antiviral medications. Also make sure to get the HPV vaccine, to protect yourself from cervical cancer.
Consider freezing your eggs
Freezing your eggs while your fertility is at its peak, is like pressing pause on their aging. You typically have higher quality eggs when you are younger. This leads to a better chance of getting pregnant down the road. Although not guaranteed, it’s an amazing way to boost your chances of getting pregnant. Egg freezing is perfect for postponing family building until you are ready to start building your family.
Egg donation doesn’t pose any risk to your future fertility but if it’s something you are considering, please do your research. If you have additional questions or are ready to start the process, you can always reach to us at www.physcianssurrogacy.com or call at (858) 342-3327.