When an individual or couple is unable to have a child naturally, they have several options. Some may choose the process of adoption. However, many have turned to the use of a surrogate mother where an egg and sperm are implanted into a third party's uterus and the embryo grows in her womb.
In other cases, the biological mother may be able to actually carry a growing embryo, however, she just may not be able to get pregnant with the use of her own eggs. This is where the process of egg donation can help.
The process of egg donation is oftentimes referred to as oocyte donation. This can help to make pregnancy possible for a woman who is not otherwise able to do so with the use of her own eggs.
Once an appropriate egg donor has been selected, the donation entails the stimulation of the donor's ovaries. This is typically done through medication that stimulates her ovaries in the same manner that a woman would prepare for in vitro fertilization. This involves ovulation induction that helps in producing multiple eggs as well ensuring that ovulation does not occur too early.
There are many reasons why a woman may be unable to use her own eggs to become pregnant. These can include not only poor egg quality, but other factors such as early menopause, premature ovarian failure, a hormonal imbalance, or the inability of her eggs to respond to stimulation.
Other reasons could also include her age with regard to risk in the pregnancy. For example, it is often recommended that women over age 40 use extreme caution when conceiving, as the mother's advanced age could be potentially harmful to both the mother and the baby. Therefore, women who are age 40 and over may also want to consider the use of a donated egg.
There are several considerations when it comes to selecting a good egg donor. The first step in this process involves deciding upon the particular characteristics that are preferred in such a donor. For example, this individual may be a family member, a close friend, or someone who is completely anonymous.
In any case, it is important that the egg donor is healthy. It is for this reason that donors should first be carefully screened for any physical health conditions, their medical and social history, and any history of hereditary diseases and/or birth defects.
In addition, it is also essential that the potential egg donor be tested for psychological factors, as well as for sexually transmitted diseases, as either of these factors could also be potentially harmful to the health of the baby through the egg that is donated.
Once the egg donor has completed such tests and it is determined that she is a good match, the process of donating her egg may begin. This will put into motion the process of pregnancy for the new child's parent or parents.