Monday, 5 August 2013

Men making sperm and women losing eggs, Is it nature's fair task

Men make a difficult to comprehend one to two hundred million sperm per day.  Women, on the other hand, are forever losing eggs.  In fact, women have their maximum number of eggs before they are even born.  A baby in her mother’s uterus has 7 million eggs.  By the time she is born, only 2 million of these eggs will have survived.  By the time a women has her first menstrual cycle, only 300,000 of these eggs remain. These eggs are steadily lost in a woman’s twenties and early thirties.  By the time a women is in her mid to late thirties, the loss of eggs begins to accelerate and each year more eggs are lost than the year before.  So what’s a woman to do?

We can’t turn back the clock, nor can we?  New technologies have been developed to allow women to freeze their eggs when they young, and use these eggs when they are ready to have children.  Eggs that are frozen do not age, and can be used may years in the future.  For women currently in their 20’s and early 30’s, this option is no longer just a pipe dream; it is a reality.  In fact, more and more women are being proactive and choosing this option in order to preserve their fertility and be able to make reproductive choices on their own timeline, and not in accordance with their biological clock.

The process takes a few short weeks, and the eggs can remain frozen until they are ready to be used.  This allows women to pursue their life goals within the timeframe that they desire, not being bound by the rules that until the last few years have limited the window of fertility. Women no longer need to worry that every day they are losing 20 eggs while the men they know are making hundreds of millions of sperm.

There are many questions in the mind of egg donor, let’s we answer some basic question about egg donation.

Who are the recipients?
Couples generally choose to use donor eggs because they're unable to conceive a child with the female partner's own eggs. There are many reasons that a woman may not be able to conceive with her own eggs, including older age, early menopause, poor-quality eggs or previous cancer treatments that damaged the ovaries. Frequently, recipients have already been through extensive fertility treatments without success.

What's involved in the screening process?
You will be asked to complete a detailed questionnaire about your background and your medical, family and personal history. After that is complete and has been reviewed by our staff, we will call to arrange screening appointments with our psychologist and genetic counselor. The last step in the screening process is a physical examination with a doctor and laboratory tests.

How much time is involved?
The screening process generally takes a few weeks to complete. You will speak to the Egg Donor Program coordinator by phone and come into the office for a few short visits at our Mount Zion location. Once you're chosen as an egg donor, a cycle takes approximately four weeks.

During a two-week period, you'll come to the clinic about seven to 10 times for ultrasound monitoring and blood tests. These appointments generally require a 15- to 30-minute visit in the morning. The day that you are scheduled for the egg retrieval, you'll be at our clinic for a large portion of the day. Most donors are able to continue to work or go to school during the process.

Will I need to give myself shots?
Yes. The shots are done at home. You can do them yourself, or have a friend or family member help you. We will teach you how to mix and administer your medication in our office.

Are there possible side effects and risks?
As with any medical procedure, there are possible side effects and risks. Many women feel very minor or no discomfort during the donation cycle. Others have varying symptoms that typically resolve after the egg retrieval procedure. Some donors may feel bloating, pressure, abdominal pain and swelling, breast tenderness and moodiness from the hormone medications, which will go away by the next menstrual period. Severe side effects are rare and will be discussed with you in detail by a doctor before you join the program.

1.       Injection side effects and risks:  The blood tests and hormone injections are usually well tolerated. However, some women experience pain, redness or minor bruising at the injection site. Allergic reactions are rare.

2.       Medication side effects and risks:  There is a small risk of ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome (OHSS) developing during an egg donation cycle. OHSS generally occurs after the egg retrieval and involves enlargement of the ovaries, significant increases in fluid retention within the abdomen and concentration of the blood within the blood vessels.
In its more mild form, OHSS can be uncomfortable but resolves within several days. The severe form, which occurs in about 1 percent of donor cycles, may require hospitalization for monitoring. While the condition is serious, it usually lasts no more than one week.

3.       Procedure side effects and risks: The egg retrieval procedure is guided by transvaginal ultrasound. The risk of serious complications from this procedure is rare - about 1 in 1,000. Serious complications involve bleeding that requires observation in the hospital, blood transfusion, or both, as well as damage to internal organs and infection.

4.       Other side effects and risks: To date, evidence doesn't suggest any increased risk of breast or ovarian cancer from serving as an egg donor. There is no evidence of increased risk of infertility.

Are there any restrictions during the process?
You can get pregnant during the egg donation process, so we ask that you abstain from intercourse during the process.
Your ovaries will become enlarged during the egg donation process. We ask you to refrain from high-impact activities such as running, mountain biking and jumping until several weeks after the egg retrieval. After approximately one month, your ovaries will return to their normal size.

Can I become pregnant during treatment?
Yes! It's very important to avoid intercourse from the time you start the hormone medication until three weeks after your egg retrieval. This will prevent an unwanted pregnancy and ensure the cycle goes as planned.

Will it impact my fertility or deplete my eggs?
No. The procedure itself doesn't have any impact on your future ability to have children. Women are born with about 2 million eggs. Each month, a group of eggs begin the maturation process, but the body selects only one egg each cycle to ovulate, while the rest are absorbed by the body. Fertility medications "rescue" some of these excess eggs that the body would have ordinarily discarded.

Can I still work or go to school?
Although the egg donation process requires you to adhere strictly to your medication and appointment schedule, most women are able to continue with work and school without difficulty.
However, you must take the medication as instructed, and on time. You must be on time for all monitoring appointments, and you must arrange for transportation to and from the egg retrieval. This means you will need to make your egg donor cycle a top priority during the few weeks that it occurs, and you may have to reschedule other events, classes or work times as necessary.

How many eggs does the average donor produce?
Egg production depends on the individual and how they respond to the medication; the number of eggs produced by a donor can be as low as five and as high as 35 or more.

How long will it take for my body to return to normal after egg retrieval?
You should anticipate a menstrual period within 10 days after you donate. Following the next menstrual cycle, your body should be back to normal. 

How often can I donate?
We allow up to four donations, each at least three months apart.

What are my responsibilities if I agree to become a donor?
The responsibilities of ovum donors are:
·         Be truthful in all portions of the donor screening process.
·         Follow the doctors' orders during the treatment cycle.
·         Adhere strictly to your medication and appointment schedule. You must take the medication as instructed and on time, and arrive for all monitoring appointments on time. This means you must make your egg donor cycle a top priority during the few weeks that it occurs.
·         Arrange for transportation to and from the egg retrieval procedure.
·         Abstain from sex from the time you start the hormone medication until three weeks after your egg retrieval, to prevent an unwanted pregnancy and make sure the cycle proceeds as planned.

Do I have legal responsibilities to any child born?
When you agree to donate your eggs, you are giving up all rights and responsibilities associated with the eggs and any child born as a result of them.

Will the recipients know me or meet me?
Most egg donor arrangements are anonymous, meaning you won't know the recipients and they won't know you. Information about you is shared with the recipients in a non-identifying manner. For example, we share the following information: your blood type, ethnic background of your mother and father, height, weight, body build, eye color, hair color and texture, years of education, occupation, special interests and family medical history. Pictures you give us will also be shared with potential recipients. We will not share your last name, address, telephone number or email address.

We are committed to creating egg donation arrangements that fit the personal needs of both donor and recipients. Some donors and recipients are interested in meeting each other and we support that process, if all parties are willing. On your application, you will indicate whether you're willing to meet the recipients, and whether you would be willing to meet their child when the child is an adult.

Can I donate more than once?

Yes. If all goes well with your first egg donation cycle, we would be happy to have you come back and donate again. Repeat donation may take less of your time, because you will have already completed the initial screening process.

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