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When to Consider Egg Donation

In my recent post, “The Biological Clock Keeps Ticking
I suggested that as a female patient gets older, she needs to be more aggressive in seeking help from a fertility specialist. However, there becomes a point where the chances of a female conceiving using her own eggs — even with help of reproductive medicine — becomes extremely difficult.

In the clinic where I practice, we recommend that after the female patient’s 46th birthday, that she use an egg donor to conceive. This policy is set because of the limited success women in their 40's have in achieving a successful pregnancy, even with IVF.

Being told that the chances of conceiving using one’s own eggs can be an emotional blow. Nevertheless, this doesn’t rule out parenthood by any means. Egg donation has shown to be a worthwhile parenting option. (For more specifics on egg donation, visit this link.) Although the intended mother (also known as recipient) will not have biological linking to the child, she is indeed the mother. She carries the baby to term, breastfeeds the baby, and raises the baby. Another positive of egg donation is that, in general, it provides high pregnancy rates. I do realize that egg donation is not for everyone and adoption is a wonderful parenting option as well.

I receive numerous questions from patients about both the medical and emotional issues surrounding egg donation as well as the question “When is it too late to use my own eggs?” If you have any questions or comments about these issues, drop me a line.
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About the Author

Dr. Herbert is a fertility expert and an innovator in the field.