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Who are the New Recpients of Donor Eggs?

Over 1,000 donor cycles is quite a considerable and reasonable number to discuss and comment on who needs and looks for egg donation to conceive.

It was the 77th cycle when a single man in his late 50’s presented himself and explained why he is unique and cannot wait for the right partner, but wants to create offspring to leave a legacy and be able to share his love. This man stands out for me as the first person I encountered to be a single man to want to conceive. I was inspired and in awe at his passion and excitement. He knew exactly what he wanted and became stronger in emotion and devotion to his cause. Even when challenged, he held his stance and after a couple of months, on his sixth IVF attempt was fortunate to conceive. He was the first of many single men who would follow this path of surrogacy egg donation. Other single men include persons who have been emotionally hurt and even lost children in previous failed relationships. They are motivated to follow this route to safeguard themselves to have the love and companion of their offspring without further complications. Others include persons without strong relationship ties, but adamant about this course and insistent on wanting to reproduce. Single men are known for not giving up, even after a couple of years to achieve their dream of becoming a dad.

Whilst single woman have proceeded with donor eggs and therefore used a double donation (egg and sperm), there have been significantly more single men. The course is easier for single woman as they do not need a surrogate and therefore the associated legalities of this process. The sperm donation contribution is usually frozen and if not being imported poses fewer complexities.

For single parents to be, it is quite a lonely journey, as they share all ups and downs, the challenges and excitements on their own. Whilst a professional can empathise and be happy for recipients, there is no significant other to celebrate milestones and to help heal the pain when appropriate support is needed. The beauty of these situations is seeing pictures after successes of these very single people is them with their new little ones. They are no longer alone.

The norm of recipients is women who have poor ovarian quality because of advanced maternal age, poor or absent ovarian reserves. Generally women are over 38 years old. Many couples together for several years struggling with infertility over their entire relationship look to egg donation because of several failed attempts and the years counting against them.

A lot of recipients are also new couples in second relationships and very often the male partner is younger and the lady possibly already a mom (of older children) but no longer age appropriate to produce her own quality eggs.

Small percentages of people have sought egg donation to stop known genetic disorders, e.g. ectodermal dysplasia. The youngest recipient needing donor eggs was aged 29. She had irregular menstrual cycles with poor egg quality. An even smaller percentage of woman presented complete ovarian failure with absolutely no menstrual cycles in usual fertile years.

In very recent cycles, an increase is noted in egg freezing. New success rates of frozen tissue are making freezing of embryos a viable option when transfer is not an option, but the timing for the donor is convenient.

The large prominence is for woman with poor or absent ovarian reserves because of age.  Egg donation continues to be a solution for people in unique circumstances and presents opportunities for all in a respectful and gentle manner.

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