If you’re considering working with an egg donor to help grow your family, you likely have some questions and concerns about the process and what to expect. In particular, you may be wondering how an egg donor pregnancy differs from traditional pregnancies. Below are two key points to keep in mind.
When using an egg donor, the medical aspects of your pregnancy will not differ from those of traditional pregnancies.
You will see your doctors regularly as the fetus develops, keeping track of the overall health of the fetus and all of the typical milestones in your pregnancy. As with any other pregnancy, you’ll have the option to learn the sex of your future child. Your doctor will advise you on any medical precautions to take during your pregnancy and, if needed, will recommend appropriate tests to help ensure optimal health and safety for both you and your baby.
Many women choosing to use egg donors harbor concerns about the ability to emotionally bond with their babies—that it will be difficult, confusing, or simply too different from what occurs during and after a traditional pregnancy.
It’s important to remember that bonding differs from parent to parent, regardless of whether third-party reproductive services are used. Some women feel an immediate connection during pregnancy, while others take much longer to form a strong emotional bond—even after pregnancy. Both circumstances are completely normal.
If you’re worried specifically that your future child will not be able to bond with you in the womb because you’ve used an egg donor, rest assured: Studies have shown that fetuses can recognize the voice of their mother—the woman carrying the child—prior to birth, showing selective reactions to her voice and touch as early as the second trimester.
Some intended mothers working with an egg donor also wonder whether and how they should tell their future child about the egg donor.
Most experts recommend being open with your child about their genetic history, once they have reached an appropriate age. They may be curious to learn more about their genetic background, or they may not. The specifics outlined in your contract with your egg donor will help guide the timing and substance of your discussion. Your contract should address the parameters of future contact between you (and your partner, if applicable), the egg donor, and your child.
In known (or open) agreements, which are rare, the egg donor is typically a friend or family member, and the arrangement is open, meaning your child will know who the donor is and perhaps even be close with them. In semi-known (or semi-open) arrangements, the donor and intended parent(s) know minimal information about one another, such as first names and general areas of residence. In anonymous arrangements, there is typically no future contact between the intended parent(s) and the donor, and no identifying information is provided.
To learn more about egg donation, set up a consultation, or speak with an expert about what to expect during an egg donor pregnancy, get in touch with Fertility Solutions today.