Donors and Surrogacy are a wonderful addition to the infertility treatment procedure, not only in context to technology and inventions but also for the overall sentimental approach of infertility. With the introduction of these two alternatives along with treatments like IVF, ICSI, IUI, those unfortunate and unlucky couples or individuals now have a reason to smile and celebrate.
The donors and surrogacy are associated with Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) methods like IVF, ICSI or IUI.
What is it?
When the eggs or sperms utilized in the artificial process of fertilization are given by a third individual, they are known as Donors (sperm donor, egg donor or embryo donor). This is a special case of infertility where the donors appear due to complications in the sperm or egg of the father or mother respectively.
When the sperm and egg of the mother and father are collected together for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) but the embryos formed are injected into another woman's uterus called Surrogate, this process is called Surrogacy. The need for surrogacy arises in cases of unfavourable conditions where the mother's body is not hostile enough to bear a pregnancy.
Who Should Go for These Options for Treatment?
- In the case of infertility problems to the malefactor (low sperm count, poor sperm quality and motility, sexual dysfunctions), donor sperms are used for successful pregnancies.
- In cases where complications with the egg-like declining ovarian reserve (decreasing eggs in women), poor egg quality or sexual dysfunctions are the reason for infertility, eggs from donors are used for treating infertility.
- Couples who cannot conceive due to age-related factors of infertility can opt for donor sperm or donor egg.
- Women suffering from complex diseases of the reproductive health like severe pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), extreme cases of PCOS, etc. and other ovulatory disorders an choose the donor option as a part of their treatment.
- If either of the person in the couple suffers from any kind of chronic disorders or even Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), they can consider this alternatively for pregnancy and avoid complications
- In the case of genetic disorders running in the family, the couple can prevent its transfer to their child by applying for donor egg/donor sperm choice.
- The couples are free to make decisions and can anyway opt for the donor process if they just want to preserve their eggs or sperm.
- For problems of fertility in both the couples, there are embryo-donors as well.
- It is the best option for single parents who want a child.
- When the woman's body is not sympathetic towards bearing a child within her uterus, then surrogacy is the best method.
- Health conditions like premature menopause make it impossible for the mother to conceive. In these situations, surrogacy is the best way out.
- Women who wish to conceive after their reproductive age, surrogacy is the only means to achieve it.
- Women suffering from complications like Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) can choose surrogacy with proper consultation from the doctor.
What is the Process?
There are 3 types of donors:
- Sperm Donor
You can choose the sperm sample from the bank/hospital or a person of your choice (friend/family) is also considered according to your decision. The sperm sample is treated with the eggs of the mother similar to the ART processes.
- Egg Donor
You can choose the egg samples from the bank/hospital or a person of your choice (friend/family) is also considered according to your decision. The egg sample is treated with the sperm of the father similar to the ART processes.
- Embryo Donor
In cases of problems in both, preserved embryos (embryo cryopreservation) in the hospitals/fertility clinics, it is put to work for successful parenthood.
A surrogate can be a woman of your choice or someone who has volunteered from a certified organization by the hospital. There are certain rules and regulations for choosing a surrogate. It is wise to consult an expert before choosing your options.
Sometimes, the donor and surrogate can be helpful simultaneously. If the uterus of the mother is not healthy enough to bear a child and if the father has sperm- related problems, they can make use of both donor and surrogacy together. The sperm from the donor is taken and placed in a surrogate woman's uterus.
Donors and surrogacy have given new hope to those couples who thought they could never make it. You must consult a good infertility specialist for further advice.