Fertility, Endometriosis, and Egg Donation
Despite affecting one in 10 women, endometriosis is a chronic health problem that is often misunderstood by both patients and healthcare providers alike.
Endometriosis happens when tissue similar to the uterine lining’s endometrium tissue develops outside the uterus, such as on the fallopian tubes or ovaries. Symptoms can vary from mild to very painful, but even severe endometriosis can go misdiagnosed or undetected for a long time. Because endometriosis affects the reproductive system, it can have a profound impact on a woman’s ability to conceive. Unfortunately, because the condition is frequently misdiagnosed or undetected, many women don’t discover that they have endometriosis until they start undergoing fertility testing.
For women who are experiencing endometriosis-related fertility issues, there are many treatment options available. One such treatment is using a donor egg.
Endometriosis and Ovarian Reserve
During menstruation, endometrial tissue develops inside the uterus, thickens, breaks down, and is flushed out of the body via the vagina each month. When this tissue grows outside the uterus, it performs the same functions, but it has no way to exit the body. In some cases, cysts on the ovaries (called endometriomas) and scar tissue can develop, causing adhesions and irritation in the pelvic area. Endometriomas can negatively impact the ovarian reserve by reducing both egg quality and quantity. When the ovarian reserve is compromised, getting pregnant can become difficult.
Endometriosis and Egg Donation
For women whose ovaries have been affected by endometriosis, egg donation offers a possible solution and can be a fulfilling path toward making their dreams of having a family come true. While some individuals and couples choose to work with a known egg donor, such as a friend or family member, most people typically work with an anonymous egg donor.
Because potential egg donors are carefully screened for health, fertility, and genetic issues before being accepted into an egg donation program, intended parents can be assured that they will receive high-quality eggs, thus improving their chances of having a child. Once matched with an egg donor, the recipient’s and donor’s cycles are synchronized. The eggs are extracted from the donor, fertilized in a laboratory using a partner’s or donor’s sperm, and then transferred into the recipient’s uterus via in vitro fertilization (IVF). If successful, the embryo will attach itself to the uterine wall where it will grow and develop for nine months.
Although not the traditional way to have a child, many intended mothers find the egg donation process extraordinarily fulfilling, as it allows them to maintain a physical connection with their baby through pregnancy and childbirth.
Starting a family can be an emotional process, especially when dealing with a condition like endometriosis. However, thanks to assisted reproduction, there are many treatment options available. If you think using a donor egg is the right choice for your family-building journey and are interested in learning more, contact Egg Donor America today.