Why is egg donation still a taboo among fertility treatments?

  1. Heyyyy… After years trying to conceive, my partner and I decided to move to IVF. I was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure, so experts told me to move to donor eggs. So we used a semen sample from my man and the eggs of an anonymous donor. Everything was okay, perfect indeed, but we had a preference to keep it a secret, because people in our community and even our family is not so open-minded about it. Then when we announced we were expecting, the big question came: “How?” And then we had to choose between lying or telling the truth. We finally bet for the truth, but imagine everyone thinking the baby wasn’t “actually” ours… On the other hand, I’ve a friend that decided to move to sperm banking by herself, and now she’s a single mother by choice and everyone has given her a round of a applause… why? I mean, technically it’s the same “artificial” method, why this secrecy toward egg donation?

    December 26, 2015 at 9:33 am
    #8019 Reply
  2. Sandra F. Sandra F.
    inviTRA's Moderator

    Dear Amanda,

    Obviously, the easiest and least costly of all fertility options is just plain sex; however, this is not always possible due to some factors related to either male or female infertility, or even both. In cases of diminished ovarian reserve or premature ovarian failure, women usually have no choice but to move to donor eggs if they wish to become pregnant. In such case, it is commonly called “third-party reproduction”, that is, the use of the gametes of an individual outside the primary relationship to make a child possible.

    Everyone nowadays seems to agree with sperm donation, especially in cases of single motherhood and lesbian couples, and single mothers by choice are not ashamed to admit it. As for surrogacy, more or less the same story occurs in this case, where again it is a woman outside the relationship who carries the pregnancy to term. Given than celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Jimmy Fallon, Ricky Martin, and many other stars have used a gestational carrier, surrogacy is increasingly becoming accepted by the majority of people. In this sense, the following article may be of interest: Celebrities who used donor eggs or a surrogate.

    In the case of egg donation, the truth is, there’s still a lot to be done to remove this secrecy surrounding it. The reasons why a woman may need to use donor eggs are actually the most natural ones because a woman’s fertility is often dependent on the age of her eggs, not on her body. So you have an idea, while women under 35 have around a 40% chance of achieving pregnancy with IVF, those over 42 have only a 4,5% chance. Conversely, for women of any childbearing age who move to donor eggs, this figure increases to 49% or even more.

    There are cases in which some women or couples admit having a preference for adoption instead of egg donation. But why? Taking into account that the secrecy surrounding egg donation is mostly related to genetics, it does not make sense that they prefer adoption instead of egg donation, because in the latter case, the baby would have the genetic material of the father, and in the former case, neither the father’s nor the mother’s genetic material would be there.

    According to several studies conducted by Parents Via Egg Donation, there is a “stigma” surrounding egg donation, and that’s why this fertility option is looked down upon. Another factor apart from genetics that influences this stigma to a great extent is aging, since people tend to associate egg donation with aging more than surrogacy. Also religious communities may have some objections related to egg donation and third-party reproduction in general, since the majority of them consider that fertility treatments stand for an “antinatural” way of getting pregnant.

    Anyhow, my advice is that you shouldn’t be ashamed. There is a science called “epigenetics”, according to which environment shapes the gene expression of the baby. In fact, evidence now shows that deep bonding between the baby and the mother develops during the 9 months of pregnancy. Thus, even though overall DNA may not be the same, gene influence exists. To get detailed information about epigenetics, please visit this topic: Epigenetics and egg donation.

    I hope I have clarified your concerns,


    January 5, 2016 at 10:04 am
    #8020 Reply
    • Hey guys, thanks for creating this thread! I’m a 33-year-old woman from Australia, mother of 2 boys (aged 4 and 6) and my hubby and I have decided to donate my eggs to my cousin, after watching their struggle and knowing we can help… After a week with the shots, had my 1st scan today. Left ovary has more follicles than right… fingers crossed I’ve got actually eggs in them!! The process is being easier than I thought, to be honest with you, going okay so far. My close friends are supportive, but my parents and sis not so much, guessing it’s again that “taboo” thing. I feel I’m doing the right thing in my heart, but I’m trying not to disclose too much to my parents and sister – I don’t need their negative comments… Luckily my cousin is very appreciative, and that’s the best part … This thread has helped me immensely, thanks guys.

      April 27, 2016 at 3:40 pm
      #9295 Reply
    • Hi HighForThis, I haven’t even told 1 of my sisters for that reason too. If I dare to do it, she would give me a hard time about it I think, so there’s no need. I told my parents and they took it in their stride, which is more comfortable btw. The situation reminded me of the time I announced to them I was gay at 17 hahaha

      April 28, 2016 at 12:32 pm
      #9296 Reply
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