Primary Ovarian Insufficiency: Exploring Egg Donor Options

Primary Ovarian Insufficiency: Exploring Egg Donor Options

Trouble Getting Pregnant?

The path to parenthood isn’t always easy, and some women may struggle to get pregnant. Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) is a term used to describe a condition where the ovaries stop working normally before age 40. Individuals with POI often don’t make enough estrogen and may fail to release an egg naturally each cycle. Although the condition can be frustrating, fertility options are available. An egg donor can help aspiring couples have a baby.


Breaking down POI

Chromosomal changes, toxins, and autoimmune responses can all cause primary ovarian insufficiency. However, in most cases, the cause is unknown. Older age and a family history of POI are possible risk factors for the condition. Symptoms are often similar to menopause, with irregular or missed periods, vaginal dryness, and hot flashes commonly reported. Women with POI who are trying to get pregnant may experience infertility. A doctor can diagnose the condition by obtaining a complete medical history and performing bloodwork.

Chances of pregnancy

Although women with POI will have a more challenging time getting pregnant, there is still a possibility of conception. About 5-10% of women with the condition will conceive naturally. Other couples may choose to seek out fertility treatment like in vitro fertilization (IVF) to increase the chances of success. For some women, an egg donor is the best way to have a baby.

The egg donor option

Although an egg donor often isn’t the first choice for many women, the reality of POI means that natural conception may not be possible. Egg donors are healthy women who agree to donate an egg for another woman to use to have a baby. Sometimes, the donor provides the egg, and the intended mother carries the pregnancy. In other situations, a surrogate is used. A sperm sample will also be required from the male partner or a donor.

Carrying a pregnancy to term

Before getting pregnant using an egg donor, women with POI should see a healthcare provider to try to figure out the best way to control estrogen levels. In some cases, medication can help. Once the patient is as healthy as possible, a transfer can occur. The donor’s egg is combined with sperm, and a catheter is used to insert the specimen directly into the intended mother’s uterus. In cases where the patient with POI cannot carry a pregnancy, a surrogate can be used. In this situation, the donated egg is combined with sperm and carried by a third-party woman.

Your donor baby

Seeking out the assistance of an egg donor is an excellent option for women with POI who want to have a child. Patients can browse various options until a donor is found who shares similar physical characteristics as the intended mother. Donors are also screened to rule out any major health conditions. With a healthy donor egg, pregnancy, and an adorable baby are possible.

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