I guess that for most people this thought doesn't even enter their minds, I mean it isn't exactly dinner party conversation and it isn't something that crosses our paths all that often.
We all know about surrogacy and adoption as both get a fair amount of publicity and most of us know at least 1 person who has been through IVF in their journey to motherhood. For some woman, the problem starts earlier than that and for them IVF is a pipe dream because without the egg, the sperm is redundant and no amount of stimulation will provide the building blocks to create the baby which they dream of. This is where egg donation comes in and so I am going to try and describe the process, give some information and encourage as many people as I can to consider whether this is something that they can imagine themselves doing.
I guess the first step would be to ask why you even consider doing this and the answer to this question will be completely unique and personal. I want to do this because I have come to realise that giving makes me happy. Sure there are many other things which make me just as (and sometimes more) happy but giving is the one little thing that I can do which makes me feel that I am helping to make the world outside my own a little bit better for someone. It started small through donations, charities and recycling kids stuff to those less fortunate and now I am ready to move onto something more personal. The truth is, I hated being pregnant, it was long and difficult and not something that I want to do again. Thankfully I had my boys and so our family is complete so I'm thinking that if someone else can make use of the remaining eggs then that's what I want to do with them.
Step two should be about educating yourself and there are loads of places to look including:
United Kingdom: National Gamete Donation Trust
United States: Having Babies
South Africa: Nurture
The American and Australian ones I have taken from a Google search so I would suggest that you research the options there carefully but no doubt these sites would be a good starting point. Nurture in South Africa is run by the lovely Tertia who will take very good care of you and the National Gamete Donation trust in the UK is run by the lovely Pippa who is fabulous in every possible way given that she almost single handedly runs such a fantastic operation.
In the first instance you should read, read and then read some more. Get a feel for the experiences and try and come to grips with the process. Although many people deal with this differently, I have found that being well read on a subject means that speaking to my GP is a much for fulfilling process.
Which leads me to step three which is speak to your family doctor. Admittedly I am lucky in that I have a wonderful doctor who takes the time to talk things through with me and when I brought this up with her she was compeltely supportive. In the UK you will need to get a referral letter from your GP and they will know who to send it to. It was around this time that I broached the subject with my husband because I wanted to understand all the ramifications upfront. Luckily my RO is fantastic and he supports me completely.
It is a lot to take on, and it will probably take you a fair amount of time to get through steps 1 - 3, but I really hope that you'll consider it and take the time to research the process because even if you decide it isn't for you, if the topic comes up you can be a great ambassador which is just as important really.
p.s. If you're in the UK, I will be working on a stand at the The Vitality Show on Saturday the 28th March at Earls Court in London. Tickets are £14.50 and there will be loads of things going on so if you decide to visit (it is on from the 26th-29th) please come and say hello!!