If after treatment your ovaries don't produce ripe eggs anymore, it doesn't mean you can't carry a pregnancy to term and give birth to a healthy baby. If you decide not to extract and store your own eggs or ovaries, egg donation is another option.
Many companies offer egg donation services, allowing you to choose from donors with a wide range of ages, characteristics, and education. Women who donate the eggs are paid. It's a good idea to look for an egg donation service that's affiliated with a respected infertility center. The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology is a good place to start.
According to Gina Shaw in Having Children After Cancer, the egg donation process usually follows these steps:
- You sign up with a service and choose a donor. If she's available, a short profile of your family will be presented to her.
- Once a donor agrees to match with you, it's common for you and the donor to go through psychological testing. Your service will then help you through the process of signing a legal contract. Both you and your donor should have legal representation.
- Once the contract is finalized, you and the egg donor get treatments to synchronize your cycles. The egg donor's treatments are much like in vitro fertilization, except that instead of harvesting the eggs to be fertilized and implanted in her own womb, the eggs are fertilized with your partner's sperm and implanted in your uterus. Your treatments are much simpler. You just take medicine that prepares the lining of your uterus for implantation of embryos.
- Between two and four embryos usually are implanted. Any remaining embryos are usually frozen for later use.
While prices vary, experts estimate that the egg donation process costs at least $30,000.