Gay men have a special set of circumstances when preparing to have a child through IVF. If both men would like to have a biological child, there are a few things to carefully analyze when it comes to select an egg donor.
Splitting embryos between dads
Many couples going through IVF don’t incur this extra set of challenges because they only need an egg retrieval to yield enough eggs to create viable embryos with one sperm from the male partner. The eggs that are retrieved from the donor for a same-sex male couple have to be split between two separate persons.
This lowers the egg yield per person and will result in fewer embryos per father. However, that’s not to say that gay couples aren’t having multiple children all the time. With advanced technology and a great donor, you can absolutely fulfill your dream of having a child from each intended father.
The first step is to take everything into consideration when choosing your donor. This will set you up for ultimate success.
Considerations When Selecting Your Egg Donor
Here are a few things you need to consider as a same-sex couple pursuing IVF with an egg donor:
1. Age and Antral Follicle Count (AFC)
Okay, so the donor you love is gorgeous and smart and has a PhD, but she’s 32. Perhaps even a friend who is lovely is offering to donate eggs to you and she is over 30 as well. Unfortunately, this is rarely the best setup for two men going through IVF.
An ideal egg donor for you will be young. Between 20-28 would be fantastic. Having said that, we learn a lot about a donor once we bring her in for her initial consult and learn about her Antral Follicle Count.
This tells us how many resting follicles she has. This is a great indication of how many eggs can be retrieved from this donor. While you should consider age, you should also consider follicle count. Some young donors don’t have a phenomenal AFC count. Whatever you do, find a donor that will give you a high egg yield so when you split them between the two of you, your chance of having more viable embryos will be higher.
2. Proven or Not To Be Proven
Choosing a proven donor has many benefits. A proven donor has already performed a cycle that has resulted in a live birth. This is proof that her eggs are quality and that viable embryos will be created if the sperm is also good.
Having said that, some proven donors have great egg yields and viable embryos for their first donation, and sometimes less than for their second. Sometimes there is just no telling. A proven donor will supply knowledge and peace of mind that the eggs are good, however.
A first-time egg donor can be a great option as well because you will not go into the cycle blindly. We will have her AMH (anti-Mullerian hormone) levels as well as an AFC count. The other plus of a first-time donor is her compensation rate will most likely be less expensive.
3. Health History
Egg donors are usually young women who are still figuring out who they are and what they want. They often donate because they want to help another family or pay down student debt. It is important to take a good hard look at the health history of any donor you choose.
If you have heavy cancer lines in your family, don’t choose a donor who also has heavy cancer lines. If you see a repeated pattern of addiction in your family and the donor states she does as well in her genetic assessment, perhaps it’s time to look elsewhere.
Look carefully into the donor’s statements regarding alcohol or weed usage. Analyze her statement on why she wants to donate. Take a glance at her grandparents and if they are still living or what their cause of death was. All of these things will help you make an informed decision about your donor for a successful cycle.
4. Physical Appearance
While this may sound shallow, the appearance of your egg donor is important! Physical traits matter when they'll help create the genetic makeup of your future children. Gay dads pursuing IVF with egg donation should consider the following:
- Egg donor height
- Eye color
- BMI and weight ratio
Because you can choose an egg donor, you can set your child up for a healthy future. This is an amazing blessing not all couples can experience, and it's important to weigh all of your options carefully.
Reviewing test scores, education received, and personal accomplishments of potential egg donors is a normal part of the selection process. Many intended parents hope their children will take after them and their interests, so it's good to consider things like higher education, SAT scores, type of degree, and other personal or professional accomplishments.
It's completely okay to ask your fertility clinic and egg donation agency about your donor!
Pursuing fatherhood with donor eggs
The higher the egg yield, the more embryos you will have. That is just how the numbers work in the world of IVF. Find a donor who is young with many resting follicles and you’ll be setting yourself up for a successful process.
When you’re ready to learn more about having multiple children from two biological fathers, contact us today.
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