Infertility After 40: Using Frozen Donor Eggs

The love of a child is one of the most precious miracles this world has to offer. However, not everyone is blessed with the ability to easily conceive and/or carry a pregnancy. As women age, it gets even harder to successfully conceive for a myriad of reasons: health conditions, low hormone levels, deficiency of viable eggs, incompatible partners, etc. Sometimes, you and/or your partner simply cannot produce the conditions needed to conceive and carry a child to full-term. While receiving an infertility diagnosis can be devastating, advances in fertility health and science have made it possible for companies like to help women experience the miracle of childbirth using donor eggs.

What is In Vitro Fertilization?

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), a form of assisted reproductive technology is the process in which a woman’s egg is fertilized outside of the body and transferred to the uterus. When a woman cannot produce her own viable eggs, she can choose to use donor eggs to complete the in vitro process. However, this process is extensive, so it is important to understand every nuance before making a decision.

The Emotional Rollercoaster

Hearing that your chances of having a child are slim to none is not easy for any family to endure. While egg donation is a source of hope for many families, it is still a very stressful period. Be ready to face disappointment because it may not succeed the first or second time. One study found that IVF affected “a woman’s hopefulness about becoming pregnant, their health, their relationship with their spouse, and their social network.” Furthermore, it is important to anticipate both the mental and physical effects of the process to be prepared for what’s to come. It’s recommended that you see a psychologist before and during the process. When things get tough, just remember it will all be worth it when you’re holding your beautiful baby in your arms.

The Egg Donation Process: Fresh vs. Frozen

Once you’re sure about moving forward with donor eggs for IVF, it’s time to pick a donor. Donors can vary from a close friend or family member that donates fresh eggs to frozen eggs from an anonymous donor through a donor egg bank.

If you use fresh eggs, you’ll need to find someone who is ideally under 32, has minimal medical conditions and a stable personal life. If a family member of the mother is chosen, the child can be genetically closer to her. Of course, the donor-to-be will be tested to see if she is sufficiently fertile, as well. Often, it is difficult to find someone who meets each of these criteria. Using fresh eggs also requires the donor and mother to sync menstrual cycles through hormonal treatments.

On the other hand, if you choose to use frozen donor eggs, the donors have already been verified, and it is more likely that their eggs have already successfully produced offspring. You’ll also have more donors to choose from, and there is no need to sync menstrual cycles. Overall, the frozen donor eggs process is faster.

Seek Legal Council

If using a fresh egg donor, it is important to sit down with the donor and your lawyers in order to define parental rights, visitation rights, and financial responsibilities. Comparatively, these terms are already spelt out for frozen egg donors, so that’s one less thing to worry about should you choose this route.

Remember the End Result

Throughout all the tests and procedures, keep in mind the end goal is to cradle your beautiful baby in your arms as he or she looks up at you with pure, unconditional love. If you’ve already tried fertility treatments and traditional IVF and haven’t been successful, donor egg IVF may be the solution you’ve been looking for. It will not be an easy road for you to travel, but you and your partner should remain hopeful, and it helps to have a strong support system behind you. Even at 40, a woman can and should be able to experience the joy of motherhood.