TTC Over 40 User Group
anyone doing a cycle with donor eggs
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support group for women who are trying to conceive or have conceived a child over the age of forty

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anyone doing a cycle with donor eggs

Hello all
Last time I posted here I just finished my 4th cycle with IVF all alone with donor sperm wich resulted in BFN.
This was about 2 years ago, and a lot has happened since.
To make a long story short, I met a man, we fell in love and have been trying to make a baby for a year and a half.
I am now 43 years old and we decided to go for a donor egg in Spain, why spain ? well it´s allowed and it´s not crazy expensive, and no waiting list.
I am now on the contraceptive pill, and one of the first 3 weeks in march we will travel to Alicante to have the transfer.
Is anybody out there in similar situation, or has done an IVF with a donor egg, who can give me advice on how to prepare myself, food, lifestyle etc....
All the best to all of you
Ashavaki
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26 Comments
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I would like to know more about where you're having it done in Spain myself.  I haven't gotten to donor eggs but may end up needing to.
Thanks, Jennifer
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This is very interesting. Do you feel safe with this decision and are you really saving that much. share some more of your story. sorry I am not able to help you similar experience. I wish you the very best!
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I did donor eggs in Jan 2011 and I am 7 week pregnant!
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I am not sure if I am allowed in this room since not 40 yet.  I just turned 39 on 2/12 but I am doing a cycle with donor eggs.  My donor's retrival should be thursday.  I am sooo scared but very OPTIMISTIC.  I have done 4 IVF"s on my own with no success.

Ashavaki, I am curious about Spain also. Can you share how much you are spending? I would think it's very expensive to travel also.  Curious....
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I used donor eggs and am now 6 weeks 5 days preg.  I had my first ultrasound today and it was amazing.  My doctor gave me a long list of do's and don'ts.  No alcohol of course, no hot baths, no sex, no heavy lifting(nothing heavier that a half gallon of milk), no caffeine, but stay hydrated.   I had to stay off my feet for 3 days. I'm also on oral meds, injections, using vaginal suppositories, and wearing 4 estrogen patches.  This will continue thru the first trimester.  I've been trying to eat 4 or 5 small meals/snacks a day, lots of water and lots of fruits and veggies.
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I am using DE. So they won't do any scans on you prior?  Are you on any other meds?  SSBD to you!  Keep us posted!
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I got my test back yesterday. First beta is 208.
My donor was 26.
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Congrats to those of you who are successfully pregnant with a donor egg. I, too, was seriously looking into using a donor egg when we discovered that I have a uterine fibroid that would need to be surgically removed. I also have a hyrosalpinx (blocked fallopian tube) that the REs are recommending getting surgically removed. AND I have a subclinical hypothyroidism that would need to be brought under control. I was pregnant twice (au naturale) and they found these things after the fact (the hypothyroidism after the first miscarriage; the fibroid after the second miscarriage). I'm so tired of the REs being so negative and dismissive that they don't even thoroughly check for these things ahead of time, as they're supposed to. Maybe one of my two pregnancies would've stuck if I'd known about these issues and been able to fix them before TTC.

Anyway, I began this journey right before I turned 42, had both pregnancies at 43, and am now 44 (will be 45 in July). This whole process has definitely taken a toll on me--several times I've felt depressed and defeated and wanted to give up. But then I get a second (and third and fourth and fifth) wind and we start reexamining our options. We're now seriously considering going to India for a surrogate and donor egg! Or we might bring a donor with us. (Or we might not do either.) I just don't think I can put myself through the two surgeries and taking meds in order to use a donor egg and then possibly learn that there's yet something else (as has happened repeatedly so far) that's wrong. And getting a surrogate in India costs about the same as getting a donor egg here. So we shall see.

In the meantime, I would love to hear about any donor egg/surrogate programs abroad. I, too, am curious about the cost of a donor egg in Spain!

Thanks,
Breezy

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Any updates?!?!?!
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Breezy300 how I feel you. I have faced problems one after the other, including a fibroid. I am really thinking of giving up, I am just not ready yet.

I am also interested in egg donors from abroad as I am living in a really small country where egg donation is not very common.

I know that in Spain people are very sensitive about these matters and donation is widely accepted (incl. donation of human organs).
I came across a name of a clinic in Barcelona and the name is Instituto Marquès.

I dont know if they are good, I just checked them out on the internet and they look really Ok.

I am planning to investigate it further...

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Don't know if I can join?  Definately over 40...
but going to use donor embryos : )   I have to wait for my AF to show up, then have an HSG and u/s day 6-11 to make sure uterus is clear and "fluffy", and hope to do a transfer around the end of April...
I sure could use some support! : )
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Never thought I wuold say this but ca't wait to get my menstrual cycle so I can have my hystoscopy, uterine biospy and vag US...then on to donor eggs.   So it is so frustrating waiting for all of this to be done...and now cycle is late...oh did I mention I need my gallbladder out lololol.   I wish you a lot of luck and sticky baby dust let me how how the donor eggs go.  
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Hi mhv,

Of course you can join! The more the merrier (I'm not here very much myself though, I have to admit--just too busy). How do you go about getting donor embryos.
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Breezy, Well, there are a few clinic's that I know of that will do donor embryos for just the cost of the transfer... there is a place in North Carolina. There is also a place in GA that you can get donor eggs from... although, I personally think the refund programs offer wonderful opportunites.  Usually if you are using donor eggs, they will refund 100% of your money if you don't take a baby home.  

I actually had someone on MH offer my hubby and me their remaining embryos... you can read my journal post "Our Next Step" to get the whole story : )

Again13- Has AF showed up?

Keep_alive-  Have you thought about the US for donor?  

I had my HSG yesterday... the doc that did the test said my uterus was pefectly shaped, and that she didn't see any scarring... so I overnighted my CD to the doctor in CA that did my adhesion removal and am waiting on him to call me with what he sees..

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Are you home yet???  When you get back... please fill us in on how things went!!!! : )
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Hi Keep Alive,

I also periodically feel like giving up. I get very frustrated that it's all so difficult--even adopting is extremely difficult, which seems akin to war crimes when you consider that there are millions of children all over the world languishing in the system. I feel like I've tried so many things: a few different fertility drugs (3 rounds), IUI, acupuncture, fertility massage, supplements, eating right. (Both times I get pregnant was WITHOUT drugs or medical intervention). Then the first miscarriage came followed by the hypothyroid diagnosis, and a fully blocked fallopian tube and a partially blocked fallopian tube (both were open and healthy before an ignorant doctor gave me a pap smear on day 6 of the miscarriage--that one REALLY plunged me into the depths of despair), then miscarriage number two and the fibroid diagnosis.

I began this journey wanting my biological child very badly. Then I got comfortable with the idea of a child that is not biologically mine, but even that route has proven very difficult. I'm sorry to be so negative--I just wish that creating a family for infertile couples weren't such a commodified, expensive proposition.

Were you able to find out anything else about donor eggs in other countries? Where are you located? Thanks for the name of the place in Spain--I'm going to look it up!

Breezy
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I live in a really small country island in the mediterranean sea so the US would be really far away for me to search for a donor. Europe is much easier and nearer.
My donor cycle failed and me and my partner need to investigate further his sperm. The RE said that we had no embryos to freeze (out of the remaining 6) because my hubby's sperm was poor quality (even though they did ICSI).
Hubby has got a child already and even though he wants a child it is not so crucial to him. Plus, I am a cancer survivor :) Got sick in 2000 when I was 29 and had to wait many years.
Really dont know what my next step is going to be? If hubby is not very willing to try again I am really thinking of going on on my own and using donor embryos. This has become an obsession... Yesterday we went to the christening of a friend's baby and this is the 4th child. She is 43 and everything was easy.
I wish I knew a way to stop me from wanting to have a child so much.
Adoption is even harder than donor eggs here and costs much more...
Good luck to everyone!
xxxxx

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One of my problems is that I have a few issues that would make it harder for me to carry a pregnancy myself. After two miscarriages, I was told that I have a fibroid that would need to be surgically removed. I also have hypothyroidism that could cause miscarriage. And one of my fallopian tubes became completely blocked when a doctor gave me a pap smear on day 6 of my first miscarriage (the cervix is wide open during miscarriage and more susceptible to bacteria getting in, so she absolutely should NOT have given me the pap). Anyway, for me to carry a pregnancy, I'd need to have surgery to remove the fibroid, surgery to remove the blocked tube and go on meds for they hypothyroidism. In a way, it doesn't sound THAT big to me, but in other ways I'm so tired of all this medical stuff and how THEY (the doctors) keep screwing up. I don't trust that there won't be yet another obstacle or some kind of problem. Which is why my partner and I have been looking into India for surrogate. But we ALSO need a donor egg and in India they don't let you meet the donor or find out much about her at all. So we're trying to figure out if we can find a donor elsewhere and bring her to India for the surrogate. Honestly, it all might be too complicated and too much. It's depressing that adoption is so difficult and so uncertain. It really should be illegal that they make it so hard when these children need loving homes and there are people out there willing to give it to them!

Keep Alive, if using an embryo is the way for you to get a baby, then go for it! You can make it happen!

:)
Breezy
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Wow, I can't believe your doc did the pap!!  would they have to remove tube?  You wouldn't need it for donor embies.   I guess I didn't know they had to remove them still?
  where is your fibroid?  I also thought they left those unless they were in a bad spot... You sure are teaching me alot I didn't know! That's for sure!    It's really not to hard to remove one though... ( i guess I'm just wanting to give you some hope?)  
the thyroid meds wouldn't be toooo bad, would they?

Believe me, I get the not wanting to keep going through things... after a m/c and 3 hysteroscopies to remove scar tissue... having to fly across america for the last one... I get being tired.  I soooo get it!!!

I agree with you 100%!  It is so maddening that adoption is so hard.  And the older you are the harder it gets.  Unless you have 50-60 thousand, then maybe you stand a chance.   It makes you feel like you are stuck in a corner, and can't get out.  
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Yes, the fibroid is in the uterus and I've been told by two different doctors that it can definitely interfere with the ability to get pregnant and stay pregnant. One doctor said that due to my age and low likelihood of getting pregnant, he'd skip the surgery altogether. The other doctor said if I have any hope of getting pregnant or carrying a donor egg that I should definitely get the surgery.

A blocked fallopian tube can also cause miscarriage or prevent pregnancy b/c fluid builds up in the tube and then spills into the uterine cavity. Some believe the fluid itself is toxic; others believe it's just the pressure of the fluid spilling into the cavity that can knock the embryo free. I was soooooo depressed when I found out about the tube (the other one also became at least partially blocked). Infuriated and depressed. It was my first and only time to see the particular doctor who gave me the pap. She was a high-risk ob/gyn and because I was considered high risk due to my age, I set up the appt. When I miscarried, I wanted to cancel but a friend convinced me to go in anyway so that I could establish a relationship for the "next time" I was pregnant. Once in the office, there were many warning signs that I ignored due to my state of sadness at having lost the pregnancy. The doctor really wasn't listening to me and there was a temporary nurse that happened to be working on the day I was there. She was completely clueless--didn't know how to weigh me or take my blood pressure even, and the office admitted to firing her the next day because she was endangering their patients with her incompetence (this is in NYC, by the way). Well, in addition to being given a pap on day 6 of my miscarriage (the doctor said she didn't want my office visit to be a "waste of time"), I believe that they used the same speculum on me that had been used on the patient before me. It is a long, truly horrible story and I wish I'd had the strength at the time to pursue legal action. I went from having two healthy, open tubes to one fully blocked tube and one partially blocked tube. That doesn't happen without some kind of infection or without multiple ectopic pregnancies. Every single medical professional I've since, gasps when I tell them that I was given a pap smear on day 6 of a miscarriage. They all say, "WHY was that done? You're NOT supposed to do that!"

As a matter of fact, I became pregnant 3 months after that first miscarriage (even though one RE said it would be medically impossible due to my one tube being fully blocked and the other being partially blocked), but the egg couldn't make it through my partially blocked tube (at least that's what my RE believes), and I had a second miscarriage. That was the point at which I decided to go with a donor egg--in that case I wouldn't need my tubes to be open. But it IS recommended that I get the blocked tube (hydrosalpinx) surgically removed. Shortly after, I learned about the fibroid and I just suddenly felt like I can't keep putting myself through these medical procedures that seem always to make things worse than if I'd just stayed at home. Even the clomid they gave me when I first began this journey caused all kinds of problems. I truly wish I'd never taken any of the fertility drugs, but that's easy to say to in retrospect.

So on one hand, the two surgeries probably wouldn't be that big of a deal, but then who knows?

I do wish that adoption were easier. I really do. It's so unfair (especially to these little children that can't advocate for themselves) that the adoption process has been commodified to the degree that it has been. It would be one thing if there truly were not enough children who need homes and a chance at life, but the fact that there are so many babies/kids languishing all over the world--well, it's really despicable the way it's handled.

All stop ranting now and wish you all lots of luck in making your dream for a baby come true.
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Keep alive,

I forgot to say last time congratulations on beating cancer!! I lost my mother to lung cancer nearly 11 years ago (she was only 52) and then my grandmother to esophageal cancer less than a year later. But one of my very closest friends battled breast cancer not too long ago and she BEAT IT (she's been cancer free for two years--YEA)!

I'm very happy for you and hugging you from across the miles. We should all go for our dreams, as life isn't that long when you get down to it.

Breezy300
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Breezy - look into open adoption...it's not as crazy.  But don't give up hope either.  Wish you the best.
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Hi Lynnanda,

Thanks for the support. We have looked into all kinds of adoption and have some obstacles to overcome in that realm, since we'd want a baby as opposed to a child. The fact that we're "older" (I'm 44; he's 42), not religious, and not married takes us out of the running for a lot of countries and we believe it would greatly hurt us for domestic adoption as well. We also live in a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan, something we would remedy if we were to bring a child into our lives (we'd most likely leave NYC altogether), but until that happens we're not going to rearrange our lives. I know a single woman here in NYC who started the adoption process at 45. She just turned 50 and is STILL waiting for a baby. The sister of a close friend of mine successfully adopted from Asia about 7 years ago. They recently wanted to add to their family so they began the process of adopting a baby here in the U.S. Everything was a go, so as the biological mother went into labor, they traveled across the country to pick up their son. But then the biological mother changed her mind, and they left heartbroken. I know several people who have gone through similar situations, and that scares me.

I know that adoption CAN and does work, of course. One of my friends is in the process of adopting a baby girl (due in 3 days!). It's a private adoption, but the biological parents did set up a meeting with my friend and her husband. The mother is only 17 and she and the father aren't even really together, so we think it will go through. BUT my friend is refusing to buy any baby stuff or get her hopes up until the baby is legally hers. Once she and her husband began the process, things happened very quickly--in just a couple of months their attorney found them someone. But my friend and her husband are very wealthy (he's a neurosurgeon), so I do think the odds are stacked in their favor.

For me, adoption feels a little bit like a crap shoot, like you either get lucky or you don't. We'd definitely have much less control over the process than if we were to carry a donor egg or go through a surrogate (though in some states, the law favors the surrogate). When I first learned how low my odds of having my own biological child are, I thought for sure that we would adopt. But then I started going to seminars and talking to people and realizing that it's not a sure thing and that's what led me to consider using a donor egg. I would LOVE to hear any successful adoption stories of healthy babies.

We haven't entirely closed the door on adoption. I think we're just taking a little break to regroup. But I still like hearing your stories/plans!!  :)

Breezy
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Breezy,
Trying to send this just to you but not sure what it will do...anyways...me and my fiance are in the exact same situation as you all...ALL of the same criteria except we're even older.  We went to this place called the Independent Adoption Agency http://www.adoptionhelp.org/   here in Atlanta.  I couldn't believe how great their attitude was.  They don't discriminate against unmarrieds or older people or non-religious people.  They only deal with newborn babies.  And they say...who knows but they say people our age are usually "chosen" by the birthmother in about a year and half.  I'm sure it depends on how much time you put into your profile online and some luck in a bm being interested in you but we left there feeling good that at least there was another option that we could actually do.

I doubt we'll do adoption but just wanted you to know about this place.  I'm pretty sure they have other locations.

oh - and of course it costs some mula!!
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Hi Lynnanda,

Thanks for the info! :)   We've been to a couple of adoption seminars here in NYC and also have friends who have interviewed with an adoption agency here. Our agencies don't seem to discriminate either--in fact they're very encouraging and work with lots of "older" couples, gay couples and single people. The problem is that they can't guarantee that you'll be chosen by the birth mother/parents (who might prefer a younger married couple living in an actual house), yet you still have to pay all the fees and then simply hope and pray that you get chosen. As I said, I know a single woman here who began the process 5 years ago at age 45 and she's still waiting. I also know a single man who spent $50,000 trying to adopt (internationally). This is why I have such reservations with the process. But as I said previously, I know that it DOES work because people do it all the time. I certainly don't want to discourage anyone here from trying!

Btw, Lynnanda, if we do ever adopt or find another way to create a family, we would most likely move to Atlanta because my boyfriend has been offered the opportunity to transfer there for work and we'd be in a better position to buy a house (as opposed to renting a small apartment in Manhattan). Do you like Atlanta? Have you been there long?

Thanks!
Breezy
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