How many Eggs are you born with?
A new born baby girl is born with egg cell (oocytes) in her ovaries. Between 16 and 20 weeks of pregnancy, the ovaries of a female fetus contain 6 to 7 million oocytes. Most of the oocytes gradually waste away, leaving about 1 to 2 million present at birth. None develop after birth. At puberty, only about 300,000- more than enough for a lifetime of fertility remain. Only a small percentage of oocytes mature into eggs. The many thousand of oocytes that do not mature degenerate. Degeneration progresses more rapidly in the 10 to 15 years before menopause. All are gone by menopause.
Only about 400 eggs are released during a women's reproductive life, usually one during each menstrual cycle. Until released, an egg remains dormant in its follicle-suspended in the middle of cell division. Thus, the egg is one of the longest lived cells in the body. Because a dormant egg cannot perform the usual cellular repair processes, the opportunity for damage increases as a women ages. According to the Association of Reproductive Medicine, a women over the age of 40 has only a 5% chance or less of becoming pregnant naturally in any one month. The risk of chromosomal abnormalities in newborns increases with the age of the women's egg, growing to 1 in 66 at the age of 40 versus 1 in 385 at the age of 30. The risk of Down Syndrome increases from 1 in 1,000 at the age of 20 to 1 in 100 at the age of 40 according to the CDC. However, research has found that when women use the donated eggs of a much younger women, they can achieve the same pregnancy success rates as women in their 20's.
Will my future fertility be affected?
A lot of times egg donors are concerned about their future fertility and Creative Love is here to educated egg donors as much as possible before they decide to become a donor. Some donors have a fear that if they donate their own eggs they will have nothing left for themselves, which we already now you have about 300,000 eggs at puberty. Donors also have fears of health issues or cancer. Truly, you have nothing to worry about! You have plenty of eggs for your future fertility and there is no correlation between fertility drugs and cancer. Being an egg donor will not cause you to be any more or less fertile. What you need to be cautious of is after you have gone through the egg donation process and leading up to the two weeks before you start your next period you can be extremely fertile. The reasons for this is sometimes a follicle could have been looked over so you could possible have a viable egg or two sitting in your ovaries. Also, you could still have traces of the fertility drugs still in your system. The best advise would be to abstain from sexual intercourse at the start of the medication phase of your cycle until your following period to allow your body time to heal and cleanse itself of all of the fertility drugs. Don't worry your future fertility is not affected at all long-term by the out come of you becoming an egg donor.
A women typically matures one oocyte or egg during each monthly menstrual cycle. To optimize pregancy rate during an egg donor cycle it is important to have more then one mature oocyte (egg) available for fertilization. The fertility doctor will stimulate the production of multiple eggs using the injectable fertilty drugs such as Gonal-F, Follistim, or Repronex. They also use another medication called "low-Dose hCG" to help with stimulation. These medications contain human follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) which induce the development of multiple eggs.
During the time on these fertility drugs you will be carefully monitored. You will be monitored through ultrasound and blood tests. Ultrasound allows the fertility doctor to obtain an accurate picture of how many eggs are developing. Blood tests of estradiol also allows to monitor the development of the eggs.