People need donor eggs or donor sperm for a variety of reasons. For infertile couples, single women, or LGBTQ couples, donor eggs and donor sperm can be the answer to having children. But there are some common misunderstandings surrounding donor eggs and donor sperm.
While the truth is that egg quality decreases as a woman ages, there are many reasons why a younger woman may not be able to get pregnant. Certain medical conditions such as endometriosis or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can affect a woman’s ovaries and lead to infertility.
In fact, some women’s ovaries may stop functioning at all before the age of 40. This is called premature ovarian failure and affects 1 in 1,000 women under the age of 30 and 1 in 100 women ages 30-39.
Many couples struggle with infertility for a variety of reasons. In up to one-third of couples, the reason for infertility is due to the male partner. Couples who struggle with male factor infertility can choose to use donor sperm.
That said, donor sperm is also commonly used by single women and LGBTQ couples. In women who have no fertility problems, success rates with donor sperm can be as high as 60-80%. However, getting pregnant with donor sperm may take more than one cycle of intrauterine insemination (IUI).
Contrary to popular belief, donating eggs or sperm is an involved process. And while people who choose to donate do usually receive compensation, this is far from the main reason for donating eggs or sperm.
Often, people who choose to provide donor eggs or sperm have a friend or family member who struggled with infertility. Seeing firsthand what an emotional and difficult experience infertility can be, these people feel that donating eggs or sperm is an important way to give back and help others.
Whether someone is infertile, beyond childbearing age, or has no access to sperm, donor eggs or sperm can be life-changing. After all, donor eggs and sperm are the answer for many couples who want to bring new life into the world.