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Choosing to Have Hope - Make Frozen Donor Eggs Your Fertility Alternative

Life doesn’t always work out the way we think it will. Sometimes, even the most perfectly laid plans go awry. If you dream about having a big family, maybe with a black lab and leisurely weekend breakfasts on the porch with the little ones running around, you may feel like your dreams have been shattered after several rounds of unsuccessful IVF.
But don’t give up hope-- remember what your grandmother used to say? When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. With major advances in donor egg IVF treatment, now you don’t have to give up on your dream of working on the Sunday crossword while nursing your infant, and all the other little pleasures that come from being a Mom.

Moving Forward

Whether you’ve already experienced a successful pregnancy or are trying for your first, some couples never find out the reasons behind their negative pregnancy tests, for others the facts can be cold, hard, and inescapable. Those three little words, “no longer viable,” can be devastating for any woman to hear. For many couples, deciding to use a donor egg is one of the toughest decisions they will ever have to make – but it can also be one of the most rewarding.

You and your partner may find it helpful to speak to a therapist or counsellor when weighing up your fertility alternatives, as the psychological impact of using a donor egg needs to be fully understood by both parties. This can be a testing time in your relationship.

Coming to terms with the fact that your child won’t share your DNA can be hard, but knowing that you’ll experience the joy of carrying your own baby and feeling her kick and hiccup inside of you is still a real possibility.

Using Frozen Donor Eggs

If you and your partner are seriously considering your fertility options, then using frozen donor eggs may be something for you to look into, as there are numerous benefits of this technology. If the high price (typically between $35,000-50,000 per cycle) of using fresh donor eggs is an issue, the good news is that a frozen donor egg cycle generally costs around half as much, and some companies also offer flexible financing plans.

Frozen donor eggs are also much more convenient for women who work or lead demanding lifestyles. With traditional fresh eggs, the donor’s cycle has to be synched to your own, which can mean lengthy delays and high amounts of medication. When using frozen donor eggs, any potential complexities have already been taken care of, and cycle synchronization is no longer an issue. You can start embryo transfer as soon as your schedule is open and your uterus is ready.

You’ll also have access to a national donor pool, which means you’ll have a greater selection of nationwide samples from different ethnicities to choose from, and you won’t be restricted to finding a donor locally available.

But Are Frozen Eggs Successful?

If you’ve done your research, then you’ve probably read that success rates are still slightly higher when using fresh donor eggs; that’s partly because fewer studies have been conducted regarding frozen donor egg fertility treatment. There have been major breakthroughs in vitrification (egg freezing) over the last few years.

Vitrification is a flash freezing process that minimizes the risk of ice crystals forming in the eggs, which was a major problem with previous slow-freeze methods. This latest technology, combined with overall improvements in thawing protocols, means that your chances of success with frozen donor eggs are now higher than ever before. So, now you can choose to have hope by making frozen donor eggs your fertility choice.

This guest post was provided by Heidi Hayes, CEO of Donor Egg Bank, USA

When Life Gives You Lemons ... Keep Your Head to the Future (Guest post)

2013 is a year that I’ll mark down as one with plenty of ups and downs.

I had the wonderful experience of moving into a new apartment with my girlfriend, becoming a proud owner of a husky puppy, and I did rather well in my work.

Though …

The last few months have been somewhat rough. I lost two of my grandparents and my girlfriend lost one of hers. There were a few rocky parts about the “what’s next” in the relationship. The holidays certainly added to the overall pressure.

But in the end, I am grateful for what I have experienced. It really helps to shine a light on the important things in life. It reminds you of the old saying of “when life gives you lemons … make lemonade” but, for me, it became a thought of “look to the future”.

The things that became Increasingly Important

I can’t speak for all of us, but when you’re faced with these types of ups and downs, you can’t help but think of the big picture.

The more I age, the more it has become increasingly important (and apparent) that I figure out what’s in store for my future.

These are items like:
•  If I had a child how would I pay for their college?
•  Why do I get wrapped up in the “rat race”?
•  How am I going to plan for my retirement?

I know these are some of the very same thoughts you have and I believe I might be able to share a bit of wisdom about these topics.

1. Keeping Healthy

I like the concept of “your body is your temple” because it helps you understand that you have just one and what you put into it really does matter.

It doesn't matter if you let yourself go, if you’re already lean, or if you’re dealing with some kind of setback. What matters is that you take control of your health and the best way, on the fundamental level, is through proper food.

Don’t continually wait for the New Year to make a commitment to better living. Start learning healthier options for your cooking. Start getting out there and exercising (even just 15 minutes a day). Get the whole family involved – get them excited.

You’ll add years to your life if you make the commitment to be healthy – and you’ll certainly want to see the same for your family.

2. Finding Acknowledgment in a Career

Being proud of your work and gaining acknowledgement of your commitment is very rewarding on a psychological level.

I noticed this with my grandparents. They were from another time so they were the type to put in the hard hours even when the task was far out of their league. They went through times far worse than mine and came out very successful.
I think you should do the same.

Your career doesn't need to suck away the time you can spend with the family. On the contrary, you should strive to increase proficiency in work rather than throwing more time at it. Not only will you have that extra time to spend with the family but you’ll set in motion what’s needed (savings and investments) to ensure your child has the opportunity for a higher education.

3. Knowing what’s at the end

We all meet our end, which is a scary thought in and of itself, but even scarier when you think about what you leave behind to your children.
Bills? Maybe. Inheritance? Hopefully.

It doesn't matter how you start – just the fact that you do start planning for your retirement. This can involve any number of savings plans. Schwab recommends investing in an IRA account, but that's just one of multiple options.

You won’t always have the same energy or skill set to compete in your career. You will eventually retire. You also want to plan for the unexpected (those lemons).

Get real about your life and how you impact others. Save anything (even a little) for the future. Give up chasing material possessions that holds you back from enjoying the bigger picture. Solidify the well-being of your family (and all those after) by committing to planning for the end.

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