ELEVATE
Egg Donor Agency

ELEVATE BLOG

Essays on the process of conceiving through IVF treatment and egg donation. Holding our heads, hearts and words together with passion and in hopes that parents can expand their families through Elevate.

Posts tagged intended parents
Building Your Family: How to Find an Egg Donor

Hi. We're glad you're here. 

The fact that you are looking into egg donation means that you have already been on a long journey. You've already had to deal with hard decisions as you've considered every option to grow your family.

 We're glad your here because now we can help. As we've gone through the process ourselves, we've learned a few things. We want to share those lessons with you. So let's work together to find an egg donor that will bring you that's family you've always wanted.  

Physical Appearance

We know you can't always judge a book by its cover, but physical appearance is important. We require every egg donor to submit 6-7 photos with their application, including one full-body image. We don't do this to judge our donors, but to allow intended parents to find the physical characteristics they want in a child. 

We understand that intended parents want their child to have similar traits -- just as any parent would want their child to resemble them. We find that intended parents often choose donors who look like themselves or their partner.

Medical History

It's essential to look closely at the donor's medical history. How does her medical history compare to your own? Certain genetic factors can make some donors more compatible than others. Make sure you ask some questions and do some genetic testing with any donor you are interested in. 

Anonymous vs. Known Egg Donor

Known donors are when you know the donor personally, such as a friend or a relative. Even some donors who are found through an egg donor database will agree to have direct contact with the intended parents. 

Knowing the donor is a great option because it allows the child to have a relationship with their donor. Just be sure that there are legal guidelines set, so everyone knows their role when it comes to the well being of the child. 

Anonymous donors are just that. Donors that wish to remain anonymous and all contact will be done through the agency. This provides confidentiality and privacy to both the donor and the intended parents. 

Repeat Donors

Repeat donors are women who have previously had a successful egg donation experience. Using a repeat donor can be advantageous because she knows what to expect, and she has already responded well to the medication.

 While repeat donors do have their advantages, we are confident in all our donors regardless of how many times they've donated. 

If you're open to a first-time donor, you will have many more options available to you. We have a database full of amazing women who are willing to donate their eggs to you. 

Location of Donor

Elevate Egg Donor Agency is an international agency. We work with intended parents and egg donors from around the world

The only location logistics to be aware of is travel costs. We do require our donors to work with the best doctors and clinics. Because we want the best care available, some donors may need to travel as they get ready for the egg retrieval procedure. As the intended parents, you will need to cover all travel costs. 

Dealing with Stress

We get it, finding an egg donor can be stressful! It's okay to take your time as you make this life-changing decision. 

We have case managers who are trained to help you. We can help you through the decision process and talk you through any questions or concerns. And ff you need some time to think it through -- we'll be here waiting whenever you're ready.

Follow Your Instincts

At the end of the day, this is your decision. And sometimes it comes down to what feels right. Listen to your instincts

You may have a checklist of everything you want your donor to have, but don't get too caught up in checking off every item. We often find that the donor who "just feels right" to intended parents is not always picture-perfect. It's important to be a little open-minded and allow yourself to feel a connection with your donor.

Let's Find an Egg Donor

Now it the time to find an egg donor who will complete your family. Start today by registering for access to our egg donor database. 

We're here to assist you every step of the way. So let's get going and build that family you've always wanted. 

What Intended Parents Need to Know About Genetic Testing For Egg Donors
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Congratulations! You’ve decided to use an egg donor to grow your family. This is such an exciting time as you go through the steps of choosing the perfect egg donor. 

While looking for the perfect traits you want from a donor is exciting and fun, you’ll also notice that you have access to medical information. This includes the results from the extensive screening that each donor must go through. 

This information is just as, if not more, important than any physical trait. Be sure to pay attention to any infectious diseases, psychological assessment, and the detailed medical history. Your donor must be as healthy as possible.

 But did you know that genetic testing for donors also plays a big part in your search for the perfect girl? We know, there are so many different variables when finding the right donor.  Don't worry; we're here to help. Here’s your guide on exactly what genetic testing is and what you need to know.

What is Genetic Testing?

Let’s start at the beginning. Genetic testing is a medical test that looks for changes in chromosomes, genes, or proteins of an individual. Genetic tests can either confirm or rule out any genetic condition and help determine what the chances are of passing on a disorder to a child.  

If there is a positive test result found for a particular gene or chromosome, that signifies that a person is a carrier of a specific genetic mutation. The reason we do genetic testing for egg donors is to inform the intended parents of any genetic disorders that could potentially be passed to the child.

How Genetic Testing Can Affect Your Decision

So just how important are the results of genetic testing? Well, for one, they can be super insightful, but a donor’s conclusions may not be the sole reason to cast them aside. Here are some points to consider:

Watch for Autosomal Recessive Conditions 

For some conditions, both the egg and the sperm must be carriers of a disease-causing variant.  Autosomal recessive conditions are most common in couples who are of the same race and ethnicity. If both parents are carriers, there is a 25% chance their child could be born with a life-altering disease. 

Autosomal recessive conditions include diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Tay Sachs disease, and sickle cell anemia.

If the added reproductive risk makes you nervous, you may need to find a new egg donor if you are both carriers for specific disorders or diseases. 

Carriers Can Still be Healthy

Just because an egg donor tests positive for a particular gene mutation, doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be considered for egg donation. As many as one in five healthy adults may carry disease-related genetic mutations. That means 20% of us are walking around with gene variations that we don’t even know about. 

If your donor is a carrier, and you aren't, your bundle of joy will get a working copy of the gene from you. This means that while your child may be a carrier of the gene mutations, he will have no ill effects from the gene variant.

Think about the Effect on the Child

If through your genetic testing, you find conditions that could be passed on to your child, think about how it would affect his quality of life. 

Most conditions are highly variable in terms of age onsets and clinical severity. What is the risk to the child and how life-altering would the condition be?

The Benefit of Genetic Testing for Egg Donors

Traditionally, genetic testing was rarely done before the baby was conceived. It was only when one or two children were born with disabilities that couples thought about whether or not they were carriers for gene mutations. 

When using an egg donor, we can actually test the embryos before implantation. This is called Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and ensures that only the healthiest embryos are used.

Peace of Mind

Here at Elevate Egg Donor Agency, we make sure intended parents are  prepared to choose the right egg donor. This includes providing them access to medical and psychological test results, and offering genetic testing for egg donors. 

All this together provides you with peace of mind as you make major decisions regarding your future family. 

So register with us today and let’s get the process going. You’ve already waited long enough

What's the Wait? What Intended Parents Need to Know about the Donor Cycle Timeline
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24 hours in a day. 7 days in a week. 52 weeks in a year.

Time is precious.

For most couples, they know exactly how much time it will take until they can hold a new baby in their arms: 9 months. For Intended parents looking into egg donation, there is no time limit. No end date to circle on the calendar. Just the hope that someday they’ll get a family. 

And the waiting can be excruciating. 

When a couple comes to us, they don’t want to wait any longer to start their family -- we get that. So we’re here to help you understand exactly how long you can expect a donor cycle to take. Because the more we can help you plan and prepare, the better. 

What is a Donor Cycle?

Every woman has a natural cycle -- more commonly called her period. When a woman decides to donate eggs, her cycle plays a significant role in exactly when the egg donation time will be. 

 Here’s the breakdown of a donor cycle and how it affects intended parents.

Making the Match

Once a woman has been approved for egg donation, her profile will be uploaded into our donor database. This database is where intended parents can find the perfect donor.  At Elevate, we pride ourselves in offering the best donors that meet all the requirements

Contract Agreement

After a match has been made, there is some legal work that needs to be completed. This protects all parties involved. At this time, agreements are made regarding payment, schedules, and the personal relationship with the donor going forward.

After the legal details have been worked out, it’s time to get the donor ready to donate her eggs. 

Egg Retrieval Process

Your IVF physician will decide when to put the donor on oral contraceptive pills. Yep, that pill. The regular pill that millions of women choose to take every day. This contraceptive will keep the hormones and ovaries in a non-ovulatory state.

After a few weeks on the pill, she’ll go in for a baseline checkup. This checkup will include bloodwork and an ultrasound. Just to be sure everything looks normal and healthy.

 If everything looks good, the donor will start her injections two days after her period begins (and a few days after she stops birth control). These injections will stimulate many eggs to grow and mature in the ovaries. These injections last 10 days. During this time, the donor will be monitored closely. When the time is right, the donor will receive a trigger shot.

About 34-36 hours after the trigger shot, the egg retrieval will happen. This is a short 20 to 30-minute procedure where the eggs are harvested. It is a minimally invasive procedure, and the donor should be back on her feet after a day or two of rest. 

And there you have it; that’s the breakdown of a donor cycle. After the legal arrangements have been made, you can plan on about 6 weeks until you have your eggs. 

Now What?

After the fresh donor eggs are retrieved, they are immediately fertilized with male sperm. At this point, you can either transfer the healthy embryos to the surrogate or freeze the embryos to use for future children. 

 Some intended parents are anxious to start their family and will have a surrogate mother lined up for an immediate transfer. If this is the way you’d like to go, be aware that it can be challenging to get the timing right between the egg donor’s cycle and making sure the surrogate mother is ready.

 Many intended couples like to freeze the embryos. This allows them time to find a surrogate and get their affairs in order before the baby comes.   

Time Well Spent

No matter what way you look at it, the time spent waiting for a donor cycle is time well spent. These are critical weeks that are used to make sure that your egg donor experience is as successful as possible. It is a delicate process that can’t be rushed,

If you’re interested in learning more about how to get your family clock ticking, come register with us. We’re here to help you. 

Looking for Egg Donation Near Me? Here's Why Where You Live Doesn't Matter
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Location, location, location. 

We all know how important location is when looking for the perfect home. But, we’re not talking about real estate, we’re talking about babies. And when it comes to egg donors, we don’t need to worry about city and county lines.

In fact, here at Elevate, you can even forget about state and country lines as well. We are now an international agency that works with egg donors and intended parents from around the world.

So stop searching for “egg donor near me” and start focusing on the bigger picture: finding the perfect egg donor for your family -- no matter how far we need to travel to find her.  

Read on to learn why it’s essential to work with an international agency.

Don’t Settle

Your baby is going to share DNA with your egg donor. This means that your donor’s traits will become your baby’s traits. If you are looking for a particular race, religion, or ethnicity for your family, you may need to look beyond your own city limits for the right match. 

Here are Elevate, we are very sensitive to what intended parents want when looking for an egg donor. It’s understandable for intended parents to want to share similar traits with their babies, such as heritage, customs, and legacy. After all; these are the traits that most families share.

Sometimes this means looking a little farther and a little wider.

Choosing a Donor

Because of the beauty of the internet, it doesn’t matter where the egg donor lives. 

First, an egg donor will apply through our website. If we feel that she is a good fit for our agency, we can contact her through Skype or Facetime to do the initial face-face- interview. She will then be asked to fill out extensive questionnaires about her medical background. Soon after, we meet her in person for coffee, dinner or lunch at her convenience. 

After the egg donor submits her photos and her profile is posted on our site, any set of intended parents can choose her. They can even go onto the website under Intended Parents → Payment Portal and put a donor on hold. The hold lasts for five business days until you’ve made a final decision. The hold fee acts as a credit to the agency once you’ve decided to move forward. 

When a match is made, we coordinate between the egg donor and the intended parents to make sure all terms of the arrangements are acceptable to both parties. We then take it to your clinic and work with the nurse coordinator to get the donor in for her donor day. 

Making Travel Arrangements

If the egg donor doesn’t live close to a reputable fertility clinic, the intended parents are expected to cover all travel costs.

These costs include:

  • Airfare

  • Hotel accommodations

  • Ground transportation

  • A daily budget for food and other expenses

Typically, if an egg donor needs to travel to a fertility clinic, she’ll need anywhere from 5 to 9 days of hotel accommodations. This time includes appointments, retrieval, and recovery. 

We have travel specialists in our office who will arrange all travel arrangements. We are extremely conscious of budget and the expenditures covered by the intended parents. As parents who have been through this, we know it is important to save where we can. While we know you are aware of the time and energy that is required of egg donors through this process, we still economize costs

Don’t Worry About Egg Donation Near Me

Now you can have peace of mind as you search for the perfect egg donor. You can feel confident that no matter where your egg donor is from, we will help you make all the arrangements necessary to build your family. Don’t let location stop you from having the perfect family you’ve always wanted.  

And remember, you don’t ever need to search for “egg donation near me” again. Unless of course, it brought you to Elevate through this blog post. :)

Talking About the F-Word -- Fertility: What Your Diagnosis From the Fertility Doctor Really Means

This is a hard conversation to have, but unfortunately, it’s necessary.

You know, the conversation about the F-word -- Fertility. 

If you are struggling with infertility, we want you to know you are not alone. In fact, one in six men and women struggle with infertility at some point in their life. Also, ladies don’t blame yourselves. In couples who are unable to get pregnant, ⅓  is because of the woman, ⅓ is because of the man, and ⅓ is unknown.

 If you have recently received a diagnosis from the fertility doctor, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed and confused. We’re here to explain what your diagnosis means, and what options there are to have that baby you are craving to hold.

Types of Infertility

Couples who have been trying to conceive for a year are encouraged to see a specialist. This isn’t to say you won’t ever get pregnant on your own, but it may be a sign that there is something amiss.

There are different degrees of infertility. It’s important to understand where you fit in.

Sub-Infertility

This is when a couple is less fertile than the average couple. If you are sub-fertile, it just means that you may have to try a little harder to get pregnant.

Issues such as a low sperm count in the male, or cysts on the woman’s ovaries can make it harder to get pregnant, but it could still happen.

You will need to decide if you want to be patient and “see what happens,” or if you are ready to find other means to have a baby.

Secondary Infertility

Secondary infertility is when a couple has already had one child, but they can’t get pregnant again. Or, they keep suffering from miscarriages.

This can be stressful in any relationship. There is an expectation that after one healthy pregnancy, another one should be possible. So when it doesn’t happen right away, it can be very frustrating,  

Fertility problems can arise at any time during your lifetime. Just because you had a baby in your 20’s doesn’t mean you will automatically be able to have a baby in your 30’s.

Permanent Infertility

This is when a couple has received the devastating news that they will not be able to conceive at all. This is when you should start looking into ulterior methods to have a family.

In any case, we urge you to seek a second opinion before making any final decisions.

Diagnosis From the Fertility Doctor

There are many different reasons why a couple is infertile. And sometimes it can take a while to figure out the complete picture. So, if it takes a few weeks to get a diagnosis from your fertility doctor, don’t stress.

Female Infertility

Female infertility can be caused by:

  • Age-related issues such a decreased ovarian reserve

  • Irregular or absent ovulation

  • Poly-cystic ovarian syndrome

  • Hormone imbalances

  • Scarring of the Fallopian Tubes

  • Pelvic Adhesions

  • Endometriosis

  • Uterine fibroid

  • Clotting disorders

  • Recurring miscarriages

And unknown causes -- remember ⅓ of the cases may never be diagnosed.

Male Infertility

Male infertility can be caused by:

  • Azoospermia -- complete absence of sperm

  • Oligospermia -- low sperm count

  • Teratospermia -- abnormally shaped sperm

  • Congenital absence of the vas deferens

  • Genetic diseases or chromosomal abnormally

  • Prior vasectomy

  • Unknown causes

Fertility Treatment Options

If you or your partner have been diagnosed with any of these conditions, there are medical treatments you can try. Such as medications, artificial insemination, or invasive surgery.

If those don’t sound promising, we encourage you to look into an egg donation agency. Egg donation is best for women who have damaged or prematurely failing ovaries; who have undergone chemotherapy or radiation; older women with poor egg quality; or women who carry genetic disorders that they don’t want to pass along.

In egg donation, eggs are obtained from an egg donor. These women are screened and have to pass several evaluations in order to qualify.

Once the eggs are harvested, they can either be implanted into your own uterus or into a surrogate.

Don’t Lose Hope

If you have recently seen a fertility doctor and didn’t receive the news you wanted, there’s still hope.

We have helped many couples find the perfect egg donors and assisted them in their journey to grow a family.

So don’t hesitate to contact us. We get it -- we’ve been there. We understand this is a sensitive time and we want to be there for you. Every step of the way.