Egg and Sperm Donation in Iran: All You Need to Know
Egg and sperm donation is a process, in which the couple resorts for someone else or a relevant bank to have egg and/or sperm that has been donated by another person to be able to have babies.
Egg donation definition
Egg donation is a process that involves a fertile woman donating an egg, or an oocyte to an infertile woman to help her conceive a baby. The donated egg will be removed from the woman and transferred into the infertile woman after fertilizing it.
Epigenetics and egg donation
To many women, men and couples, agreeing to use a donor egg can be a tough choice. The main concern will be that the donor woman will be the biological mother and the child will look like her considering she/he is having the donor’s genes. However, you should know that is not exactly true thanks to epigenetics.
Epigenetics is a field of science that studies the way organisms can change due to changes in the gene’s expressions even though the genes do not change. For example, when the donor’s egg is placed in the womb of another woman, her body can have an impact on the genetic presentation of the donor’s genetic code.
In other words, even though the child will genetically inherit the biological mother, the mother who gives birth can affect the genetic development of the baby. This means that the mother will have a genetic bond with her child even though the egg came from a donor.
Egg donation requirements and qualifications
Being a fertile woman is not the only factor to enable you to donate eggs. Several factors must be considered to let you become an egg donor. These factors are necessary to ensure conceiving a healthy baby.
To become an egg donor:
- You have to be between 21 and 29 years.
- You should be in good health.
- Your BMI should be between 19 and 29, as being overweight or underweight can have an effect on the quality of the eggs.
- You should be a nonsmoker for one year at least.
- Your menstrual cycle should be regular.
- You should be STD free for one year at least.
- You should not have any tattoos on your body.
Meeting up with all the conditions is essential to increase the chance of having a good egg that can be used to conceive a healthy child.
Egg donation disqualifiers
Due to some factors, a woman can be disqualified from participating in an egg donation program. These factors include:
- Smoking cigarettes and taking drugs.
- Being infertile and having genetic disorders.
- Being younger than 21 or older than 29 years old.
- Having STDs.
- Not knowing the medical history of the woman’s biological parents.
- Having an irregular menstrual cycle or other issues like endometriosis.
Egg donation eligibility is approved after passing all the medical and psychological tests.
Surrogacy and egg donation
Sometimes using a donated egg is enough to conceive a child, but some women (like women who have some uterus conditions) might need to use surrogacy and an egg from an egg donor. By doing so, the embryo will be placed in the womb of an alternative mother.
Cancer and egg donation
Although many accuse egg donation of causing cancer for donors, you should know that there is no proof for this accusation yet. In fact, some recent studies and analysis did not find a connection between egg donation and cervical cancer.
Other studies showed that infertile women who do not seek treatment are at higher risk of developing ovarian cancer than those who had IVF with egg donation. Results also shown that there is no connection between fertility drugs and developing breast cancer.
On the other hand, we cannot be 100% sure that there no risks of egg donation at all in the long term due to the shortage of studies on the long-term effect of egg donation on cancer.
Egg donation: how does it work?
Even though egg donation is more common nowadays, many people do not know how it is performed. If you do not know how the process is done, then we will have egg donation explained for you.
- First, the doctors will inject the donor with hormone shots for ovulation induction to have multiple eggs and then they will wait for the eggs to mature.
- When the eggs are ready, the doctor will set a time to retrieve them.
- The donor will be sedated and the doctor will insert an ultrasound needle to each mature follicle to retrieve the mature eggs.
- The eggs can be frozen for later use but it is better to fertilize them after retrieval to increase the chances of pregnancy.
- After the eggs are retrieved, the donor will stay in the clinic or the hospital for a few hours and then go home for recovery and rest. The donor will be given some antibiotics and will be asked to come back after a week for a follow-up exam.
Egg donation timeline
Egg donation surgery or process involves several steps:
- Matching: The fertility clinic will have several egg donors in their database with all the needed information so you can choose the best one for you.
- Screening: This phase includes psychological test, blood tests and genetic tests so you can be sure you will get healthy eggs to increase the chances of having a healthy pregnancy.
- Contract: In this phase, the parents and the donor will have a legal contract that involves all the terms and conditions.
- Cycle preparations: The egg donor will be placed on birth control bills so she can synchronize her menstrual cycle.
- Cycle Follow-up: During this phase, the egg donor will start taking fertility drugs to induce producing multiple eggs. She will also be monitored with an ultrasound and blood work to make sure she is responding properly to the medications.
It usually takes from 10 to 13 days after the matching for the donor to be ready for matured egg retrieval.
Egg donation pros and cons
Before you become an egg donor you should think about your decisions wisely considering all the possible pros and cons. This means that you should put all the benefits and health risks into your considerations.
Egg donation advantages for the recipient
- It helps women who cannot conceive on their own to experience pregnancy and breastfeeding which can help create a bond with the child.
- It enables the recipient to choose the donor enabling her to choose a donor that looks somehow like her
- It enables women to delay having a child for later without having to worry a lot about infertility issues.
- It can help women who have few eggs to get pregnant faster
Egg donation disadvantages for the recipient
- Some women might find it hard to accept that they are not the biological mothers of their children.
- Although using donated eggs can increase the chances of pregnancy, there is no guarantee that the pregnancy will be 100% successful. This might make the recipient pay more to try IVF and egg donation again or make her frustrated.
- Using donated eggs can cost a lot of money considering that the recipient will need to pay the medical expenses for her and the donor and might need to pay the donor.
- Finding the right donor can be quite a hard and stressful process especially if the recipient is going to use eggs donated from a family member.
Egg donation advantages for the donor
- You will make sure you are healthy, as doctors need to perform a thorough health screening on the donor before the donation.
- You will know more about fertility so you can have better decisions in the future.
- You can have good compensation for your donation, as it is legal to donate your eggs in exchange for money in many countries.
- You can feel better about yourself knowing that your donation can help another woman achieving her dream of conceiving a baby.
- You can have the chance of preserving some of your own eggs for yourself if you are planning to have a child but you are not ready right now.
Egg donation disadvantages for the donor
- The hormones used in the process can have an effect on your mood and/or health.
- The donor can gain weight due to the use of hormone shots.
- Some donors might feel that they lost a child to other people considering the egg will become a living being.
- Having time and commitment are vital to being an egg donor, you will need to show up for your screening, hormone shots, and egg retrieval among other things. It is important to be there on time for your appointments. So, being an egg donor can be hard if you have children or other commitments.
Egg donation side effects
Like any medical process, there are some possible side effects including:
- Bruises from the blood drawing process needed for the screening
- Weight gain
- Ovarian Hyper-Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS)
- Fluid in the abdomen (Rarely)
- Internal bleeding
Most of the known side effects and risks are the short-term ones. Until now, we do not know a lot about the long-term health risks and complications due to a shortage of studies on this subject because egg donation is still relatively new.
Until now, there is no proof of any connection between egg donation and cancer, infertility, or other long-term health issues.
Limitations of egg donation in Iran
One of the new rules in Iran is that foreigners cannot get donated eggs from Iranian donors. This governmental law in Iran makes the couples obliged to be accompanied by a donor from their country when they travel to Iran to have a fertility treatment that involves egg donation.
What is sperm donation?
Infertility affects both men and women, and since it takes a sperm and an egg to make a child some couples might need the help of a sperm donor to conceive a child.
Sperm donation is a process that involves a man donating his sperm to help couples who are unable to make a child due to the husband’s infertility. The donated sperm can be injected into the woman’s uterus or can be used to fertilize an egg in the lab through an IVF treatment.
Sperm donation eligibility
Not every man can be accepted as a sperm donor. There are several conditions that you should meet before you can become a sperm donor. Sperm donation qualifications are there to make sure your sperm will help to make a healthy baby. To meet up with these qualifications, you:
- Should have no history of drug use
- Should be between the age of 18 and 39 (or 18 and 34) years
- Should be free of STDs like AIDs and hepatitis C
- Should not have genetic conditions like cystic fibrosis
- Should not have mental health conditions like bipolar disorder
- Should know your parents’ medical history
Sperm donation advantages and disadvantages
Sperm donation can help infertile couples have a child, but it has some disadvantages as well.
The disadvantages of using donated sperm include the following:
- Some parents might have to deal with their kids asking about the donor.
- You might not be able to know the donor well before choosing to use his sperm.
- Some couples might find it hard to raise a child conceived using donated sperm.
It is recommended that you and your partner see a psychological therapist before you try to conceive a child using donated sperm. It is better to make sure that you are going to be ok with the idea before you start.
How to arrange my trip to have fertility treatment with egg and sperm donation in Iran?
You just need to contact AriaMedTour and ask for their services, and then AriaMedTour will help you obtain the Visa, get the hotel reservation for you and your family and even pick you up from the airport.
AriaMedTour will help you have an appointment with the best available fertility doctors and clinics and offer you pre-hospitalization and post-hospitalization services. AriaMedTour will also provide you with the legal regulations and limitations of egg donation in Iran. After you go back home, you can use the online follow-up services if you needed anything.