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Can You Address the Emotional Aspects of Using an Egg Donor?
Dr. John Schnorr, Medical Director of Coastal Fertility Specialists in South Carolina, explains that many patients will go through a grieving process when they realize they won't be able to conceive with their own eggs. And he explains why deciding to use donor eggs to build your family is a wonderful option.
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Ask the Experts
Can you address the emotional aspects of using an egg donor?
Dr. John Schnorr, Division Director, Reproductive Endocrinology, Medical University of South Carolina: I think the challenge for patients
is that they come in wanting to get pregnant using their own eggs,
they find out along the way that for whatever reason, their eggs are not gonna work.
And there's a grieving process associated with that.
It's a feeling of loss, realizing you're not going to be a genetic parent in most cases.
You have to think about that and grieve the loss.
You have to realize that your husband has that same grief; that sometimes patients feel that their husband's got it all,
we're gonna use his sperm, he's got no loss.
But the reality is he had chosen to have a baby with you, and it is a loss to him
that you won't be able to genetically contribute to that child.
And I think that's important to acknowledge that both patients have a loss.
Both the husband and the wife have a loss and over time need to work through that grieving process
and realize that this is a medical disorder just like any other disorder.
The good news is we can treat it with very high success rates.
The bad news is it's not quite the format of pregnancy that they were thinking about.
I mean, originally they thought they'd just have intercourse on their own and get pregnant.
And they originally kind of went through that grieving process and realized it was gonna take more that;
that it couldn't be natural; we're gonna have to get somebody else's help.
And then realize that it's actually going to need be a lot of somebody else's help.
We're going to need to get a third party and an egg donor.
And trying to figure out what role genetics plays in your children.
And what I tell them is that I have two children, we've had infertility ourselves, but my children look nothing like me.
And they have different personalities. And they don't even look a lot like my wife and it's amazing how much variation
there is from child to child with the same genetics and the same environment.
And so we're all gonna be different, even if you use your own eggs.
And when I love my kids and I love on them, I don't love them because they're genetically my children.
I love them because they're dependent on me and I'm the responsible party and I'm proud of their development and their growth,
and that makes it so that you love being a parent and doing what you do.
And I really strongly believe that if I had to get into egg donation to conceive, with what I now know about it,
I would avidly and quickly get into egg donation if that was my only good option.
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