Source: Huffington Post – July 9, 2015
The Huffington Post recently published a profile on one of their own contributors, Wendy Burch, who began a long journey with infertility after establishing a career as a successful television reporter.
Wendy said when she started fertility treatments at 41 years old, she thought she would only need one or two rounds of IVF before finding success. However, her journey lasted longer than she anticipated. After five years of trying together with her husband and with the help of fertility treatments, she opened up to the idea of using donor egg. After sorting through donor profiles and finding a match—a young woman with similar physical features who was studying broadcast journalism—Wendy ordered a lot of six frozen eggs.
Most people feel like all their choice is taken away when they’re dealing with infertility.
By chance, a seventh egg was in the lot when they arrived. Of the seven eggs, one became an embryo, which successfully implanted and became Wendy’s son. Wendy noted that she wished she had taken the opportunity to freeze her eggs when she first learned about the procedure at 36 years old, and she now educates young women about egg freezing.
From Our Expert, Dr. Adrienne Neithardt
“Donor egg is a great choice for many individuals or couples to help build their family, but it’s not for everyone.”
Most people feel like all their choice is taken away when they’re dealing with infertility. When patients have exhausted their options with traditional IVF, they may feel like their choices are even more limited.
Our goal at RADfertility is to help patients achieve their dream of becoming parents. The most important thing we can do is give our patients options and empower them to make a decision. One of these options can be donor egg, but it may not be the right choice for everyone.
I always introduce donor egg as one of several options for these patients. When I introduce donor egg, some women have already heard of it. For other women, it’s a concept that they’ve never even considered. Some patients choose to move forward with one or two IVF cycles using their own eggs first before deciding to use donor egg. Other patients never use donor egg, and choose other options such as traditional adoption or living childfree. But like Wendy in the article, the decision to use donor egg is a personal process that patients have to consider on their own, and it may take some time before they know whether or not it’s right for them.
Patients who do ultimately choose to use a donor to help build their family have some great options available for them. RADfertility is a partner center of the innovative egg sharing program, Egg Donor Collaborative, which gives us access to one of the largest egg donor databases in the country.
To be an network partner center with Egg Donor Collaborative, clinics are required to have a high level of competency with egg vitrification (freezing) and thawing. Egg Donor Collaborative has high quality control standards for network partner centers: they screen every center and keep a close eye on statistics to maintain high pregnancy rates.
It’s important to remember not every center that freezes eggs is created equal. Patients should investigate the success rates a center has with freezing and thawing eggs. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine has only recently removed the experimental label from egg vitrification/freezing, and many centers are still developing their techniques. This is why, while Wendy wishes she had frozen her eggs at a younger age, the technology was not widely available and ultimately may not have changed her personal fertility journey.
However, Wendy’s donor experience is similar to how a patient chooses a donor at RADfertility. There are two parts to the donor egg process: evaluating the patient as a recipient and selecting a donor. For the recipient evaluation, we want to make sure that the patient is healthy and there are no underlying issues preventing her from carrying a pregnancy.
Patients can then select a donor with the help of our donor egg team. Once someone is a patient at RADfertility, he or she has access to the full egg bank at Egg Donor Collaborative and our in-house donors listed on our website. In-house donors are currently going through the donor screening process and will eventually have their eggs listed with Egg Donor Collaborative. One advantage of using an in-house donor is having a first choice of any fresh eggs before they are shipped to the bank. Patients can review profiles, select a donor before anyone else, and even fertilize the eggs to create fresh embryos if the patient is ready for transfer at the same time a donor is cycling.
Prior to working with Egg Donor Collaborative, patients would have to select donors through agencies. There was typically a long waiting period between identifying a donor, screening them, and having them go through the IVF process. When patients choose an in-house donor at RADfertility or frozen donor eggs through our PreciousEggs™ Donor Egg Program, all those steps have already been completed.
At the end of the day, patients come to us because they want to be parents, or they want to complete their family. Whether it is with donor egg or with one of the many other Family of Services RADfertility has to offer, my job is to try to help our patients do that in the best way possible.
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"I feel so lucky to have found RADfertility. I tried two other clinics before I expanded my search and found RADfertility. I drive an hour each way to go to them but I don’t regret a thing. They are so caring and so professional. Every time I message them they respond quickly. Every time I see them they have a friendly smile and warm welcome. They explain everything so well and I never feel lost in the process as I did elsewhere. They also took the time to figure out what was wrong. Other clinics threw up their hands, said 'I don’t know' and pushed me to try IVF."
"Dr. Feinberg and the entire staff at RADfertility are absolutely amazing. The receptionists, coordinators, nurses, and lab staff are compassionate, caring, and straight forward. I’ve had a 12-year infertility journey and I’ve tried other clinics but RADfertility was the only one I felt at ease with. They answered any questions that I had and were there any time I needed them. My coordinator, Amy, was the absolute best and always had my back. Dr. Feinberg’s dedication to his patients is incredible. You are not just a number there, you are a person with individualized needs and care."
"My journey with RADfertility and Dr. McGuirk started when my husband and I were trying to conceive and were having difficulty. We went to RADfertility, where we met Dr. McGuirk. I always say she changed my life and 'fixed' me. Dr. McGuirk is always learning more about endometriosis and how to help her patients. She’s brilliant and truly cares for you! I’m eternally grateful to her and everyone at RADfertility for their unwavering support, love, and care."
"Every step of our journey was tailored to us. We were treated so respectfully. Every detail was clearly explained and we felt so comfortable. Rhonda Wright was a Godsend and inspiring. I highly recommend this place! I cried when my weekly appointments were done and I 'graduated.'"
"The day I met Dr. Neithardt I knew she was the perfect doctor for me. Dr. Neithardt was so compassionate every step of the way. She held my hand, she hugged away tears, and continued to give me hope. There are not enough 'thank you's' in the world for Dr. Neithardt and the whole RADfertility team who will forever have a special place in my heart."
"RADfertility's staff has heart and provided me with exceptional health care. I knew I was in good hands and felt like we were in this together. The doctors and nursing staff always answered all of my questions and provided thorough information about all of my options. I am so fortunate and appreciative of the care that I received at RADfertility. They go above and beyond."
"I cannot begin to explain how wonderful RADfertility is. We were frustrated with trying to start a family and it not working for us. The entire team of doctors and nurses made us feel comfortable and hopeful that we would be parents. We experienced so many ups and downs but we never felt like we were on our IVF journey alone, we had our RADfertility team every step of the way. If you're looking for a supportive team on the IVF journey, look no further. RADfertility is the absolute best."
"Dr. Schillings always kept us informed and never gave up on us. She always explained our options and risks with each procedure. She called us personally when there were any issues or sensitive subjects to cover. Dr. Schillings was the first doctor that had answers for us and wanted to help us have our miracle baby!"
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