For Recipients: Egg Donation vs. Surrogacy

As a recipient, one of the biggest questions to consider is whether to choose egg donation versus surrogacy. Egg donation is the process in which a healthy egg is obtained from a donor, fertilized in a laboratory setting, and then a viable embryo is placed within the recipient’s womb or uterus to be carried to full term. As a recipient, it is important to determine from the beginning if you would like to become pregnant with the baby after an egg has been donated, or have someone else become implanted after the egg has been fertilized. There are many reasons to consider donation versus surrogacy and vice versa.

An Overview of Egg Donation

First of all, egg donation is mainly used in instances where the woman is unable to produce her own eggs due to some defect in the recipient’s ovary (or after the removal of her ovaries). If this is the recipient's only fertility issue, after fertilization in a lab, she will be able to become pregnant and carry out the pregnancy till birth. Egg donation allows the recipient to fully experience pregnancy, even though her own egg has not been used. The recipient has the experience of giving birth with her partner.

An Overview of Surrogacy

In surrogacy, there are more options to consider, as the recipient has to think of what’s best for herself, the baby and the surrogate.  Surrogacy is usually for a woman who cannot or does not want to carry out a pregnancy. Either her womb or uterus has been removed, or she could have a genetic defect that makes it difficult to carry a child to full term. The factors to consider will depend on which option the recipient chooses during the surrogacy process.

There are two options for the recipient when using surrogacy. She can choose to use either her own eggs or to use the surrogate’s eggs. Thus, the recipient can have the surrogate become impregnated, and give birth to her baby if the surrogate’s eggs are being used. In the other option, the recipient can allow her own eggs to be collected, and after fertilization within a laboratory setting, the surrogate will have the embryo implanted into her womb.

Surrogates can be obtained from asking friends, sisters or other female relatives to use their womb, although this is obviously a lot to ask of someone. In some instances, a couple may choose to use a private agency that pre-screens surrogate candidates. This option allows the agency to select suitable candidates before the couple interviews and selects a donor. It is also possible to recruit independently for a surrogate.

Egg Donation vs Surrogacy 

It necessary to compare and contrast egg donation versus surrogacy. Both of these procedures do involve in-vitro fertilization, but egg donation is a little less complex as compared to surrogacy. It would be necessary for surrogacy to have a more complex legal contract, as the recipient is paying the donor to be pregnant for them. Overall, the costs associated with surrogacy are also higher.

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