One in six Australian couples of reproductive age experience difficulties conceiving; they are trying alternative methods, including egg donation.
Trying for a baby has become increasingly difficult for Australian couples. One in six Australian couples of reproductive age experience difficulties conceiving. Many are seeking medically assisted reproductive technologies (ART), including IVF (in-vitro fertilization) and ICSI (Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injections) to enhance their conception possibilities.
But for other couples, neither natural conception nor ART/IVF prove successful using their own eggs and/or sperm. Both egg and sperm donation programs are becoming increasingly popular and offer a unique opportunity for heterosexual couples, gay couples or singles to become parents.
Dr Miranda Myles is passionate about working with everyone in need of egg or sperm donation to help them achieve their dreams of having a baby and create their own beautiful, unique family. Miranda is dedicated to helping donors and intending parents achieve optimal physical and emotional health prior to donation, ART/IVF, and conception. Miranda provides a beautifully supportive and nurturing environment to allow all three of you to reach your optimal health goals, to enable you to achieve a successful conception, pregnancy and baby.
Egg donation offers women unsuccessful in using their own eggs, the opportunity of pregnancy, and the dream of creating their family. Egg donation is the process whereby another female donates her eggs to the female recipient, otherwise known as the intending parent, and has a success rate (defined as a live birth) quoted between 65-75%. The success rate is directly correlated with the age and health of the donor, the quality of sperm used and the subsequent quality of the embryos.
The donor and recipients cycles will be synchronized, and the donor will undergo a normal IVF treatment to harvest and collect her eggs. The best quality eggs will then be fertilized with the recipient’s partner’s sperm, to create embryos. As per any IVF cycle, the best quality embryos are then transferred, with any additional embryos being frozen.
Finding an egg donor
Most of the major IVF clinics in Melbourne will provide egg donation services. In Australia, however, it is generally a requirement that you find your own egg donor, ideally aged between 23- 33yrs old, usually a family member or close friend. Australian egg donors are truly altruistic. The donors are not paid for their services, but the intending parent covers all medical costs for donor IVF procedures, tests and medications. If you would like to pursue egg donation, but you have not been able to find an appropriate donor, there is still hope! Miranda has extensive knowledge of other options and can discuss these with you.
Who is egg donation for?
Embarking on an egg donor program is a very special journey, and it may not be for everyone. It is an important decision to make, but the focus should be the end result; a happy, healthy baby that you may not otherwise have been able to have.
Egg donation really is for any intending mum (intending parents) that hasn’t been able to get pregnant using her own eggs. Reasons for seeking egg donation may include:
- Poor quality eggs and/or low AMH
- You are an older intending mum
- Previous unsuccessfully attempts at IVF treatments utilising your own eggs
- Experiencing premature menopause
- Carrying the risk of passing on a genetic disease
- Ovarian dysfunction due to chemotherapy or serious illness
- Absence of ovaries
Sperm donation offers a diverse range of people the opportunity of pregnancy and the dream of creating their own family. Sperm donation may be required in heterosexual couples incapable of pregnancy due to male factor infertility, such as genetic or immune factors, or the result of physical trauma. In some men, it may be physically impossible to conceive with their partner due to sterility, the inability to produce sperm. Sperm donation also allows gay female couples and single women the opportunity to have a baby.
Finding a sperm donor
Most of the major IVF clinics in Melbourne will provide sperm donation services. You may choose to use your own sperm donor, someone you know such as a close friend or family member. Alternatively, most of the IVF clinics have sperm banks and you may select a sperm donor from recruited de-identified bank. The de-identified sperm donors may be nationally or internationally recruited, and their identity is anonymous as the time of donation. If the process is successful, the child is able to receive identifying information once they turn 18 yrs.
Whilst age is not quite so important in appropriate sperm selection, a sperm donor is required to be older than 18 yrs. Generally, sperm donors older than 50 are not encouraged.
In Australia, women over 51 years of age (considered the age of natural menopause) are not able to access sperm donation. At many IVF clinics, women over 45 may only be given donated sperm if they are also utilising donated eggs.
Once you have been accepted to a sperm donation program, you are added to a waitlist. Once you reach to the top of the waitlist, you are given access to a database of potential sperm donors, and then you are to select the most suitable.
The donated sperm may be used for IUI (interuterine insemination; artificial insemination) or IVF treatment with ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection). IUI is less invasive as is the insertion of semen into the uterus at the time of the recipient woman’s ovulation. IVF and ICSI are much more extensive but generally enjoys a higher success rate. Both IUI and IVF/ICSI require drugs. Generally your IVF specialist will discuss these options with you.
Who is sperm donation for?
Embarking on a sperm donor program is a very special journey, and it may not be for everyone. It is an important decision to make, but the focus should be the end result; a happy, healthy baby that you may not otherwise have been able to have.
Sperm donation really is for any intending parent or parents that for a variety of reasons require sperm to enable the creation of their beautiful, unique family.
Reasons for seeking sperm donation may include:
- Inability to utilise the sperm of the male partner in the relationship
- Sterility; the male partner does not make sperm of his own due to genetic, immune, infectious or physical trauma causes
- Carrying the risk of passing on a genetic disease from the male partner
- Gay female couples
- Single females
Preconception Health Care
“Healthy babies come from healthy parents. Let’s give your baby the best start possible.”
– Dr Miranda Myles
Dr Miranda Myles is passionate about working with everyone in need of egg or sperm donation to help them achieve their dreams of having a baby and create their own beautiful, unique family. Miranda is dedicated to helping donors and intending parents achieve optimal physical and emotional health prior to donation, ART, IUI, IVF/ICSI, and conception. Miranda provides a beautifully supportive and nurturing environment to allow all three of you to reach your optimal health goals, to enable you to achieve a successful conception, pregnancy and baby.
When selecting an egg or sperm donor, it is important to consider their features (height, weight eye colour), age, genetic history, interests, and reproductive health, but also their general health status.
Preconception health care involves striving for optimal health prior to conception. Ideally, we want to identify and address any health issues that may be interfering with the quality of the Donor’s eggs/sperm, and their general health.
Of course, preconception health care may be impossible and completely out of your control if the donor is unknown or de-identified. If you know the donor, either sperm or egg, then a period of preconception health care is advised.
One of the ultimate goals of preconception health care is the ultimate health of your baby; to improve your baby’s constitutional health and vitality. The quality of the donor’s eggs/sperm, plus the overall health of all of you, influences not only the rates of infertility, miscarriage or malformation but also the incidence of childhood related illness such as asthma, allergies, colic, infections, sleep and behaviour problems. No parent wants his or her child to spend the first years of his or her life unwell. Healthy babies come from healthy parents. Let’s give your baby the best start possible. Miranda is experienced in working with donors to ensure quality sperm and eggs.
For the intending parents, preconception health care is incredibly important.
Our focus here is to create the most fertile environment possible in preparation for the transfer of the embryo. We will address all aspects of the recipient Mums health to increase the chances of a successful implantation.
Naturopathic principles are at the core of preconception or prenatal care. Preconception health care involves striving for optimal health prior to the IVF transfer and conception attempts; to prepare you and your body for pregnancy, birth and beyond.
The focus is not just about getting you pregnant. We want you to enjoy a beautiful and easy pregnancy, as free from risks and complications as possible.
Miranda will design a specific preconception health care program for you. Utilising nutritional therapy, herbal medicine, dietary and lifestyle changes and acupuncture, many aspects of your hormonal and general health will be addressed. Goals of treatment include:
- Balancing hormone levels and regulate the menstrual cycle
- Increasing the rates of pregnancy and live birth in women undergoing IVF
- Reducing the miscarriage rate and the number of tubal pregnancies associated with IVF technology.
- Employed in the early stages of pregnancy, acupuncture may reduce subsequent miscarriage risks in women suffering recurrent miscarriage.
- Increasing blood flow to the uterus and the preparation of the uterine lining for implantation and subsequent pregnancy
- Stress and anxiety reduction
- Sleep improvement
- Regulating the immune system to help increase embryo implantation and prevent rejection.
DONOR/INTENDING DADS SPERM
There are many factors that are known to interfere with sperm quality and inhibit conception including diet, lifestyle factors such as smoking and drinking, environmental toxins & chemicals (that may be associated with career/work), stress, illness & poor immunity, weight, age, genetics and heat (sperm like the cold).
The health and quality of sperm impacts not only the ability to conceive but also a healthy, successful pregnancy and baby.
The health and quality of sperm impacts not only the ability to conceive but also a healthy, successful pregnancy and baby. In other words, poor quality sperm has been linked to:
- Reduced ability to fertilse an egg
- Poor development of the embryo
- Increased miscarriage rates
- Increased birth defects
- Subsequent childhood illnesses eg allergies, asthma, autism etc..
Approximately three-four months is the ideal time to achieve optimum preconception health care for both intending parents and Egg / Sperm Donors. This is because it takes about 100 days for sperm and egg formation and maturation. Given that, reproductive health today is actually the product of health, diet, lifestyle and environment three to four months earlier! Read more…