Third Party Reproduction and What It Means for You

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When an individual or couple need help with conception, there is a way to accomplish this with the help of third party reproduction. This involves using egg donation, sperm donation, embryo adoption, or surrogacy to become parents via third-party donation. This can be especially helpful for those dealing with infertility problems.

Essentially, you will be giving or receiving elements of conception that are an alternative human reproduction technique and the giver will not be raising the baby. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (or ASRM), there are four ways these donations can occur:

#1 Egg donation
Egg donation, also called ovum donation, is accomplished using in vitro fertilization (IVF) with eggs from an egg donor. After fertilization is accomplished in the laboratory, the embryo can be placed in the uterus of the mother-to-be. This need can arise from diminished egg quality because of delayed motherhood, a history of hereditary disease, having only one ovary, a previous tubal ligation, a premature ovarian failure, or decreased ovarian function because of cancer treatments.

#2 Sperm donation
This involves using a sperm donor to achieve conception and by IVF or artificial insemination. This is often a good option for couples where the male partner has a diminished or zero sperm count or if a woman lacks a male partner. Low-quality sperm can be a problem if the sperm has limited movement, a diminished sperm count, or an abnormal sperm morphology (shape and size of the sperm). Others have successfully used a sperm donor can when the male partner has had a vasectomy, received treatment for cancer, or has some genetic condition that affects the sperm.

#3 Embryo donation
Embryo donation comes into play when IVF has produced an embryo which has been frozen and then transferred into a woman’s uterus after preparing the endometrial lining to facilitate implantation. In this situation, a couple donates the embryo to the third party. In the case of a double-donor IVF an embryo can be created from an anonymous egg and sperm donation.

#4 Surrogacy
This fertility treatment is perhaps the most complex from the perspective of ethics. In surrogate motherhood, an embryo is made from the reproductive cells (sperm and eggs) of the parents-to-be or donors which are transferred to a woman who will carry and deliver the baby.

There are two kinds of surrogacy; traditional and gestational. Traditional surrogacy is where the donor is the mother of the baby-to-be and is fertilized by intrauterine insemination with the sperm of a donor, or father-to-be. In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate carries the pregnancy without using her eggs. This means she is not the biological mother of the baby, rather, the egg donor is the biological mother.

Ultimately, carrying a pregnancy to term followed by delivery of a healthy infant is the endgame for all when it comes to third-party reproduction. As you can see, there is hope for fertility problems. To learn more, we invite you to call our fertility office in Idaho Falls, Idaho at (208) 529-2019 today.