Secondary Infertility: What Can You Expect as You Seek a Sibling for Your Child?

It was easy giving birth to your beautiful firstborn.

But when trying to conceive your second child… you received an unexpected diagnosis of secondary infertility. Now, you face the unimaginable task of trying to forge your perfect family through fertility treatments.

Fortunately, if traditional IVF hasn’t been successful and the idea of adoption or surrogacy aren’t avenues you wish to pursue, there are still other options available to you. One viable alternative is donor egg IVF. (Don’t know if your clinic offers donor egg treatment? Here’s a list of fertility clinics that partner with a donor egg bank).

Let’s explore what you can expect during your journey with IVF egg donation, including the emotions you may face along the way.

Why Do Many Women Face Infertility Issues?

While none of us consider ourselves “old” in our twenties and thirties, a woman’s fertility starts to decline as soon as she hits the big 3-0.

When she reaches 30, there’s only a 1 in 5 chance per month she’ll conceive naturally, and this reduces to just 5% by the time she reaches 40.

What about secondary infertility?

Unfortunately, giving birth to one baby with ease doesn’t guarantee a smooth journey when trying for a second, third, or fourth. Currently, 1 in 7 UK couples are experiencing difficulties conceiving.

Facing secondary infertility often leaves you feeling as though your body has let you down – it’s aging before it’s given you a chance to fulfil your hopes and dreams.

The good news is, donor egg IVF can be the light at the end of the tunnel. It removes any problems you’re facing using your own eggs while still allowing you to carry your baby, give birth, breastfeed them, and nurture them throughout their life. It offers you the immeasurable bonding experiences of pregnancy and childbirth.

What Emotions Will I Experience?

While donor egg IVF gives you the chance to be a parent again, coming to terms with the loss of a genetic connection to your child is often difficult.

Despite feeling elated that you have the chance to be a mom again, it may still evoke complicated emotions like grief or jealousy towards others.

It’s important to work through these emotions with your partner, and perhaps a psychologist. While there isn’t a genetic link between you and your child, this doesn’t mean there isn’t any link at all! As you carry your baby, feel their first kick, and watch them grow inside you, you’ll establish an unbreakable bond similar to the one you’ve already forged with your first child.

Furthermore, if using your partner’s sperm, your baby will share a genetic link with him (and your firstborn).  Even more good news – studies demonstrate how a mother using donor eggs can still influence the expression of her child’s genes!

All in all, you’ll play a huge role in this baby’s life – both emotionally and biologically.

What Can You Expect from the Egg Donor Process?

If you’ve decided donor egg IVF is the right family building method for you, one of the first steps you’ll take is finding a donor.

It’s important to allow plenty of time for this step, as many women and couples take a few months to come to a decision. A donor egg program offers a large database of candidates to choose from, featuring profiles which give you in-depth details about each donor. This includes their physical traits, personal and academic achievements, hobbies and interests, genetic history, and more.

After choosing your perfect donor, your womb is prepared for embryo transfer. If using fresh donor eggs, both yours and the donor’s cycles must be synced before the transfer. If the eggs are frozen beforehand, only your cycle is monitored, which conveniently allows you more freedom in scheduling the transfer and makes the treatment process more cost-effective and time-efficient.

Your Happily Ever After

Two weeks after the embryo transfer, you’ll return to the clinic for an ultrasound and pregnancy test, with the hope that you’ll receive good news!

Despite being on the rollercoaster of infertility, you’ve finally reached the next stop in your journey – becoming a family of four, five, or more!

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