Video: Egg Donation Programme

Since the inception of the Shady Grove Fertility Center's Egg Donor Program in 1994, over 2500 couples have been matched with a qualified egg donor.

Video Transcription (Show)

Paulette Brown- I’m Paulette Brown. I’m one of the physicians at Shady Grove Fertility and one of the doctors who runs the donor-egg program.

Karen Calabrese- What motivates a person to be an egg donor? Why would they do this for someone they don’t know? And then my other, I guess curiosity, was who else? Do just normal people use egg donors?

Paulette Brown- There’s several reasons that someone would need donor eggs- some people have approached fertility at a later age and don’t have eggs which will help them get pregnant and donor eggs an opportunity to still carry a child, and carry their husband’s child or their partner’s child, genetically, and still deliver a baby, as opposed to pursuing adoption. Others have gone through failed fertility treatments and use this as an option to successfully conceive when other treatments haven’t worked.

Karen Calabrese- Am I going to love this baby like I love my first biological child or am I going to feel differently?

Paulette Brown- To some degree, it’s a mourning process they have to give up the loss of having their own biologic child or the female has to go with the loss of having her own biologic child, even if she’s able to carry the child and deliver the baby.

Karen Calabrese- I’m proud of how I had him, I’m not ashamed of how, you know, he was conceived and I want to share that with other people that may not be sure that this is the right choice for them.

Paulette Brown- No couple wants to face infertility but if they have to, it’s nice that they can come somewhere where they really feel part of the Shady Grove family.

Karen Calabrese- To the outside world- I was pregnant, I nursed, I did everything, you know, that anyone else that has a baby, so unless I choose to tell someone how I had him no one knows that.

Vanessa Zaczek- The donation is strictly anonymous, I never know what will happen, I wish them good luck but, you know, I just will never know

Paulette Brown- There’s all kinds of people that choose to be egg donors, but they all have a very similar thread in common, that they want to do something to help people

Vanessa Zaczek- I’m healthy, I have eggs that are just sitting here doing nothing, and I’ve experienced being a mother and I want somebody else to have the same experience

Paulette Brown- Many of them have gone through fertility treatment with a friend or family member and they feel the need to help, they know that their eggs are not being used and they can use them for a good purpose to help another couple conceive a child, and they really want to do something to make a difference in the world.

Vanessa Zaczek- It’s an amazing feeling to know that you helped create somebody’s life. You know you’re donating just this little piece of yourself for someone to have for the rest of their lives, they’re going to have a child, and that child is going to have a life.

Paulette Brown- Shady Grove has one of the largest and most successful donor egg programs in the country

Vanessa Zaczek- I always wonder. I definitely wonder, when I wake up after the procedure, I’m like, “Oh I hope they work! Good luck!” and I always tell the nurse, you know, “Tell them good luck for me!”

Paulette Brown- We feel very strongly that the donors are treated just as one of our patients is treated and there they have a primary doctor, there’s a team of a whole team of people that’s dedicated just to working with the donors.

Vanessa Zaczek- Shady Grove does a good job at talking to you about it and really explaining everything, so in the end it’s not about the money

Paulette Brown- Certainly donors do get reimbursed for their time financially, donors get paid somewhere between five and six and a half thousand dollars in our program. Most often insurance doesn’t cover the cost of donor egg treatment, so Shady Grove has tried to provide different methods whereby a couple can pay for donor egg and make it more affordable. We have a Shared Risk Program- a refund program that if you’re not pregnant after six cycles you’ll have a refund, we have a Shared Donor Program- where eggs are split between recipients so that the fixed costs are shared between recipients

Vanessa Zaczek- Love your children, love them, and hold them and say thank you

Karen Calabrese- And I always say that if I had the chance to have a biological child or have him, I would choose him



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