Surrogacy with Egg Donation
How can this delay my treatment? This will not delay cancer treatment.
How much will this cost? The cost for the in vitro fertilization procedure is around $12,000. Using an egg donor can raise the cost of family building based on how you obtain donor eggs. In some cases, you can purchase eggs from an egg bank — these are frozen eggs that are sold in specific quantities. In other cases, you may pay to put an egg donor through a stimulation cycle to retrieve as many eggs as possible. In this case, all retrieved eggs typically belong to you. Both of these methods can increase the total cost of IVF by sometimes as much as $15,000 to $20,000. Each individual attempt at an embryo transfer can bring an additional charge.
Can this interact with my hormone receptor-positive breast cancer?
You may have to interrupt long-term treatments in order to attempt pregnancy using a donated egg. Your doctor will likely recommend taking hormonal therapy for 5 to 10 years. If you want to get pregnant in this time, speak with your doctor about safely taking a break from hormonal therapy while you attempt pregnancy.
Does my age impact this?
Some fertility centers restrict how old you can be when you try to get pregnant using a donated egg. Be sure to ask your provider if there is an age limit for the procedure at your center.
Do I need a partner or sperm donor? You will eventually need sperm from either a partner or a donor when you are ready to attempt pregnancy.
More About Surrogacy with Egg Donation
There are a variety of factors that contribute to infertility after cancer treatment. In some cases, your ovarian reserve, the amount of eggs left in the ovaries, is too low or gone. As women age, the quality of eggs also decline and this can lead to more difficulties in getting pregnant and a higher risk of miscarriage or birth defects. If after breast cancer treatment, you find that your eggs aren’t able to be used to attempt pregnancy, it may still be possible for you to carry a pregnancy using an egg from someone else (an egg donor).
You can find an egg donor through an agency that provides this service, an egg bank, or through a personal connection. This process can be complex and there are strict guidelines in finding and using an egg donor. You should talk to a fertility specialist before searching for an egg donor on your own. Some clinics only work with certain agencies or egg banks. If you’re using an egg donor that you already know, there are restrictions that you should be aware of before you move forward in this process. Once you get eggs from a donor, those eggs are fertilized with sperm from your partner or a sperm donor and if successful, an embryo is created. That embryo can then be transferred to your uterus to attempt a pregnancy. Each state has laws that dictate the use of donor eggs and sperm, so it is important to speak with a doctor who understands those laws before moving forward.
Reviewed by Kristin Smith