So, you’re considering freezing and donating your eggs with Cofertility. This is exciting! Donating a portion of your eggs to another family who needs them in order to have children is an incredible decision. But it’s certainly not one to be taken lightly, so you’re doing the right thing by researching the process and considering all factors (and perspectives) involved.
One of the most important aspects of egg donation is having a clear understanding of what happens to your eggs once donated, and what kinds of families you’ll help. Here, we outline several types of families that you may help when you choose to participate in our Split program.
How does the Split program work?
Cofertility was founded on the principles of making egg freezing more accessible and empowering, while also helping grow families via egg donation. With our Split program, those who qualify are able to freeze their eggs completely for free (including up to 10 years of frozen egg storage!) when they donate half of the eggs retrieved to another family who can’t conceive. We consider our unique model a win for everyone involved, and a more human approach to egg donation.
Through the Cofertility Split program, once you’ve qualified, signed your program agreement, and undergone initial fertility testing, your profile will become available to match with intended parents on our Family by Co platform. These intended parents will be able to view your profile and hopefully connect with you, your values, and your motivations for donating a portion of your eggs — in which case, they’ll move forward with a match!
What is “egg sharing,” anyway?
Once you have matched with intended parents and undergone some additional screening for clearance purposes and industry guideline compliance, you’ll kick off your egg freezing cycle. Within this cycle, you’ll take 10-14 days of injectable medication that will stimulate your ovaries to mature as many eggs as possible. When the eggs have reached peak maturity, you will undergo a retrieval procedure under light anesthesia where the doctor will use a vaginal ultrasound to remove the eggs.
As part of our egg sharing model, once their eggs are retrieved, our Split members will have half of those eggs immediately frozen and stored for free for up to 10 years (they can be removed from storage any time). The other half of the retrieved eggs will go to the intended parents and can be fertilized with their sperm of choice. If an odd number of mature eggs is retrieved, the additional mature egg will go to the intended parents.
Types of families you help when donating eggs with Cofertility
There are many types of intended parents who require egg donation in order to conceive and grow their families.
As the world has become more tolerant of diverse sexual identity and orientation, so too has it become more tolerant of the evolution of what a “family” looks like. For LGBTQ+ families, this acceptance has been incredibly meaningful in being able to live and grow their families freely. According to 2021 U.S. Census Bureau data, there are 1.2 million same-sex couple households in the US, and about 15% of these couples have children.
For gay dads in particular, egg donation plays a vital role in providing the ability for them to have biological children. Eggs shared via donation can be fertilized with sperm from one of the intended fathers, with a subsequent pregnancy carried via gestational carrier. Remember, children of gay dads don’t happen by accident; they are the result of lots of effort, motivation, and desire to become fathers. We’re proud to support this growing population of parents.
People struggling with infertility
Did you know that, according to the World Health Organization, 1 in 6 people worldwide face some sort of fertility challenge? With 1 in 4 pregnancies ending in a loss and 12% of women experiencing difficulties becoming pregnant or carrying a child to term, the prevalence of infertility has increased over time.
This not only indicates why the best time to freeze your eggs is now (like, right now), it also provides some context as to how (and why) some people may eventually decide to pursue egg donation. It may provide their only option for conception, or perhaps their timeline doesn’t allow trial-and-error of other fertility treatments and they’d like to save themselves the heartache and financial strain of pursuing other options. These intended parents are always incredibly grateful for help from egg donors in growing their families, because it often comes at the end of a long, winding road that involves lots of disappointment and false starts. Growing their family via egg donation is often filled with lots of hope.
Sadly, when a woman undergoes medical treatment as part of a cancer-fighting protocol, this can impact her fertility and family-building options down the line. And unfortunately, only in recent years have fertility preservation options become part of the standard conversation that cancer patients in their fertile years have with their doctors. Even today, this is something many cancer patients with ovaries may need to proactively bring up to protect their options for the future.
As a result, many female cancer patients have undergone treatment that, while lifesaving, has caused various forms of infertility. This may be due to resulting hormonal changes, or damage to eggs, ovaries, or uterus. In cases where these hopeful moms cannot use their own eggs to conceive, they need the help of an egg donor to create embryos that they themselves or a gestational carrier may carry.
Single dads by choice
At Cofertility, we support all types of families — and we pride ourselves on the fact that more than 10% of our intended parents are single men, regardless of sexuality. These intended parents have decided to pursue fatherhood on their own, but will need the help of an egg donor as well as gestational carrier in order to make that happen. To us, any person pursuing the option of taking on sole responsibility for a child is someone who really wants (and deserves) to be a parent. And they’re forever grateful to everyone who can help make that dream come true.
How to get started
If you’d like to move forward with participating in Cofertility’s Split program, where you can freeze your eggs for free when you donate half of the eggs retrieved to another family who can’t conceive, fill out this quick quiz to learn more about your options and see if you qualify. It only takes one minute!