Donor Conception

5 reasons to consider egg sharing – when you’re looking for a donor

Emma Harpham in partnership with Cofertility  |  23 Jan 2024

Looking into donor eggs as part of your family-building journey? You might not have heard of egg sharing, and it isn’t your run-of-the-mill egg donation scenario. 

It’s got a twist – a more practical, ethical approach where a donor shares some of their eggs with you, while keeping some for use in their own future.  

Founded by women who faced family-building challenges, Cofertility’s fertility ecosystem supports all people pursuing third-party reproduction – whether you’re looking to freeze your eggs, donate your eggs, or build your family through egg donation. 

We’re partnering with them to delve into the ins and outs of egg sharing, and why this model is a more supportive family-building option for everyone involved.

What is egg sharing? 

Simply put, egg sharing involves a scenario where an individual going through an egg retrieval contributes some of the eggs retrieved to someone else, while retaining some for her own family planning.

Cofertility’s Split program is blazing a trail for this human-centered model for egg freezing and donation. With Split, members can freeze their eggs for free when they give half of the eggs retrieved to a family that can’t otherwise conceive.

All of their pre-qualified donors are ambitious, kind, and excited to help families like yours, with a more empowering, ethical egg donation model.

This is a new and different approach to ‘traditional’ egg donation, where all of a donor’s eggs are exclusively designated for intended parents.

Additionally, by eliminating cash compensation from the equation and facilitating mutual matches between donors and intended parents alike, Cofertility is creating a more ethical model that honors all parties involved.

How does the egg sharing IVF process differ from traditional IVF?

Egg sharing follows a similar ovarian stimulation process to traditional IVF in terms of treatment procedure. But, instead of using all the retrieved eggs for her own treatment, she can also opt to share some eggs with others facing fertility challenges.

This cooperative approach helps reduce the overall cost of IVF for both parties involved, as they share expenses like ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval, and lab costs.

IVF egg sharing process

Reasons egg sharing could benefit you, as an intended parent

Working under the egg sharing model can create a more beneficial experience for everyone involved – from intended parents, to egg donors, and, ultimately, the donor conceived child. Here’s how:

1. You’ll benefit from increased transparency

Choosing an egg sharing donation model like Cofertility brings transparency to the forefront of the process. This approach ensures that you’ll navigate the journey with confidence.  Given that cash compensation has been eliminated, donors are less likely to conceal disqualifying medical information from their donor profiles. This transparency helps build trust and fosters a more open and communicative environment throughout the entire process. 

Also, there’s emerging research indicating that the egg-sharing model may attract more funding from insurance providers. Typically, insurance companies might be wary of covering IVF treatments with unpredictable success rates and escalating costs. By opting for egg sharing, as intended parents, you’ll not only gain the benefit of shared expenses but also potentially open the door to increased financial support from insurance providers, making the path to parenthood more accessible and affordable.

2. Empowered donors make for committed donors

Being able to freeze their own eggs means that your donor has got a personal stake in outcomes. This often means that your donor is actively taking care of her reproductive health, and more committed to doing everything in her power to achieve a successful cycle.

Knowing that your donor has a personal stake in the process can also feel really reassuring, and foster a sense of shared commitment toward achieving successful outcomes. It’s not just about providing eggs; it’s about a genuine desire to help you and make a positive difference in your journey to parenthood. 

IVF egg sharing

3. You’ll have more diverse options for donors to work with

Choosing the egg-sharing donation model can be a game-changer in boosting diversity within egg donor options, and this is great news for you as an intended parent, especially if you’re from a non-white background. 

A donor program, like the one offered by Cofertility, draws in donors from various backgrounds, enhancing the overall diversity of available options.

Considering the current disparity in diversity within cryobanks in the US, the broader range of donors means you have a better chance of finding a match that aligns with your cultural or ethnic background. 

This also increases the likelihood of finding your ideal match faster, making your journey to parenthood more efficient and tailored to your unique preferences and needs.

4. You’ll know that the risk of financial implications is reduced

Choosing the egg-sharing donation model can provide you, as a intended parent, with a sense of reassurance and ethical alignment.

The dual benefit of egg sharing goes beyond financial considerations, addressing concerns that many may have about the ethics of exchanging money for eggs. 

It’s reassuring to know that donors participating in egg sharing are motivated not by financial gains but also by a genuine desire to help others build their families.

This ethical approach is supported by a 2021 Harvard study, revealing that a significant percentage of donor-conceived adults find the exchange of money for donor gametes to be ethically questionable.

By participating in an egg-sharing program that attracts a diverse pool of committed donors, the need commodifying the donation process is reduced.

This means you, as intended parents, can avoid the feeling of ‘shopping’ for donors and focus on a more ethical and meaningful journey to parenthood.

5. There’s an increased opportunity to get to know your donor

When working under an egg sharing model, egg donors may have more emotional investment in the donation process, and as such, many are interested in having a disclosed relationship with the family they donate to.

Cofertility highly encourages disclosed donations, as they’ve spoken to members of the donor-conceived community and feel that it’s in the best interest of the donor-conceived child.

Levels of disclosure can vary among all families, and Cofertility provides expert education and guidance throughout the process to help all parties form the relationship that works best for them.

Make Cofertility your first choice, for egg sharing IVF next steps in the US

Cofertility’s Split program is striving to be the best egg sharing program out there. With ethics and transparency at the heart of what they do, they believe matching you with an egg donor should never feel like ‘shopping’ for another human. 

When you’re ready to explore their range of donor profiles, connect with Cofertility – they’re here to help you find your match, offering a you-centered approach, baby guarantee, and lifetime support.

If you’re not interested in donation or don’t qualify, Cofertility’s Keep program enables you to freeze your eggs and store them all for your own later use. This program also offers discounts to ease the financial burden, and provides support through their members-only community.

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