egg donation without Lupron? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 11-12-2007, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello,

I'm considering donating eggs for my sister to have the baby that she has been chasing for three years. I was just planning to start for my second child when I found that it was possible for me to donate (I'm 36 and assumed I was too old to give, but evidently the clinic will make an exception for such a close relative.)

I'm in great health, a clean-living person, cook all our family's food from scratch. We live a frugal life so that we can afford the lead-free apartment and buy local farm-grown produce or organic seasonal food. I was keeping my body clean for my next baby, as well as for myself. I also am very engaged in trying to take care of my (AP raised) 3 year old, while working part time on a degree.

So you can imagine how I felt when I did a little research and uncovered all the potentially permanent side effects of Lupron (including memory loss, chronic pain, and bone density loss), as documented by endometriosis sufferers who received Lupron. The dosages and scheduling are different between endometriosis and infertility patients, of course,

The long term effects on donor, recipient, and child do not seem to be known, especially for the "off the label" use of Lupron in infertility. Also, I don't like the way that TAP, the company who makes Lupron, does their business (do a search on "Lupron litigation").

I'm don't want to compromise my health or reproductive future by taking this drug. There are other risks of egg donation, such as infection or ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome), as well, but when women have reported lasting effects from the Lupron, there doesn't seem to be any treatment for them.
On the other hand, the doctors don't recognize much potential for harm to the donor, and I would like to give my sister this happiness if it is within my power.

So I have the following questions for the community:
- Are there any other alternatives to Lupron for an egg donor?
- Has anyone had experience with "in vitro maturation", in which the donor only has 3 days of drugs?
- Are there any egg donors or recipients out there who have been tested for changes in bone density or other health indicators, since taking Lupron? What have you seen?

Thanks so much for your input!
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#2 of 6 Old 11-12-2007, 02:05 PM
 
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There is one wonderful woman on here who has done IVM, through a clinic at McGill University in Montreal (Canada). We still have one "other" to try before we get there, but I share your concerns about the Lupron, and the other drugs used for IVF/egg donation. However, in my communication with the McGill clinic, I was *completely* turned off. They are not forthcoming with information, are happy to take your money and are neither understanding nor good communicators. We have had such vastly different experiences with the other two clinics we have been in contact with (very forthcoming with information, provide additional info and "what to expect" type stuff, want to be certain that their service is what you want/need before they take your entire life's savings...). However, I'm sure you have way more options in the US. Enough that we're considering a little cross-border jaunt to get IVM while still avoiding McGill. I still have a bunch of research to do on that one.

I hope you can find some satisfactory answers. What a generous gift to give to your sister. Truly.

Best,
Katia

For greater things are yet to come...

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#3 of 6 Old 11-13-2007, 01:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your response, Katia! If I hear of a clinic offering IVM here in the US I'll pass on the info to you.

The pain and discomfort of the process don't scare me, but there are so many other issues, like the prospect of having to fly across country to my sister's clinic, leaving my son (he's never been separated from me for even one night), to the prospect of having the grandmama of all PMS rages, to simply losing a month of my life when I have to be such a miser of my time already. But I could get past all these things could I reassure myself that there will be no longterm or permanent health problems.

I am (and my sister is) in good health, should we really mess with that?

Well, I don't mean to freak out anyone here who is already undergoing fertility treatments. If mothers would gladly give their lives to save their children's, why not gamble a few years so that the children could live at all?

From an egg donor's perspective, if I were a young punk fresh from school, probably none of these considerations would faze me... but since I am at an age where I'm already overloaded with projects and commitments, I'm worried to take any step that might make me less able to bear these responsibilities. Anyway, I'm hoping to find a way to donate that will minimize the impact on my body.
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#4 of 6 Old 11-13-2007, 12:13 PM
 
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Hi Jean,

What a remarkable sister you are! I struggled with infertility for 5 years and can only imagine what a blessing it would have been to have someone consider donating eggs to me.

It turned out that our third IVF was the charm (at 38 years old). And we did it WITHOUT Lupron. I love the clinic and docs we worked with -- it was our third clinic and by far the best experience of all. My first IVF was what I'll call "old school" -- BCP, Lupron, hyper-stim, etc. No results. The second and third we did at North Shore Fertility Center in Skokie and it was like a different procedure.

First of all, they worked with my natural cycle (what a concept!). U/s and labs on cd3, and then the go-ahead to start stim. I was on Follistim and Repronex for about 7 days each cycle. The doc added Ganerelix for the last few days of stim to make sure the eggs didn't release early. Then, after transfer, I used a vaginal progesterone application -- NO PIO!! I do think the streamlined protocol was easier on my system and contributed to our positive results.

www.northshorefertility.com

Fwiw -- Dr. Anne Borkowski was incredibly sensitive, kind and supportive. I don't know for sure, but something about her empathy made me wonder if she or someone very close to her had experienced infertility. The office was very friendly and the whole experience made me feel as if it was designed by someone who had walked in my shoes. Dr. Susan Davies did our winning transfer, and we'll forever be grateful for her gentle nature and sense of humor.
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#5 of 6 Old 11-13-2007, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I may not be so wonderful if I back out, but at least I'm considering it seriously. And I've tried to make it clear to my sister that I do have reservations, and that I haven't made up my mind yet.

Thanks so much Leslie! I have forwarded the info to my sister and shot an email to the clinic to see if they can help us out. If I can do it without the Lupron then I think that will be the dealmaker. It sounds like then my sister would have to take it, to sync to me, but that's fair enough.
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#6 of 6 Old 11-13-2007, 05:27 PM
 
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I think they should be able to freeze your eggs until your sister's natural cycle lined up. She might have to wait an extra cycle, depending on how far apart your cycles are, but it should work. Although, if you're anything like my sister and I, your cycles are probably pretty close. We even live on different continents!
Thanks for outlining your protocol Leslie - and a HUGE congrats on your wee ones.

Katia

For greater things are yet to come...

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