When you choose to donate your eggs, one of the trickiest things you may encounter is deciding how and what (or even if) you should tell your friends and family. You may not find a lot of guidance on this delicate subject on the Internet. Many resources for egg donors are focused on requirements, screening and the physical process of egg donation—and less on emotions. Let’s look at the issues you need to keep in mind as you think about this topic.
First of all, a small reality check. When the egg donation process starts, eggs donors will need to administer regular doses of medicine—including shots—and for a period of approximately two weeks, and will go to daily ultrasound appointments. Plus, some women report side effects from the medications, including bloating, cramping, and moodiness. If you live with roommates, significant others, or family members, it’s not exactly easy to keep all of this under wraps.
Also keep in mind that egg donation is a medical procedure—a short, outpatient procedure, but still a medical procedure that involves anesthesia. You need a trusted friend or family member to give you a ride home and check in on you afterwards. As with all medical procedures, egg donation involves slight risk. It just makes sense to share with the people who see you every day and care about you—you could use their support.
It’s easy to tell strangers to butt out of your personal matters. It’s also easy when it comes to work or school. If you need to explain to professors or employers why you might miss a class or take a sick day, all you really need to say is that you’re undergoing an outpatient medical procedure, and you might need to stay off your feet for a day.
But what about your circle of friends and family? Here’s where you think about the relationships you have and what you feel comfortable telling those close to you. How supportive will they be when it comes to this decision—or not? Do they have a history of keeping your confidence—or gossiping? Do you feel afraid they might criticize you or judge you?
Egg donation is still a taboo topic for many people. If you decide to tell friends or family about your egg donation plans, be prepared for a wide range of responses, including personal questions, misinformation, criticism, or even praise. Some of them will be helpful, some of them…not so much. You are well within your rights not to tell friends or family that won’t make a helpful contribution to your decision, or keep them on a “need to know” basis.
On the flip side, the people you trust the most can be your rock throughout the process. You can vent, get sound advice, and share your feelings. You know best the people in your life that you can trust. We recommend sharing with those you trust and are sure will support you. If you decide to be more open about your experience, be prepared for both positive and negative responses.
The world of infertility treatment is changing rapidly, and people are learning more and more about infertility treatments and options. Simply being infertile used to be a source of secrecy and shame in the bad old days, but more people—both egg recipients and egg donors—are sharing their stories. There’s nothing shameful about your choice to donate eggs, after all you are helping others that may have never been able to have a child without your donation. You might be surprised by the support your friends and family give you.
There is no quick and easy answer about who to tell and what to say about your decision to donate your eggs; you’re the one in the best position to make this judgment call on a case-by-case basis. But the most important thing to keep in mind is that your decision to donate is yours alone—and so is your decision to tell family or friends. Thank you for considering this egg donation as it is an immeasurable gift that will change someone’s life forever. If you have any questions you can always contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.