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Reproductive health: Things to keep in mind while considering egg donation

The Indian Express logo The Indian Express 10-01-2022 Lifestyle Desk
© Provided by The Indian Express

Egg donation is common in assisted reproductive technologies (ART). During the procedure, a fertile woman who has eggs in the ovaries donates them to a woman who is unable to conceive.

What does it entail?

According to Dr Kshitiz Murdia, CEO and co-founder of Indira IVF, it involves a series of procedures starting from pre-selection, followed by ovarian stimulation and post-pickup.

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"In the pre-selection stage, an ultrasonography scan is done to check the ovary and other health parameters. In order to check various wellness parameters, pathological tests are done. Electrocardiogram (ECG), X-ray and other procedures may also be performed, following medical examination," he says.

The doctor adds that in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), the procedure of egg donation begins by stimulating the donor with Gonadotropin injections for around 10-12 days, followed by egg retrieval. The procedure begins only after the recipient's screening tests -- such as blood tests and ultrasounds -- are found to be normal.

"In case abnormalities like fibroid are detected, they are addressed before beginning the IVF procedure. To prepare the receiver, hormonal medication including estrogen tablets are given. Depending on the procedure, this preparation may take 2 to 6 weeks. The male partner’s sperm sample is fertilised with the donor’s eggs. The embryos are then transplanted to the recipient's uterus when all conditions are favourable."

What should the donor keep in mind?

The personal health of the donor should be a key priority during the egg donation process, just as it is for a pregnant woman and her child, says Dr Murdia.

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"Staying hydrated is essential. They can drink a serving of electrolyte water each day. Electrolytes, which are minerals with an electric charge, help keep the body's blood chemistry, muscle function, and other functions in check. One of the best ways to ensure a strong ovarian environment is by eating fruits, leafy greens, chicken, legumes, nuts, and whole grains -- all healthy diet options," he explains, adding that a prenatal supplement with all essential vitamins, calcium, iron, and folate can be recommended, along with mild exercises like walking to help the body prepare better for the procedure.

"One should avoid excessive activity and heavy lifting, and take the necessary amount of rest."

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Health tips for the recipient

The expert suggests the following:

* They must eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.

* Following an anti-inflammatory diet might be advantageous. Processed food contains a lot of preservatives, and should be avoided.

* Consume food rich in zinc, folic acid, iron and protein. Zinc-rich foods include grains, nuts, dairy products, meats, and potatoes, which aid the body's hormone regulation.

* Folic acid-rich foods, such as spinach, broccoli, turnip greens, beans, and peas, should be included in the diet since they promote growth of the baby's brain and spinal cord.

* It is equally important to drink enough water and be hydrated at all times.

* Too much alcohol can have a negative impact on fertility. Smoking can also affect fertility.

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