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Will the baby look like me if I use an egg donor?
With the highest success rates of all fertility treatments, donor egg IVF offers many women and couples the chance to build a family — regardless of their relationship status or infertility diagnosis. And while the thought of becoming a parent might have never looked so real, there is always the lurking question if the child will look like you.
In this blog post, you will learn everything about the egg donor IVF process and the factors that can influence your child’s genetics, appearance and development.
First, let’s take a look at egg donor IVF
Egg donor IVF is an assisted reproductive procedure that allows women who cannot use their own eggs to conceive a child using donor eggs. The process is very similar to in vitro fertilization (IVF) in that it requires the donor to undergo ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval, and the donor recipient to have the embryos transferred to their uterus.
Who is this treatment for?
IVF with donor eggs is ideal for women with low ovarian reserve, poor egg quality and reproductive disorders, such as premature ovarian insufficiency (ovarian failure) and early menopause (before age 35). In combination with surrogacy (gestational carrier), egg donation is also a viable option for male same-sex couples.
Benefits of IVF with donor eggs
At euroCARE IVF, we provide immediate access to high-quality fresh donor eggs and a wide choice of donors for your treatment. Our personalised approach means you will have a treatment plan adapted to your medical needs, as well as support throughout the entire treatment journey from beginning to end.
Some of the benefits of donor egg IVF in Cyprus include:
- No waiting times to start treatment with a guaranteed number of donor eggs
- Health-screened anonymous (unidentifiable) egg donors
- Affordable and accessible holiday treatment packages
- Personalized approach to your fertility treatment that is designed to give you a healthy and safe pregnancy
Choosing the right egg donor
Choosing a donor through a fertility clinic like euroCARE IVF ensures that they are carefully screened for health and genetic conditions. Moreover, potential candidates are evaluated for their physical features, personality and family history.
Selecting a donor with particular physical attributes gives you some control over the physical characteristics of the child. You can even take it a step further and choose the gender of your baby by using a gender selection method, such as PGS (preimplantation genetic screening) or swim-up method.
Sometimes, future parents use their own donor (e.g. a relative or a friend) because they like the idea of knowing this person in everyday life. While reasons vary, a common reason for using eggs from a family member is to ensure a genetic bond to the recipient.
The genetics of your egg donor baby
The baby’s genetics will be determined by the egg donor and the intended father (unless a sperm donor is used). If the egg recipient partner’s sperm was used, there’s a higher probability that the baby will look like its father. However, sharing the same genetic information with the father does not guarantee that the baby will look like him. Genetics is complicated and there are a multitude of possible genetic combinations which may create different traits in your child.
Your body is powerful and still influences your baby’s genes
Just because the baby won’t share any of the genes with the intended mother, it doesn’t mean it won’t resemble its mother. You may be even surprised how much your baby looks like you or someone in your family.
There are a number of ways the maternal environment can influence the baby’s growth and development.
The embryonic fluid that the baby lives in for nine months contains micro RNAs (Ribonucleic acid), molecules that serve as a communication means between the mother and the baby. These do not only impact the physical trait genes, but they also have an influence on the baby’s personality genes.
Another factor affecting the child’s development is its upbringing. Your encouragement for self-expression and success, as well as your lifestyle and eating habits play an important role in shaping your child’s personality and traits. What’s interesting is that children also tend to adopt the vocal and facial expressions similar to their parents’.
How to improve the maternal environment?
Maternal psychological stress during pregnancy can have an impact on your baby, putting it at risk of numerous physical and mental health conditions, such as obesity, insulin resistance and immune disorders.
So how can a future mother improve her prenatal environment? The most common approach is one that most women adopt during pregnancy. This includes:
- Maintaining optimal weight
- Adopting healthy eating habits
- Avoiding alcohol
- Monitoring caffeine
- Taking prenatal vitamins
- Reducing stress levels
- Doing stress-reducing activities during pregnancy
The preconception period also plays a crucial role in the baby’s development. Therefore, it’s important to adopt healthy habits even before conception. Starting a healthy lifestyle before pregnancy and maintaining it while pregnant will help create a safe, thriving environment for your baby.
How to reinforce the positive bond between you and your little one?
Some intended mothers worry if they will be able to connect with their little one. But once you have the baby in your arms, you will have no doubt that this is yours.
Here are some ways to strengthen your relationship with your child:
- Looking into the baby’s eyes
- Sleeping with the baby
- Holding the baby in your arms
- Listening to the baby’s heartbeat
- Responding to the baby’s crying
Start your journey to parenthood with euroCARE IVF
While genes may provide the genetic blueprint for your baby, they do not determine the type of person your child will eventually become. What you can control instead is the condition in which your baby will grow. Your love, support, trust, optimism and upbringing will have the highest impact on your child’s genes and course of development.
If IVF with donor eggs is the next step on your journey to parenthood, speak with an experienced fertility specialist. Together you will be able to explore your available treatment options and make a wise decision for your future family. Connect with our friendly, multilingual medical team today, and be a step closer to the parent you aim to be!
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