Why is it important for an egg donor to have a healthy BMI?

bmi2Firstly, lets address this Body Mass Index (BMI) that everyone talks about…

BMI is the measurement of a person’s body fat percentage, based on their height versus weight proportions.  To help you determine your BMI click here

One of the basic requirements for being an egg donor is to have a healthy BMI, ideally between 18 and 28. This has absolutely nothing to do with us wanting size 6 swimsuit models as donors!  Who doesn’t love a bit of curve after all!  But, on a serious note, we all know that being too voluptuous or too skinny-malinky is not good for one’s health – there are many medical facts to substantiate this and people with an unhealthy weight are prone to many health problems, never mind infertility.

When it comes to Fertility Medication

It has been proven that fertility drugs aren’t as effective in an over /under weight person as they are with those with a healthy weight.  Having to regulate the donor’s menstrual cycle with that of the intended parents is a critical step in managing an egg donation cycle. If your BMI isn’t within the correct range it can be difficult to predict a safe dosage of fertility medications for the best possible outcome. It may require higher doses of medication for the drugs to have the same effect on a woman with a high or low BMI. This higher dose of fertility medication puts the donor at risk of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) we never, ever want that!

It can also result in the Dr having to stop the treatment cycle entirely if the follicle growth just ain’t happening.  Extremely disappointing for both the Donor and the Recipient who is heavily invested, both financially and emotionally in the process – again, we never, ever want that!

Anesthesia

During the egg retrieval you will be placed under anesthesia for about 20 minutes.  Anesthesia with a high (or low) BMI can cause a greater risk in respiratory and airway complications. The Doctors will never do anything potentially unsafe for a donor.  Becoming a donor is one of the most amazing gifts that you can ever give to someone, however it should come with as little risk to you and those precious eggs during the retrieval.

As an egg donor it is important to focus on the end result. You are providing what could be another life.  You will be providing intended parents the ability to have the baby they have longed for (phenomenal person you are!)

We cannot stress it enough – not only is it important for those eggies to be the best they can be but also the safety of the egg donor.

Having a BMI set within the normal range, between 18 and 28, is something that is important – Nurture cares about YOU!

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If being an Egg Donor isn’t right for you, why not consider being a Gestational Surrogate rather?

BwGrf6eIEAAcVFpSurrogacy is the incredibly selfless act of carrying a baby for someone who is medically unable to do so themselves. With Gestational surrogacy (most commonly practiced nowadays), the surrogate has no genetic ties and is not related in any way to the embryo she is carrying. Embryos may come from the intended mother and father or from an egg donor.

There are many medical reasons why people may need a surrogate. A surrogate is used most often when the intended mother is capable of producing healthy eggs but can’t get pregnant herself.  This is often because the intended mother has no uterus e.g. the woman has had a hysterectomy or has an abnormal uterus which prevents her from carrying a baby of her own.

There are also many gay couples who long to be parents and have a family of their own. For obvious reasons, they are unable to become pregnant and therefore rely on the generosity of a surrogate mother to do it for them.

What makes a surrogate pregnancy so extraordinarily special is that a surrogate mother carries the baby for another person who, without them would not be able to fulfill their dream of having a baby.  If it were not for women who are willing to perform this ultimate act of human kindness, there would be so many men and women out there who would be forced to face a future of broken hearts and empty arms.

Surrogacy is a complex and expensive option (for the commissioning couple), and is really only suitable for women without a uterus, women whose uterus is damaged or for gay male couples.

Once the High Court has approved the medical certificate from your doctor saying that you are medically unable to carry a baby, a legal contract is made between the intended parents , their chosen Surrogate Agency (www.surrogacy.co.za) and the surrogate mother. It may also include the participation of an egg donor (www.nurture.co.za) whose eggs will be retrieved and fertilized with the partner’s sperm and then implanted into the surrogate mother’s uterus.  This legal agreement will have to be confirmed and authorised by the high court before any treatment can commence.

InVitro Fertilization (IVF) is then used to form the embryo which is implanted into the surrogate mother’s uterus for the purpose of growing the miracle baby and hopefully carrying a healthy pregnancy to full term.

What’s in it for the Surrogate Mother ?

  1. Without an ounce of doubt, front row, VIP seats in heaven!  No amount can ever equate to what a gift the surrogate mother has given.
  2. In terms of South Africa’s “New Children’s Act”, surrogacy can only be done for altruistic reasons and not for commercial gain. This means that you may claim for any expenses that are directly related to the surrogacy/pregnancy and you may claim within reason for loss of income. The commissioning parents will cover the cost of a medical aid for the duration of your pregnancy/birth, including a few months post-partum. A life insurance policy will also be provided by the commissioning couple for the duration of the surrogacy.  All other expenses related to the Surrogacy will be covered by the Commissioning Parents. They will also cover all the legal fees, as well as any counselling that the Surrogate mother may require.
  3. She will get full medical attention and any medical care needed to make sure that the implanted embryo reaches full term.
  4. A surrogate mother understands that she has no right to the child once born as she has agreed in a written contract that her primary role is merely to carry the baby to full term.

Gestational Surrogacies are widely popular today however as you can appreciate there are only a handful of women who are medically, emotionally and psychologically able to carry a baby for someone else.  The reality is that there is a shortage of suitable surrogates in South Africa.  This means that there is a waiting list of people who need a surrogate and finding the right surrogate mother is way more complicated than many anticipate.

Qualifications for a Surrogate Mother:

A surrogate mother must meet the below criteria before she may proceed and is matched with possible intended parents:

  • You must be in good physical, emotional and mental health
  • You must be a South African citizen
  • You must be between 21 and 42 years old. The older a woman gets, the higher her chances are of a high risk pregnancy.
  • Her BMI must be below 35
  • You must have had at least one pregnancy, a viable birth and have a living child of her own. This will give her important experience and knowledge of the difficulties that come with pregnancy and .
  • You may not have had more than 2 caesarean sections
  • You must be willing to take a psychological screening. A thorough psychological test will determine if the candidate is appropriate to be a surrogate mother. This will reveal any issues the surrogate mother may have regarding her motivations, expectations and behaviour towards the agreement.
  • You must be a non-smoker and live in a smoke free environment
  • You must not be taking current medications that may be deemed unsafe for pregnancy
  • Must not have had medical complications related to previous pregnancies
  • You will need a strong support system at home who will support her decision to become a surrogate mother
  • You must be willing to have a background check
  • You must be someone who the commissioning couple can count on and trust implicitly
  • You must be someone who will communicate openly, honestly, and consistently
  • You must be someone who is as committed as they are to creating their dream of a family
  • You must be someone who will follow the doctor’s orders and SA surrogacy protocol diligently

Should you require any further information or wish to apply please visit: www.surrogacy.co.za

We would love to tell you more about how you can make a huge difference as a gestational carrier.