Genetic grief: a guide to cope with egg donation

genetic grief, egg donation

Genetic grief describes the emotional process that some people experience when facing assisted reproduction treatments, such as egg donation, where there is no direct genetic connection with the future baby.

This grief is a natural part of the journey to parenthood for many couples, marked by the acceptance that the path to having a child may differ from initial expectations. We spoke to Dr Elena Santiago about genetic grief in oocyte donation and sperm donor IVF.

Dr. Elena Santiago, Vida Fertility

What is genetic mourning in oocyte donation?

Genetic duel in the context of assisted reproduction refers to the emotional process that individuals or couples go through when accepting that their future child will not share their genes, a common situation in treatments such as egg donation or IVF with sperm donor.

As a fertility specialist, Dr. Santiago adds that “Recognising and validating these feelings is crucial, and with adequate professional and emotional support, couples can go through this process, opening their hearts to the possibilities that ovodonation offers to create a family”.

genetic grief, egg donation

Overcoming genetic grief is possible

Overcoming genetic grief before the process and after treatment can take time, in fact, from experience in the fertility clinic, the support of family and professionals is crucial.

Strategies and coping with genetic grief

  • Self-care: Maintain mental and physical health through healthy habits and stress reduction activities.
  • Acknowledge and Accept Feelings: It is essential to recognise and accept any sadness, frustration, fear or anger as normal reactions.
  • Seek Support: Lean on friends, family or professionals to process these feelings.
  • Be informed: Understanding the process of gamete donation can reduce anxiety.
  • Expert Counselling: Consult experts for a thorough understanding of the process and expectations.
  • Participate in Support Groups: Connecting with others in similar situations can offer comfort and understanding.
  • Communication with Partner: Maintaining open and honest communication is crucial to the emotional well-being of both partners.
genetic grief, egg donation

Opting for IVF with donor eggs or sperm represents a solution for those seeking to become parents, although it entails significant emotional challenges. Sharing your concerns and fears with experts, communicating effectively with your partner and reflecting on your motivations for becoming a mother are essential to process these feelings and get excited about the idea of motherhood again.

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