Are genetics important when choosing an egg donor?
When two people meet and decide to have children, in most cases, no one asks, “Have you been genetically screened?” However, times are changing. Especially, it is crucial to ensure the birth of a healthy baby in surrogacy and donation, when 2-3 sets of different genes meet. In this case, the intended parents feel anxious and embarrassed.
The genetics specialists of the Feskov Human Reproduction Group, within the framework of reproductive programs, analyze all possible combinations of genes in order to minimize any potential problems. And pre-implantation genetic diagnosis of the embryo allows you to guarantee the birth of a normal child.
Donor selection and genetic health
Genetic testing is an important part of the egg donation process and a guide for future dads and moms. And genetic counselors interpret the results of these tests. They evaluate egg donors and their families based on ASRM guidelines.
Potential candidates are screened out if they or their family members have:
- serious deformities with multifactorial or polygenic inheritance;
- known chromosomal pathologies (over 300);
- mental retardation of unknown etiology.
Thus, any severe genetic problems can prevent a woman from donating her eggs. While others will discuss with intended parents before they move on.
However, there are other diseases with a genetic component that, in experience, do not cause abrupt failure. These can be minor mental problems, attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity, autoimmune ailments. Due to the fact that they contain a genetic component, the risk to offspring may be increased. But how these conditions are acceptable depends on the subjective opinion of the future parents. A decision must be found to which health problems they will be ready to accept in relation to the egg donor, and which will require the search for another candidate.
Donor health problems – acceptable risks
Each family is individual, as are the potential health problems they are ready to cope with. The presence of sub-optimal physical and mental health in the family history is normal. But parents are scared to think about this when choosing an egg donor.
Some people worry about allergies or asthma, while others are normal about hyperactivity or ADHD. Since, they face this every day on the example of their family members and know how to cope with it. There are parents who do not want a donor with a family history of oncology, because they had a similar negative experience. However, according to geneticists, most cancers are not associated with individual genes.
Parents’ individual stories and perspectives shape what they ultimately can accept from an egg donor, and this is natural. It remains at the discretion of each of the parents to have such general conditions as:
- mental disorders, etc.
In the case of more serious diseases and oncology, you should consult with a geneticist and reproductive specialist to make a comfortable decision.
Most people who start families do not analyze the unique genetic predispositions they can transfer to their children. But those who are looking for a donor are forced to be informed, as well as to resist, both donor genes and their own. Each child is a completely unique person, regardless of its genetic structure. And what it will be is never under the full control of parents or geneticists. But weighing your priorities seriously, with the advice of a gene expert, can help you gain peace of mind in donation programs.
All donors of the Feskov Human Reproduction Group have been tested and are healthy physically and mentally. And the cost of reproductive packages includes genetic screening of the embryo, which excludes the risk of developing hereditary diseases in the future baby.