30 May Psychological Counseling for Couples using Sperm or Egg Donors
For many cultures, fertility is the essence of womanhood and manhood. Marriage, pregnancy, and parenthood are all considered developmental milestones. When attempts to conceive a child fail, it can be an emotional experience.
Advances in reproductive technology have made fertility treatment in Los Angeles a prospect of hope for many couples. Many ethical and psychological issues are associated with assisted reproductive technologies (ART), such as use of egg donors and sperm donors. For couples who choose to use a donor, psychological counseling can help.
Infertility affects around 15% of couples in America, and it is defined as inability to become pregnant after 12 months of unprotected intercourse. In addition, 40% of infertility is attributed to a female factor, and another 40% is attributed to a male factor. The other 20% of infertility is either a combination of male and female factors, or attributed to an unknown cause. Regardless of the cause, inability to conceive a child is emotionally taxing for the couple.
Third Party Reproduction
The mental health professional is available during routine consultations, as well as screening of egg and sperm donors. The recipients (couple trying to conceive) meets with the counselor before and during the gamete donation process.
Before choosing a donor, the couple meets with the counselor to examine their understanding of the donation process, to evaluate their motivation, and to assess reproductive history, social history, mental health history. The mental health professional also administers psychological testing.
Because egg donors have more risks, they must also undergo a stringent screening process, but sperm donors are screened as well. According to studies, the screening process assures egg and sperm recipients that the donors are free of social dysfunction and psychiatric pathology.
The egg or sperm recipients are educated on the donation process, In addition, they are given an opportunity to discuss their reactions regarding the loss of fertility, issues related to infertility, concerns about parenting, as well as ask questions about the confidentiality, privacy, and disclosure of the process. Pretreatment counseling assists the couple to come to their own decision about how to deal with the issue of disclosure regarding egg or sperm donation in their own family, work, and social circles.
Choosing a Donor
Choosing an egg or sperm donor is an emotional situation. Couples often need to discuss traits and characteristics of the donor that is important. Some couples focus too much on physical appearance and forget to consider personality, intelligence, and abilities. The mental health counselor will assist the couple with these choices. In addition, many couples struggle with the concept that the child will not bond with them due to the biological situation. These are normal feelings.
One of the hardest aspects of the ART process is failure with the egg donation or sperm donation. Ending treatment can be difficult for a couple, especially when they really want a child. The mental health professional works with the couple to decide if using a surrogate is an option, or if adoption would be a better decision.
The Los Angeles fertility specialist will discuss the average number of in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles when using egg or sperm donation. The counselor also discusses time considerations, costs, and emotional aspects of infertility treatment options. Couples are often encouraged to take breaks from treatment, if time permits, to renew psychological health and for physical rest.
Pacific Reproductive Center offers all types of fertility treatments in Los Angeles metro at 4 locations including Glendale, Irvine, Corona, Torrance. Call us today for the top Los Angeles IVF, ICSI and medication treatments!