One day in 2015, Doïna receives an email from her friend Aurélie, whom she met in psychology college. “She made our whole gang aware of egg donation because she risked losing her fertility, at only 28 years old. She was affected by colon cancer, and chemotherapy threatened to damage her oocytes”, explains Doïna. Aurélie, who can be supported on Instagram: @danser_dans_le_blizzard, has just met her companion. She had her gametes frozen, but she wants to plan a plan B in case of failure: recourse to donation.
Projecting into the aftermath of illness is vital for her. However, if the Regional Center for Studies and Conservation of Eggs and Sperm (Cecos) on which it depends receives more donations, it will necessarily have more chances of benefiting from them. Doïna inquires: “It was the only way to fight against the feeling of helplessness!” At the time, the conditions of the donation were quite restrictive. “To become a donor, you had to be under 38 and have had children. I was 31 and had two children aged 2 and 5. You also needed the husband’s consent… even my body!” she sighs.
By virtue of the anonymity between donor and recipient, she will never meet the recipients of her donation.
Fortunately, Jérémie, her husband, agrees: “He saw that the gesture made sense to me.” Since then, these clauses have been removed. Today, it is enough to be between 18 and 37 years old and to be in good health to donate your oocytes. Living in Dinan (Côtes-d’Armor), she depends on Cecos de Rennes, about three quarters of an hour away. Off they go, he for the famous agreement, she for a blood test, a meeting with the geneticist who notes the medical family history in order to inform the future parents, an anesthesiologist and a psychologist.
“Once my application was validated, I chose the moment of ovarian hyperstimulation, which allows the puncture of several oocytes, explains Doïna. Flooded with hormones during the three weeks of the summer of 2015, without symptoms, I then bent over for ultrasounds every two days, strong in the feeling of doing something useful. How do you compare a few constraints to the happiness given by being a parent? By virtue of the anonymity between donor and recipient, she will never meet the recipients of her gift, but “the faces of the parents in the waiting room of Cecos was enough for me. We read there the distress and the exhaustion”.
Only 700 women make this altruistic gesture each year
Indeed, recipients frequently wait for a donation for two to three years, without guaranteed success. Doïna felt understood by those close to her: “It never occurred to anyone that the child born of my gift would be ‘my child’. For me, it’s about solidarity, being the link of a chain of humanity, nothing else.” The sample under brief general anesthesia, in the premises of Cecos, allows him to go out during the day, “after having been treated like a princess”, specifies Doïna. Indeed, only about 700 women make this altruistic gesture each year.
“The sequels were more difficult because, being very thin, I recovered less quickly. But I was very connected to my body as well as to the meaning of my action. I did not regret a single moment”, specifies- such. Aurélie, in remission, and her husband are overcome with gratitude, a feeling that the trials to come will reinforce.
After the birth of stillborn twins, egg donation is the last chance for her friend
“After several unsuccessful implantations with her own oocytes, Aurélie became pregnant, but her pregnancy ended last April with the birth of stillborn twins. This tragedy precipitated my friend into the configuration she feared. seven years ago, sighs Doïna. Needing egg donation! Again, Aurélie needs to increase her chances of benefiting from it as quickly as possible, by finding donors!” At 38, Doïna must pass the baton and encourages young women to make this magnificent gift: “We are a team. This feeling still carries me.”
Doïna and Aurélie © DR