Every year countless numbers of women choose to become a known or anonymous egg donor to help another woman become a mother. By opting to donate their genetic material, donors undergo a series of fertility treatments in order for their eggs to be retrieved. Due to the stress of the procedures, Circle + Bloom has designed a special audio program just for the donor. Founder Joanne Verkuilen explained how this product can be used to reduce stress experienced by the donor undergoing a retrieval cycle.
Why did you decide to create a program for the egg donor?
We wanted to create a program specifically designed for those who have decided to undergo a very brave and noble procedure, to donate eggs to another woman who is seeking to have children of her own. They are giving the gift of life and in the process helping another women realize her dream of pregnancy and becoming a mother.
Since the egg donor may sometimes be anonymous how does this them help another woman achieve pregnancy?
It doesn't matter if it is anonymous or not because the program focuses solely on the donors body and mind. It allows the donor to help their body improve the odds of successful proliferation of eggs in their ovaries, as well as help their body find balance while experiencing the various elements of the procedures – from the medications, to the tests and to the egg aspiration procedures.
Are there particular emotions that an egg donor goes through? Is it different if it is a known donor, like a sister, versus a donor with no genetic relation to the aspiring mother?
Whoever the donor is, it is important for them to find emotional peace and stability while reducing fear and anxiety. The different procedures can be stressful and make you anxious, so we help to find balance while experiencing the various elements of the procedures.
What kinds of emotions need to be released in general on the part of the donor?
In general, we encourage focusing on the feelings of abundance and balance. Using the mind-body connection can help with body awareness and instill a feeling of abundance.
How did you design this program?
As with all of our programs, we worked closely with the leading experts in the field. Each session in this program is different but is designed to follow the same basic structure. First, we focus on relaxation, allowing your mind and body to go quiet and enter into a deeply relaxed state. Then we begin our physically-based mind-body visualizations that track to your egg donor procedure. Lastly, we proceed through an exercise based on a specific emotional release or understanding.
How does the trigger shot/aspiration meditation work?
This meditation focuses on visualizing the trigger shot as positive energy and preparing the body to accept what is without hindrance or stress. It also uses mediation to a deal with any fear surrounding the procedure to remove the eggs for donation.
Do you pay any particular attention to the ovarian response in the program? Since egg donation may involved hyper-ovulation do donors benefit from any mind-body treatment on their ovaries?
Absolutely. This is specifically why a donor program made sense; to help the donor use their mind-body connection to allow the right amount of proliferation to the treatments for the ultimate balance of the donor's body. We also focus on helping the donor after the procedure to help the body return to its normal state, and this is called the Post-Cycle Program.
What is the post-cycle response designed to do for the donor?
It is designed to help prepare the body for balance and renewal as quickly as possible. The entire program focuses on helping you to feel more centered and empowered during a very stressful procedure.
Are women who use this program advised to get medical clearance to use it if they are the egg donor?
We are proud to say that many reproductive health practitioners are recommending our programs to their patients. While this program does not require medical clearance, it is always a good idea to let your doctor know what alternative methods you are using because you never know what additional types of resources and support they can give you.
**This article is part of an ongoing series dedicated to my friend Alison and her husband who are on the path to parenthood.**