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A Beautiful Surprise: One Genetic Counselor’s Journey into Donor Conception

A quick but important read about a genetic counselor's personal experience of learning she was conceived by an egg donor and the importance of sharing donor-conceived voices!

"In the fertility world, all rights go to the donor and the receiver, and none to the child that is created, even when done with the best intentions. I do not have the right to my own healthcare information, and critical details about my donor sit collecting dust in a storage facility."

At Advocate Genetics, we believe there is a sea change happening in gamete and embryo donation. . . and we are fortunate to be emerging into a new era of awareness on the impacts that these family decisions have upon generations to come. We believe that the more these issues are discussed early on in the process of working with donors and recipients, the more we improve the long-term outcomes for the families we are helping to create!

What are pronouns?

What can we all do to support our family and friends who are trans or non-binary?


Shout out to this great little video on pronouns put out by the gender-diverse folks at Minus18!


Epigenetics in Donor Pregnancies?

Epigenetics in donor pregnancies? We get this question all the time at Advocate Genetics! Check out our blog post and feel free to share with your clients who have questions about this important topic.

And keep in mind that this is one of the things we often explore during our match consultations for recipients of egg, sperm, and embryo donation. These consultations are designed for intended parents to explain any genetic risks identified with the donor consultation, to review other risks and testing options in pregnancy, and to consider the potential implications of new genetic testing options in their child's life in the future. Patients often benefit from these consultations for informed consent prior to a cycle with a gamete donor.


Everything to Know About Genetic Counseling and Testing 

Dr. Aimee of The Egg Whisperer talks with our founder, Gina Davis about how genetic testing and genetic counseling can help fertility patients make informed reproductive decisions, and about the work Gina, Maya, and Jen are doing over at Em-POWER donation to facilitate education and choice in embryo donation.  

Podcast: The Egg Whisperer Show Podcast ( 

Youtube: Everything A Fertility Patient Needs to Know About Genetic Counseling and Testing with Gina Davis - YouTube


More Mosaic Embryo Data

Big news in this study! Will make so many patients reconsider their mosaic embryos.
“An elaboration of the results of this trial show that excluding putative mosaic embryos (either with low or moderate degree of mosaicism) drastically reduces cumulative pregnancy rate per cycle started (up to −34%) without improving any clinical outcome measure associated with patient’s safety (e.g., miscarriage, chromosomally abnormal conception).”
But we're not sure about the authors' thoughts on moving away from invasive prenatal testing. . . Seems a bit early for the data we've got so far. Talk to one of our genetic counselors for help with decision-making if you are thinking about transferring a mosaic embryo.  


EM•POWER's Webinar Series 

The Experience of Having Remaining EmbryosIn this live 90-minute webinar, the EM•POWER team will focus on the experience of having remaining embryos after IVF and how to make a decision that feels right for each person/family. It's a great resource for both patients and providers!

Becoming a Parent Via Embryo DonationIn this live webinar, the EM•POWER team explores the recipient's experience in embryo donation, from navigating the emotional journey as patients consider their options for fertility treatment to important considerations when considering how they might match with a donor or donors. 

Talking to Children About Embryo Donation: In this live webinar, the EM•POWER team explores different ways to talk with children about embryo donation. We share tools and tips from our family experiences and discuss ways to support children as they shape their own unique narratives.

Expanded Carrier Screening and the Complexity of Implementation

 "Although the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists puts forth detailed guidance for deciding which diseases should be included on expanded carrier screening panels, a myriad of challenges arise when analyzing sequencing data that may call into question whether results consistently provide “meaningful information.”'
Fertility patients often like the reassurance that comes from a big carrier screening platform before they pursue treatment. And most of the time, it is reassuring. Expanded carrier screening using NGS (next-generation sequencing) gives us better sensitivity. . . but it can also leave us in a pickle when it comes to interpreting rare variants. These are situations when you should see a genetic counselor.

  30 Years Since the Human Genome Project Began, What’s Next?

Getting your genome sequenced costs about as much as a new iPhone and generates approximately 200GB of data (that would take up more storage than most iPhones have!). But... what do we do with 200GB of human genome data? Eric Green discusses the future of human genomics in this thought-provoking article. 

If you or your patient has a genetic result that has you scratching your head, remember that genetic counselors are here to help!

Make an appointment with us

Is PGT-A worth it? What are some risk factors for chromosomal disorders? What should I do with my mosaic embryos? We're here to help! We have a team of board-certified genetic counselors who are committed to providing tailored genetic counseling specifically for patients who are seeking fertility treatment!



ASRM Today Podcast: Donor Anonymity with Gina Davis 

How have direct-to-consumer genetic tests and social media impacted gamete donor anonymity? Advocate Genetics founder, Gina Davis, speaks about how donor anonymity has been changing through the years on this episode of the ASRM Today podcast.



How Do Egg Donors Feel About Their Genetic Counseling Appointment?


How do egg donors feel about sharing their family history with a genetic counselor? Of course, family history is an incredible gift for a future child's permanent health history, and reviewing a donor family tree with a genetic counselor can help shape the family history and genetic test results into a useful tool for a child conceived in a donor cycle. But we also know that this appointment may seem intimidating to egg donor candidates and we spend a lot of time thinking about how to best help integrate this important session so that it is informative, thoughtful, empathic, and straightforward for egg donor candidates. We've been asking the egg donors who come to Advocate Genetics for their genetic screening appointment, and here is what they say.


Normalizing Family Diversity and Known Gamete Donation

Representation matters! Shout out to Bless This Mess creators for featuring diverse family forms in authentic character development! Nicole Richie has a cameo in this show and her character and her back-story is simply adorable.

Normalizing life in a diverse family structure is so needed, so that these conversations can move past educating the world about conception stories. Embracing genetic identity no matter how a family comes together. . . we'll get there!