Women who are unable to produce or use their own eggs require donated eggs. The following are some of the reasons why:
- Premature menopause
- Genetic abnormality
- Carriers of a genetic disorder
- Poor ovarian response to hormonal stimulation
- Absence of the ovaries
- Ovarian failure due to chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment
Donor + Recipient Matching
Recipients complete a profile form listing specific attributes they want in their donor. In addition, physical characteristics are also used in matching. Our team plays a vital role in assisting the coordinator in making appropriate matches with the donor. All matches are confidential.
Synchronization of Cycles
The cornerstone of egg donation is the synchronization of the ovarian cycles of both the egg donor and the recipient. This ensures that the embryos are placed in the recipient’s womb at the optimal time for implantation.
When both the donor and the recipient are regulated, the donor starts the fertility medication (gonadotropin injections) to stimulate her ovaries to produce eggs. The recipient will start her estrogen replacement prior to the donor starting her medications. While the donor is receiving the medication to mature her follicles, the estrogen the recipient is taking will prepare the lining of her uterus so it will be able to receive the embryos.
The eggs are fertilized in the manner that offers the best chance of success. The method of fertilization (conventional versus ICSI) is agreed upon by the couple prior to insemination taking place.
Three or 5 days after the retrieval, the embryos are placed in the recipient’s uterus. The number of embryos transferred depends on the age of the donor and the quality of the embryos on the day of the transfer. The decision on the number of embryos to transfer is an important one with the goal of maximizing the probability of pregnancy without the risk of multiple gestations. After the transfer, the recipient will continue taking the hormones, and a pregnancy test will be performed in approximately 2 weeks. If there is a surplus of embryos and they can be cryopreserved, the couple is offered additional chances of conception. Since the woman does not need to undergo gonadotropin stimulation again, the cost is greatly reduced.
Donors come forward voluntarily. They are well-motivated and usually complete the treatment for egg donation. It is, however, completely within their rights to withdraw from treatment at any given time until egg retrieval.
There may be a rare occasion when the donor does not produce enough follicles or stimulates too quickly. In either of these instances, the treatment cycle may be canceled due to poor donor response or due to high risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.