When a couple cannot conceive using in vitro fertilization, assisted hatching, and intracytoplasmic sperm injection, they can consider using an egg donor. Donor eggs (often called donor embryos) allow an infertile woman to become pregnant using her partner’s sperm and another woman’s egg.
Who is a candidate for donor eggs?
- Premature ovarian failure – With this condition, menopause begins much earlier than usual (before age 40 years).
- Diminished ovarian reserve – This means your eggs are of low quality, which is often caused by aging (fertility decreases greatly after age 40 years).
- A history of in vitro fertilization (IVF) failure – If egg quality is a problem, IVF often will not work.
- Having genetically transmitted diseases – If your child is at risk for certain diseases, a donor egg may offer a solution.
How many women use donor eggs?
The use of egg donation has become more common, particularly for women over age 40 years. Around 11% of all assisted reproduction techniques involved donor eggs in 2010, and this technique has the highest success rate of all fertility procedures. Women who use fresh embryos have a 43% chance of achieving pregnancy.
How do I find and choose an egg donor?
When using a fertility clinic, egg donors usually remain anonymous, but this is not always the case. If you wish, you can use a relative or close friend as the egg donor. Many couples go on to meet their egg donors, and give this woman updates about the child as time goes by. Ask the fertility clinic about available donors.
What is involved in the egg donor process?
Egg donor programs require extensive screening to assure the embryo is healthy and stable. The fertility clinic will give you detailed information about the background, education, and medical history of the donor. Most programs do not accept donors older than mid-20s, but the American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends donors be 34 years of age and younger.
How is egg donation and implantation done?
The procedures for donation and implantation of an egg are similar to standard in vitro fertilization. The woman receiving the egg takes a course of hormone treatments so she can maintain the pregnancy. The donor is also treated with hormones to induce ovulation. Once the eggs are ready, they are taken from the donor and implanted in the recipient’s uterus.
What about frozen eggs?
Fresh embryos yield the highest success rates. However, donor eggs can be frozen for later use. Donated embryos from a young, healthy egg donor yield the best results.
What are the legal rights of the egg donor?
The egg donor signs an explicit contract waiving all parental rights forever. This contract specifies that any child born from the donated eggs are legitimate children of the recipient parents. The couple bears all the cost of egg donation, as well.
What complications could arise during the egg retrieval procedure?
There are a few risks to consider for egg donors. During the retrieval process, complications include infection, bleeding, and injury to the abdominal or pelvic organs.
Will the egg donor be paid?
The egg donor receives a fee for her participation which is a reimbursement of the time and expense involved. The amount is specified in the contract signed by the couple and the egg donor. The contract specifies all the costs and expenses of the egg donation and retrieval process.