Egg Donation


To become pregnant, a woman must first produce a healthy egg. But some women have poor quality eggs or no eggs at all. It's difficult for these women to become pregnant or carry their pregnancies to term. While adoption has long been a viable option, some women consider other reproductive options, including the use of donor eggs.  


Donor Eggs in Fertility Treatments

If a couple cannot be helped through procedures such as

 in vitro fertilization, they may want to consider using donor eggs. Donor egg-allow an infertile woman to carry a child and give birth. 


A need for egg donation may arise for a number of reasons. Infertile couples may resort to acquiring eggs through egg donation when the female partner cannot have genetic children because she may not have eggs that can generate a viable pregnancy. This situation is often, but not always based on advanced reproductive age. Early onset of menopause which can occur in women as early as their 20’s can require a woman to use donor eggs to grow her family. Some women are born without ovaries or other reproductive organs. Sometimes a woman's reproductive organs have been damaged due to disease or circumstances required her to have them surgically removed. Another indication would be a genetic disorder on part of the woman that can be circumvented by using eggs from another person. Many women have none of these issues, but continue to be unsuccessful using their own eggs.

If desired,(and if the egg donor agrees), the couple can personally get acquainted with the egg donor, her children and family members. More often, egg donations are anonymous. As stated above, Egg donation is also required for gay male couples using surrogacy.

You might be a candidate for donor eggs if you have any of these conditions:
• Premature ovarian failure, a condition in which menopause has started much earlier than usual,typically before age 40.

• Diminished ovarian reserve, meaning that the eggs that you have are of low quality; this can often be caused by age, since fertility drops off steeply after 40. 

• Genetically transmitted diseases that could be passed on to your child. 

• A previous history of failure with IVF, especially when your doctor thinks that the quality of your eggs may be the problem 
          - Chemotherapy 
          - Radiation therapy 
          - Autoimmunity 
          - Advanced maternal age 
          - Compromised ovarian reserve 


• Congenital absence of eggs 
          - Turner syndrome 
          - Gonadal dysgenesis 

• Other 
          - Diseases of X-Sex linkage 
          - Repetitive fertilization or pregnancy failure 
          - Ovaries inaccessible for egg retrieval

• An egg donor often provides eggs to women or couples who are struggling with infertility. For example, if a woman does not have viable eggs that allow her to become pregnant with her own biological child, she may seek the help of an egg donor. Sometimes a woman's eggs are viable, but she is aware of an inheritable condition that she might pass on to her offspring if she gives birth to a child using her own eggs. In such a case, the egg or eggs she receives from an egg donor are fertilized by sperm from either her husband or a sperm donor, using in vitro fertilization. Once the eggs are fertilized, they are placed in either her uterus or that of a surrogate mother.

• In some cases, an egg donor provides eggs for use by a male who wants to have a baby. In such a case, the donor's eggs are fertilized by the man's sperm via in vitro fertilization and then implanted into the uterus of a surrogate mother. This process can help a single man conceive a child, or it can be used to help a homosexual male couple conceive. Once a woman has donated her eggs in such a manner, her involvement in the conception process is complete. Usually, she doesn't retain any legal rights to children that are born using her donated eggs.
• In most cases, donations are handled anonymously. This means the person using the egg to conceive a child will never know the name or important identifying facts about the egg donor. However, he or she is given information concerning such things as the donor's blood type and health status. In some cases, however, donation programs allow the egg donor to decide whether or not she wishes to be identified to donation recipients later.


Egg Recipients

While any woman can choose to use an egg donor, most women who do so are unable to produce their own healthy eggs due to early menopause, poor egg quality, chromosomal or genetic disorders and age -- most women who use donor eggs are over the age of 39.Women who have had radiation, chemotherapy or ovarian surgery, as well as those who have had poor luck with fertility drugs, are also candidates.

Benefits of Egg Donation with IVF

One of the main benefits of IVF with egg donation is its high rate of success. The principle seems to be that the age of the egg, not the uterus, is the critical factor. Success rates for donor egg IVF can be three to 10 times higher than with traditional IVF. Much of this success is due to the use of young, normally fertile egg donors.

IVF with Egg donor offers some possible advantages over adoption. The first benefit is that the egg donor recipient carries the pregnancy and, thereby, remains in control of the gestational environment. The woman can be sure of getting excellent prenatal care and be sure to avoid alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs, or unnecessary medications while bonding with her in-utero offspring. Second, the child is related to the male partner.

Otherwise,almost egg donors is so young that mean they can produce the eggs more than the older women. So you can get other benefit from remaining embryos which should be frozen for next frozen embryos transfer cycle. You can save the cost for next ovarian stimulation.


What is Egg Donor Screening ?

Egg donor screening refers to a number of different tests that are performed on all egg donors before they are allowed to donate eggs. These tests include physical exams, psychological evaluations, blood tests, and other screening procedures. All egg donors, both known and anonymous, need to complete these different screens in order to donate eggs. 

Why is Egg Donor Screening Important?

Screening of egg donors is vitally important to both recipient couples and the egg donor herself. Egg donors need to be screened in order to:
• prevent passing infectious disease to the recipient 
• minimize the chances of passing a genetic disease or defect to the child 
• ensure their psychological and emotional stability 
• ensure their dedication and health throughout the donation process

Types of Screens

There are a number of different screens that your egg donor will have to go through before any eggs can be removed from her ovaries. These are some of the most common tests used when screening egg donors: 

Medical Screening:

All egg donors must undergo a general medical screen in order to ensure that they are basically healthy. Medical screening includes:
• a physical exam 
• a pelvic exam to check the health of internal organs 
• blood tests to test blood type, hormone levels, and egg health 
• an ultrasound, to examine the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes

Drug Screening

Before donating any eggs, all egg donors must disclose any current or previous use of cigarettes, prescription or illicit drugs and alcohol. To ensure that they are not using any drugs throughout the donation process.

Medical and Psychological History:

All egg donors need to disclose the details of their medical and psychological history. The medical and psychological history of all immediate blood relatives must also be disclosed, in order to check for any serious illnesses or disease.

Infectious Disease Screening

Infectious disease screening generally consists of a variety of blood tests that are performed in order to detect the presence of some common infectious diseases. 

The Process 

• A woman serving as the ovum donor undergoes stimulation of her ovaries with medication to try to produce several eggs.The eggs are then removed from her ovaries through the vagina using ultrasound.These eggs are fertilized in the laboratory with the sperm from the partner of the ovum recipient. The fertilized eggs are placed through the vagina into the uterus of the recipient (who has been on a medication regime to help prepare the lining of the uterus to receive embryos) five days later. We often recommend transferring two embryos because success rates with two-embryo transfers is higher.




Sperm Donation

Sperm donation helps couples who are unable to achieve conception on their own. Sperm donation allows a woman to be impregnated when her male partner produces unviable or insufficient sperm.

Sperm Doncation Candidates

Though on the surface sperm donation may seem like a simple procedure, it is actually quite arduous.Only about 5 percent of applicants are accepted by a sperm bank to donate sperm.Grounds for immediate disqualification for sperm donation include intravenous drug use, homosexual contact, and the presence of certain diseases (cystic fibrosis, for example) in the applicant's medical history. 

Potential donors who meet the initial criteria must then pass a thorough screening of their medical and sexual history, testing for genetic and other diseases, analyses of their sperm for count and motility, and investigation of a variety of other factors.

Sperm Donation Procedure

In the sperm donation process, the donor enters a private room and produces a semen sample into a sterile container. The sperm is collected and frozen in liquid nitrogen at -320 degrees Fahrenheit in a process known as sperm cryopreservation. It remains frozen until needed for donor sperm insemination.

Donor Sperm Insemination

Artificial insemination with donor sperm has been in use as an infertility treatment since the early 1900s.The procedure provides a safe, effective way to produce conception when male infertility occurs. In the insemination process, the woman's menstrual cycle is closely monitored. When an egg is released, donated sperm is brought out of sperm cryopreservation, brought to viability, and placed into the woman's uterus, where fertilization of an egg usually takes place.Recent refinements and advances in sperm donation technology have greatly improved this technique's ability to produce conception.