For many patients, Donor Egg IVF will be the recommended treatment option. While it can be difficult to make this decision, increased availability of nation-wide donor egg banks such as Donor Egg Bank USA have helped egg donation become a more common, accessible and most importantly, successful solution. Donor egg IVF consistently reports higher rates of success than traditional IVF treatment. If you are considering the use of an egg donor, there are some important facts to consider.
Who Should Consider Using an Egg Donor?
Difficulty conceiving a child can happen for many reasons. Donor egg IVF may be recommended in the following situations:
- Age related infertility (common in Intended parents age 35 and over)
- Post-cancer treatment in which ovaries or eggs were damaged by treatment
- Repeated unsuccessful IVF treatments
- Low ovarian reserves
- Primary ovarian insufficiency
- Risk of genetic disease on the mother’s side
- LGTBQ family building option
The Egg Donor Process
Searching for your donor: Friends, family members, or a third-party agency may provide fresh donor eggs for your cycle. While the process of choosing a donor may vary slightly based on the fertility clinic or donor egg bank you choose, you will likely have the option of selecting a donor’s attributes such as physical features, education level, ethnicity, and profession. Donors are only accepted within peak fertility – 21 to 33 years old – and undergo complete genetic and health screening processes to offer the best chance for success.
Synching your cycle with a donor: With the use of fresh donor eggs, it is required for the intended mother or gestational carrier to sync ovulation cycles with the egg donor. This is done through synthetic hormones to ensure the uterus is prepared to carry a child once the donor egg is fertilized and the embryo is implanted. Donors must take ovulation-inducing medication to guarantee a mature egg is produced, ensuring that intended parents completing donor egg IVF treatments have a greater chance of successful pregnancy and live birth.
Fertilization and Embryo Transfer: Once an egg is collected, your partner’s sperm or sperm from a donor is used to fertilize the egg in a laboratory. Three to five days later, the fertilized eggs become embryos that are then transferred to the uterus. Between 1 – 2 embryos will be transferred to decrease the likelihood of multiples.
- Genetics. Using a donor egg provides the opportunity for an intended mother to carry her own child. While the child will not be genetically linked to the mother, it still allows the child to maintain a biological connection, and a genetic link to the father (unless the couple chooses to use a sperm donor).
- Risk of multiples. Because donor eggs are extracted from donors at the height of fertility, and multiple embryos may be transferred to increase the odds of pregnancy, the chances of becoming pregnant with twins or triplets increases.
- Freezing Embryos. Once embryos are transferred, remaining embryos may be cryogenically frozen and maintained for future pregnancies. This allows parents to have multiple pregnancies using the same egg donor.
- Emotions. The journey of IVF treatment is one that comes with a wide range of emotions. Intended parents frequently experience excitement, grief, hope, anxiety, and joy. Emotions can be fluid, changing quickly and often throughout the journey.
A Beautiful Journey
Struggling with infertility is a common challenge for growing families. However, with modern advances in the field of assisted reproductive technology, intended parents have more opportunities than ever to grow their families with a sweet bundle of joy! Donor egg IVF is an incredible example of these advancements. It has gained rapid popularity in recent years with more parents turning to nation-wide donor egg banks and fertility centers to help start a family. With growing success rates, donor egg IVF is a treatment that should not be overlooked for prospective parents!