The most important factor affecting IVF outcome and successful pregnancy is egg quality and the best predictor of egg quality is the age of the woman from whom the eggs are retrieved. Using eggs donated from young women in their twenties has been shown to have very high success rates because these eggs are of very high quality.
Using donor eggs allows women to become pregnant even if their ovaries have stopped producing eggs, or if the eggs are of poor quality. It is most commonly used in perimenopausal or postmenopausal women, women whose ovaries have been removed or destroyed by treatment for cancer and those who have had multiple IVF failures thought to be because of poor quality eggs. In addition, donor eggs can also be used along with a gestational surrogate to allow gay men to father their own children.
Egg Donation Process
The process of egg donation begins with the intended parents selecting a donor. A donor can be a relative or a friend, however most commonly egg donors are selected anonymously through a donor agency (see list below). Once the donor is selected, she undergoes medical, genetic and psychological screening to ensure she is an appropriate candidate. Once the entire evaluation is completed, legal documents are signed that detail the agreement between the donor and the intended parents.
Egg Donor Cycle
The donor’s and the recipient’s cycles are then synchronized. The process then continues with the egg donor undergoing the stimulation phase of an IVF cycle. Injectable medications are administered for approximately 9-11 days to cause her ovaries to produce many eggs. At the same time, the intended mother starts taking estrogen and eventually progesterone in order to prepare the uterine lining for implantation. Sperm are provided either by the intended mother’s partner or a donor, and the eggs are then fertilized in the lab. Generally, transfer of one or two embryos is then performed between 3-5 days later. The intended mother then continues to take estrogen and progesterone throughout the first trimester until the placenta is able to take over and produce these hormones independently.
Egg Donor Agencies
Egg Donor Success Rates
Success rates with donor eggs are typically the highest pregnancy rates seen using IVF, approximately 50-60% per cycle.
Fertility Doctor Tina Koopersmith
Discusses Egg Donation
Together We’ll Find A Way
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