Women who are unable to conceive with their own eggs due to changes in the quality of her own eggs or her embryos, her age, genetic abnormalities, women who do not have ovaries or couples without a female partner can still parent using egg donation (oocyte donation). Egg donors are either known to the intended parents (a family member or friend) or unknown (anonymous). Because they are younger, (usually between the ages of 21 – 34) they provide a greater chance of success. Egg donors are thoroughly screened according to the recommendations of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Egg donors give full consent and give up all rights and obligations to the children borne from their donation.. However, especially with known donors, we recommend obtaining a legal contract that outlines the details of the donation.
The donors undergo the process of controlled ovarian hyperstimulation to develop multiple follicles and undergo the retrieval of all eggs produced during that cycle. The eggs removed are then fertilized with the sperm of the male partner or sperm donor in our laboratory, where the embryos develop. Meanwhile, the intended parent prepares for the embryo transfer with medications to increase the thickness of the endometrium and then medications to promote a successful implantation. Although it offers a great opportunity to parent, many couples have a difficult time making this transition to considering egg donation. We understand the dilemma it creates and recommend that couples discuss these issues with a licensed therapist familiar with the challenges of oocyte donation. During the course of the discussion, they can talk about their fertility challenges and the frustration it may evoke, the angst of giving up biological contribution to parenting, the challenges of talking about using a donor with family, friends, the children, and any concerns they may have about the process.
With our success rates of greater than the national average, embryo transfer using donor eggs is an excellent solution for those facing fertility challenges where the female partner’s eggs are not a viable option. If you think that donor eggs are an option you would like to explore, please contact us to set up an appointment.