Egg Donation Can Be An Option For IVF
Not all women will have the ability to use their own eggs for IVF. The good news is that with today’s technology and advanced medical care, women are able to carry a child even if that child was not created with her own eggs. If a couple decides to use another woman’s eggs it is called egg donation, and may also be referred to as oocyte donation. Most couples pursue egg donation because of the female’s inability to produce quality eggs for IVF.
When is it time to think about using donor eggs?
Deciding to be the recipient of donor eggs is a hard decision. Many times it is after multiple failed IVF attempts that a couple will even begin considering IVF egg donation. It is important to speak with your doctor about your medical history as well as their clinics policies and success with donor eggs for IVF treatment. If you have encountered any of the following conditions, it may be helpful to begin discussing with your doctor the potential need to seek egg donation:
- Early menopause
- Premature ovarian failure
- Poor egg quality
- Poor responder to ovarian stimulation
- High day 3 follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) levels
- History of genetic disease
Once a couple decides that egg donation is the avenue that they would like to pursue, there are many factors that will play in selecting their particular egg donor. Depending on where you live, fertility clinics may have different guidelines on using family member’s eggs. Keep in mind that the egg donor will receive compensation; it typically is about $5,000. Legal contracts may also be drawn up to ensure that parental rights of the donor will be nonexistent.
There are a few things that a couple will want to consider when choosing their donor:
- History of STD’s (Sexually Transmitted Diseases)
- History of birth defects or hereditary diseases from donor or donor’s family
- Medical history
- Mental Health and Well-Being
The donor that you chose will now become a patient of your fertility specialist. She will have a consultation and many times will meet with the clinic’s geneticist. In many cases, your donor was selected from a database from your fertility specialist, so that means that initial screenings have already taken place.
The egg donor will begin stimulation drugs, just as if she were the IVF patient. Her treatment will include constant medical monitoring so that the doctors can gauge her egg retrieval date. On the egg retrieval day, your partner will give a semen sample so that they eggs that she developed will be able to be fertilized by your partner’s sperm. Throughout this process, you, the recipient, will be preparing your body for the transfer of the embryos (Embryo Transfer). This will include medical monitoring along with medications to help your body get ready for the embryos. Depending on your fertility clinic’s practices, your embryo transfer may be as early as 3 days after the eggs were retrieved from the donor. Some clinics prefer 4 or 5-day embryo transfers. Once the transfer takes place you will continue with medications and monitoring and await your pregnancy test in two weeks.