Egg donation is when another woman’s egg is used as part of IVF. On the other hand, egg surrogacy is a fertility option whereby another woman carries the child to term. There are a number of reasons why either situation should be considered, but in both, these treatments are best undergone when the patient has realized they need these options.
Egg donation is a process by which eggs (oocytes) from another person (usually between the ages of 20 to 30) are fertilized with sperm from the intended parent or designated sperm donor and transferred into the uterus of the patient who is trying to conceive. This is usually done for women over the age of 40 or for patients with poor ovarian reserve. Egg donation has been successfully used throughout the world since the 1980s and has helped thousands of egg recipients and couples achieve pregnancy. Read on to learn more about egg donation, then contact our Los Angeles fertility clinics, serving egg recipients and donors from Beverly Hills, Valencia, Sherman Oaks and beyond, to schedule an egg donation consultation with a board-certified fertility specialist at the Center for Reproductive Health & Gynecology.
Egg Donation Candidates
The screening for both egg donation recipients and egg donors at our Los Angeles fertility center is rigorous, as we want to make sure both parties are emotionally, psychologically, and physically prepared to engage in the egg donation process.
Candidates For Egg Donation Recipients
Egg donation recipients are infertile women, many of who have not been able to conceive with IVF or other fertility treatments or assisted reproductive technologies. These women may have low ovarian reserve or a poor response to fertility medications. Some egg donation recipients may have premature menopause, ovarian failure, or a genetic problem that prevents them from using their own eggs. For a complete list of conditions that may require egg donation, visit our Egg Donation Candidates page.
Egg recipients and recipient couples are able to choose either known (friend or relative) or anonymous egg donation. The recipient will have an evaluation of her uterine cavity performed to ensure a normal environment for an embryo to implant. She and her partner will also be tested for infectious diseases.
Egg Donor Candidates
Often, the most difficult part of the egg donation process is finding an egg donor who will give the recipient the highest chance of a successful pregnancy. Egg donors at the Center for Reproductive Health & Gynecology in Los Angeles are between the ages of 20 to 30 and must be screened for infectious diseases, psychological soundness, ovarian reserve levels, and drug use. Egg donors are also required to provide a complete medical history, physical examination, and pelvic ultrasound.
Egg Donation Process
The first step in the egg donation process is the selection of an appropriate egg donor for the recipient in question. Then, both women’s menstrual cycles are synchronized and they are prescribed hormones to ensure their bodies are ready for egg retrieval and embryo transfer.
Once the donor eggs are harvested in an outpatient surgical procedure, they are inseminated with sperm from the male member of the recipient couple and are fertilized using IVF technology. The fertilized embryos are then transferred to the uterus of the recipient in the hopes of achieving a successful pregnancy.
Who is an Egg Donation Candidate
The process of determining who is a good candidate for egg donation at our Los Angeles fertility treatment center is twofold: we must determine who is a good recipient for egg donation and also who is a strong candidate to be an egg donor.
The recipient may choose a known donor (family member or friend) or pick an anonymous egg donor (most often from an egg donor agency). Before egg donation, both the recipient and the donor need to be screened. The recipient needs to have an evaluation of her uterine cavity to ensure a normal environment for an embryo to implant. She and her significant other or sperm donor need to have the infectious disease tests completed. The most important decision once testing is completed is to pick the appropriate donor that will give us the highest chance of success. This is also the most difficult part of the process.
Egg Donation Recipient Candidates
There are several conditions that may require egg donation, including:
– Advanced maternal age over age 40 or compromised ovarian reserve (Elevated FSH, Low AMH level, Low Inhibin B level, Low antral follicle count) – X-linked (female) genetic disease
– Ovarian dysgenesis/agenesis (abnormal development/absence or incomplete development of the ovaries)
– Ovaries inaccessible for egg retrieval
– Surgical removal of the ovaries
– Premature menopause/Premature ovarian failure (POF)
– Women with history of cancer after treatment with chemotherapy or radiation therapy
– Autoimmune disease – Turner syndrome (a chromosomal condition that solely affects girls and women. It occurs when one of the two X chromosomes normally found in females is missing or incomplete)
– Repetitive Pregnancy Failure (poor egg quality or abnormal embryos)
Egg Donor Screening
To ensure we have found a suitable egg donation candidate, the Los Angeles fertility specialists at the Center for Reproductive Health & Gynecology conduct a rigorous screening process. Egg donation involves physical, emotional, psychological, and legal components, so women considering becoming egg donors can expect physical, psychological, and personality screening before they are accepted as egg donors.
The egg donors must be 20 to 30 years of age and are required to undergo the following tests:
– Infectious disease screening
– Psychological screening
– Drug screening
– Ovarian reserve screening
– Complete history and physical and pelvic ultrasound
If you are interested in becoming an egg donation recipient or an egg donor, the first step is to schedule a consultation at one of our fertility centers in Valencia, Beverly Hills, or Sherman Oaks. During this consultation you will be thoroughly educated on the benefits and consequences of the egg donation process. The decision to participate in egg donation is an emotional one, and the team of fertility experts at the Center for Reproductive Health & Gynecology is here to support you every step of the way. For more information on egg donation and who is a good egg donation candidate, contact us to schedule an informative consultation.
The Egg Donation Process
The egg donation process at our Los Angeles fertility center can be emotional, but our board-certified fertility experts at the Center for Reproductive Health & Gynecology have the compassion and expertise needed to make it a rewarding experience for both the egg donor and the egg recipient. Learn more about the egg donation process, and please contact us if you have any questions about egg donation.
Screening and Donor selection
The first step in the egg donation process is to thoroughly screen both the egg donor and the recipient to ensure they are good candidates for egg donation and also to ensure that they are good match for each other. Once all of the screenings have been completed and a match has been made, the egg donation procedure can begin. The expected time line for an egg donation cycle is between two and three months (once the process begins).
Stimulation & Synchronization
Both the recipient and the egg donor will be placed on an injectable (Lupron) and/or oral contraceptive pill to synchronize menstrual cycles. Once appropriate, the egg donor will start on injectable fertility drugs, and the recipient will take oral estrogen tablets. As the egg donor is being stimulated, the recipient’s cycle is adjusted in order to coordinate it with the donor’s cycle so that once the fertilized eggs are transferred to the recipient, her body is likely to implant those eggs.
When several eggs have been produced by the donor’s ovaries, she will be scheduled for outpatients egg retrieval surgery. Once the egg donor is ready for egg retrieval, the recipient’s partner or sperm donor will need to provide us with sperm for in vitro fertilization (IVF) in the laboratory (in order to fertilize the eggs). The recipient will then be asked to continue oral estrogen and start progesterone vaginal suppositories to prepare her uterus for implantation.
Once the eggs are retrieved, fertilized and dividing, the recipient or couple trying to conceive will have a discussion with one of our board certified fertility specialists as to the number of embryos to transfer and the date of transfer most appropriate for them. If conditions for embryo transfer are not favorable, the embryos may be safely cryopreserved and transferred at a better time. In many cases of egg donation, more embryos than we can use in a fresh cycle are produced, and these embryos are frozen for future use.
After Embryo Transfer
After the embryo transfer, you will need to stay at home and in bed for one day, followed by two days of rest at home (a total of three days). Your pregnancy test will be performed 10 to 12 days after the embryo transfer.
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