Egg Donation Process for Egg Recipients

I Need an Egg Donor.

We understand that is a demanding judgment to use an egg donor and we further realize how difficult it can be if your struggles involve infertility. Your timing couldn’t be more perfect on your journey to egg donation, as our commitment is to guide you in making sound decisions before moving forward with your journey.

The Ultimate Connection

Once you have gained the valuable insight of a fertility doctor, both partners are tested to determine the cause of infertility. If there are poor quality ovaries or eggs, early menopause, multiple failed IVF cycles, non-functional reproductive organs or a hereditary genetic disorder, egg donation can help intended parents experience the joys of pregnancy. Perhaps, you are a gay couple or single man or woman searching for a donor and your journey doesn’t involve infertility. Either case, take time to understand the egg donation process and adjust your steps according to what best fits your circumstance.

Step by Step

1. Choose an Egg Donation IVF Clinic

Intended parents can obtain, and select, egg donors from an  egg donation IVF clinic: Many IVF clinics now have their own pools of egg donors. In most of these cases, the IVF clinic will provide you with a list of their donors and you may select one of the donors. Some clinics may, however, select a donor for you.

2. Clinical Evaluation and Initial Consultation

To determine whether you are a good donor egg recipient candidate, a thorough infertility and medical history will be completed. Also, a vital part of the preparatory phase of egg donation is a consultation with a psychologist.

A complete physical exam will be performed. The examination includes a detailed pelvic ultrasound and may require a hysterosalpingogram or hysteroscopy. Tests also include infectious diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and Syphilis. Blood group and Rh is performed on both the female and male partner. Recent Pap smear results should also be available for review by your doctor. If using the partner’s sperm, a sperm capacity study is performed including DNA frag, sperm fertility test, hormonal tests, and blood karyotype. Additional tests and screening may be required, depending on your age, ethnicity, and medical history.

3. Donor Selection and Screening

Prospective recipients of donor eggs will choose an anonymous donor chosen from an egg donor database. The typical donation, an anonymous donor allows the parents to choose someone who understands the egg donation process and will feel no need to have a relationship with the child after its birth.

Anonymous donors are rigorously tested: medical, personal, and obstetrical histories. She also will have infectious and genetic screening to ensure that her donor eggs are as healthy as possible.

4. Legalities/Fee Arrangements

At this phase, financial responsibility is executed on the part of the recipient couple for all expenses incurred pursuant to the contract. The contract declares that the recipient couple is financially and legally responsible for the child. Additionally, the recipient couple shall have full custodial and parental rights to the child.

Contracts also require that all parties must have legal and medical informed consent and have completes infectious disease testing and the egg donor must be medically examined and determined to be medically appropriate for the program.

Cryopreservation and use of excess eggs or embryos will be discoursed as well.

5. Synchronizing the Donor and Recipient

In preparation to receive donor eggs, fertility medications are given to both the donor and the recipient to synchronize the ovarian stimulation of the donor and uterine receptivity of the egg recipient. To synchronize menstrual cycles with that of the donor, a hormone known as a gonadotropin or GnRH agonist will be administered to suppress normal ovulatory timing.

6. Recipient Hormone Replacement  and Donor Stimulation

You will be placed on an estrogen replacement program to prepare your uterus to receive a fertilized embryo. Estrogen is introduced to the body to ensure the endometrial growth is at maximum level.

Shortly after your hormone therapy begins, the egg donor starts preparation for egg donation. She is given daily injections of follicle stimulating hormones (FSH) to stimulate her ovaries. These hormones will cause the ovaries to produce a greater number of mature eggs than would naturally occur.

7. Egg Retrieval (Egg Donor)

Once the donor and recipient cycles have been aligned, a minimally invasive procedure is performed to remove the donor’s eggs. This involves placing a small needle through the wall of the vagina and into the ovarian follicles to harvest the mature eggs. On the same day as the egg retrieval, the male partner or sperm donor will provide a semen sample.

8. IVF Procedure

After the eggs and sperm have been retrieved, your fertility doctor can start the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process. IVF is a fertility treatment where eggs and sperm are fertilized outside of the womb, in a laboratory setting. The eggs and sperm are placed together in a laboratory dish for fertilization and after several days, an embryo forms. The embryo is placed into the patient’s uterus with the hopes of achieving pregnancy.

IVF with ICSI is also employed to take advantage of specialized micromanipulation tools and inverted microscopes that enable embryologists to select and pick up individual sperm in a specially designed ICSI needle, maximizing the chance for pregnancy. Most egg donor programs see that about 70-85% of eggs injected using ICSI become fertilized.

9. Embryo Transfer

The transfer involves up to three embryos (derived from the donated eggs) to increase the chances of success. Your IVF specialist will already have discussed with you the possibility of multiple births when using egg donation. Excess embryos that are suitable for transfer may be cryopreserved for future use. Embryo transfer is a relatively simple process in which the IVF specialist introduces the embryos inside the uterus using a very thin cannula which will be passed through the cervix.

10. After Care

After the embryo transfer, you will remain at the clinic for an hour for proper after care. It is recommended that you get 24 hours of rest before resuming normal activities and avoid rigorous activities for 2 weeks.

11. Pregnancy Test

About two weeks after IVF treatment, a pregnancy test is administered.

Selecting an Egg Donor

When you have narrowed down your selection to a few egg donors, egg donation IVF clinical coordinators can provide you with additional information to help you make your final choice.

Intended parents are generally looking for an egg donor to have similar physical characteristics to their own. These characteristics may include ethnic background, height, build, and hair and eye color. Many recipients also examine the educational experience and hobbies maintained by egg donors to help choose a donor that relinquishes comparable goals and priorities.

Before becoming an egg donor, the candidate has completed a questionnaire that addresses her personal and medical history. Past surgeries, pregnancies, and other medical procedures are disclosed, as is any family history of hereditary diseases.

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