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A failure to IVF is no more a limitation. The donor egg IVF technique will allow an infertile woman with abnormally functioning ovaries to give birth to her child. This technique includes fertilization of the egg of another woman and the sperm of the intended father unless the sperm donor is not involved. Then the fused egg and sperm (embryo) are implanted into the intended woman’s uterus. The major drawback is there will be no genetic relation between the intended mother and child.

Who Can Be An Egg Donor?

A donor must be young, healthy, and have normal functioning ovaries. Most importantly the donor must be tested for any genetic disorders. The egg donor program undergoes extensive screening and mentions the background and medical history of the donor. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends that egg donors must be under the age of 34. A donor source could be a family member (genetic link) or a friend. It could be from an egg bank (frozen eggs), or from a fertility clinic.

Why Donor Egg Is Needed?

Older women (over 40) are using the donor egg technique more frequently. In 2010, about 11% of all assisted reproduction techniques used donor eggs with the highest success rate among all.

Following are a few conditions that may demand donor egg IVF.

  • Donor egg IVF is generally helpful for a woman after her 40s (age-related infertility) as they get older and may reach menopause (premature ovarian failure).
  • The risk to child through genetically transmitted disease especially of the intended mother.
  • Egg production but of low quality.
  • Repetitive IVF failure.
  • Post-cancer treatment (if the ovaries or eggs were damaged or removed).
  • The woman was born without her ovaries due to a congenital anomaly.

A Fresh Or Frozen Donor Egg Cycle

In a fresh donor egg, immediate fertilization of retrieved eggs and sperm of the intended father or a sperm donor is done. Also, it is a direct transfer of a prepared embryo to the intended mother or egg being frozen for future use. Whereas, frozen donor eggs are retrieved and cryopreserved before fertilization. Later they are thawed and fertilized with the intended father unless the sperm donor is not involved.

In addition, women using fresh embryos (not frozen), have a 43.4% chance of getting pregnant in each cycle.

Pros and Cons of Fresh Donor Eggs

  • Consistently higher success rates
  • Multiple frozen embryos
  • Unforeseen circumstances
  • More coordination required

Pros and Cons of Frozen Donor Eggs

  • Time saving
  • Cheaper cost
  • Limited embryos

Treatment Cycle

The treatment cycle starts once the donor and intended mother get their periods. To stimulate egg production the donor is injected with injectable fertility drugs. The intended mother will be given estrogen supplements which will create a suitable lining. Once the egg gets into the maturation step in the donor worm, the intended mother is injected with progesterone which will prepare the uterus to prepare for the embryo. In the next step, the egg retrieval process is done and once done the active role of the donor in the cycle is over. The intended father’s semen sample is being taken. The retrieved donor eggs will be put together with the intended father’s sperm cells. Embryo transfer into the intended mother is done in a fertility clinic. Later the intended mother will take a pregnancy test to see if the cycle was a success.