How Does Egg Donation Work for the Recipient?

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ConceiveAbilities Blog - How Does Egg Donation Work for the Recipient?

You may have heard or seen the quote, “Parenthood requires love. Not DNA.” When it comes to expanding your family, these words are so very true. While we may not have built our family in the way we initially imagined, thanks to options like IVF, surrogacy and donor eggs, parenthood has been made possible for thousands.

Egg donor recipient

Whether you’re in a same-sex male relationship, you’ve been diagnosed with an infertility condition that has impacted your ovarian reserve or there is a genetic concern with eggs, these are all various scenarios where you might explore egg donation. It’s also more common than you may realize. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published an “Assisted Reproductive Technology National Summary Report of 2012” which states that 12 percent of all IVF cycles in the United States--approximately 16,000 a year--involve eggs retrieved from a donor.

Medical definition

In general, if you're a woman unable to conceive with your own eggs or in a male same-sex relationship, you can have IVF treatment using donated eggs. The donor eggs are combined with your partner's or donor’s sperm, and the resulting embryo(s) are transferred to the intended mother or gestational surrogate’s uterus.

Who can benefit from egg donation?

There are several reasons why using an egg donor might be your most viable option of becoming a parent:

  • You are a woman who has a genetic condition that you do not want to pass on to your children
  • You are of advanced maternal age (typically over the age of 42 years old)
  • You have been diagnosed with Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR)
  • You have had an inadequate response to ovulation induction
  • You have been diagnosed with premature menopause
  • You have been diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure (POF)
  • Your ovaries have had to be removed due to a medical issue
  • You’re in a same-sex male relationship and plan to build your family through surrogacy

What’s the cost of using an egg donor?

There are various ways you can pursue using donor eggs and that would affect the cost of using an egg donor. In general, the cost can be expensive. Frozen donor eggs can be less expensive than pursuing fresh donor eggs so that is one way to save money. Overall, there are pros and cons to using fresh and frozen eggs that you can review by reading our blog, “Fresh vs. Frozen Donor Eggs: The Pros and Cons”.

What is the success rate of IVF with donor eggs?

What’s encouraging is not only is the use of donor eggs quite common, but the success rates are quite high. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in their “Assisted Reproductive Technology National Summary Report of 2012”, in vitro fertilization with donor eggs has the highest success rate of any fertility treatment-- 56 percent, nationally.

In addition, as per the American Pregnancy Association, approximately 48 percent of women using donor eggs will achieve a pregnancy.

The steps to receiving eggs from a donor

The steps below can vary as it depends if you pursue fresh or frozen donor eggs. If you were to pursue fresh, the steps would breakdown to be the following:

  • When the intended mother is matched with a donor or if they are using someone they know, their menstrual cycles will be synchronized
  • The donor will begin her fertility medications where she will be monitored for approximately 10 to 14 days before her eggs are retrieved for donation
  • The intended mother or surrogate will begin taking progesterone supplements before the embryo transfer to help support the lining of the uterus which encourages embryo implantation
  • The donor egg is fertilized with the sperm from a spouse, partner or donor.
  • One or two embryos will be transferred through the cervix into the uterus of the intended mother or surrogate at either a fertility clinic or a hospital
  • Anywhere from 10 to 14 days after the embryo transfer, the intended mother or surrogate will have blood work done to confirm a potential pregnancy
  • If the recipient is pregnant, she would continue to take the progesterone and estrogen supplements as directed by until the end of week 10 or 12 of the pregnancy
  • If the intended mother is using an egg bank, this typically expedites the process as cycles would not have to be synchronized. A frozen donor egg would be chosen, thawed, and fertilized when the intended parents were ready. The rest of the timeline would be similar.

How can you find an egg donor?

Some intended parents use an egg donor who is known to them, such as a relative or a willing close family friend. Others feel more comfortable using an anonymous donor. There are egg donor matching programs, egg banks with a diverse selection to choose from and there are even some fertility clinics that have a donor egg program.

At ConceiveAbilities, we have an in-house program where each candidate is carefully screened for mental and physical health as well as given a review of their family medical and genetic history. We know our donors very well and can help you find your ideal match.

In the end, you must decide what works best for you, your partner and your future family. It’s true what they say--whether your children have your DNA or not--we’re certain they will have all your love.
Contact us to learn more!