Donor Egg Program
Many women cannot conceive because they produce few or no eggs or embryos that do not develop normally. For these women, in vitro fertilization (IVF) with their own eggs is either not possible or has limited success. Egg donation is an option that enables a woman with decreased ovarian function to become pregnant.
For more information about being an egg donor or a recipient of a donated egg, please contact Katherine Mah, MS at (718) 283-6588. Katherine is board certified in genetic counseling by the American Board of Genetic Counseling and serves as both our egg donor coordinator as well as our genetic counselor.
What procedures are involved?
The process of IVF with donated eggs involves stimulating the egg donor's ovaries to produce multiple eggs. At the same time, the recipient's uterine lining is developed. When the donor's eggs are mature, they are retrieved and fertilized in the laboratory with sperm from the recipient's partner. The resulting embryos are monitored in the laboratory for several days. A few embryos are selected for transfer into the recipient's uterus in the hopes of achieving a pregnancy.
Who is a candidate for egg donation?
Women whose ovaries do not function well are candidates for IVF with donated eggs. For example, women with premature ovarian failure (early menopause) or naturally occurring menopause may benefit from using donated eggs. Women who have experienced repeated failure to conceive with other fertility treatments, including IVF with their own eggs, are also good candidates for IVF with donated eggs.
Anonymous donors are recruited by GENESIS through advertisements and word of mouth. Some recipients have friends or relatives who volunteer to be a known egg donor for them. Egg donation enables the donor to help another individual in a generous and unique way. Donors are screened for genetic and family history, general and reproductive health, and psychological stability. All donors undergo screening for HIV and other infectious diseases such as hepatitis and syphilis. Donors undergo the initial part of in vitro fertilization, i.e. taking injectable medications to induce the maturation of multiple eggs. These eggs are then removed with a needle transvaginally under anesthesia.
Potential recipients undergo an initial consultation with a physician that includes a thorough medical history, a physical examination of the female and laboratory testing of both the male and female. An attempt is made to match each recipient with a donor of a similar physical and ethnic background. Recipients of donated eggs are provided nonidentifying medical and family history information about the donor. Given the demand for donors and the rigorous screening process they must pass, there is usually a period of several months before a recipient is matched with a donor. After a suitable donor is found, an individualized medication regimen for synchronizing the development of lining of the recipient's uterus with the egg donor's cycle is developed.