Navigation Search

Information for Recipients of Donated Eggs

Your physician may discuss egg donation to you if it appears to be an appropriate option after reviewing your medical history and fertility history. Deciding to undergo IVF with donated eggs raises many complex and emotional questions. Our psychologist will meet with you to explore these issues to help you reach a decision regarding egg donation.

Who is a good candidate for egg donation?

There are many different types of women who pursue IVF with donated eggs. Some patients have never had a spontaneous menstrual period or have stopped menstruating at an early age. Early menopause may be caused by genetics, radiation or chemotherapy treatment, auto-immune responses, surgical removal of both ovaries, or unknown causes. Some women are established fertility patients who produced few or no eggs in a previous IVF cycle or have experienced multiple failed IVF cycles. Other women who pursue IVF with donated eggs are those with high follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) levels or those who do not respond well to fertility medications. Finally, some women who are at risk of passing a genetic condition on to their children also consider IVF with donated eggs.

What are the benefits of using donated eggs?

Infertility programs across the country report clinical pregnancy rates of 50% per egg donation cycle. Pregnancy rates with donated eggs are typically higher than pregnancy rates of IVF cycles using a woman's own eggs.

Egg donation has some distinct differences when compared to adoption. Both the recipient and the recipient's husband have a biological connection with a baby born after IVF with donated eggs. The husband's connection is a genetic one. The recipient's connection involves carrying the pregnancy, controlling the prenatal environment, delivering the baby, and, for some, breastfeeding the infant. These experiences are not available through adoption.

Who are the egg donors?

If you decide to pursue IVF with donated eggs, you may locate our own donor or choose an anonymous donor from Genesis. Some recipients have close relatives or friends who agree to serve as an egg donor. At Genesis, anonymous donors are recruited and screened before they are presented to you as your potential donor.

How are the donors screened?

Anonymous donors at Genesis are between the ages of 21 and 33. The donors undergo extensive medical and psychological screening. Baseline ultrasounds are performed, as well as blood screening for hormone levels, infectious diseases, sexually transmitted diseases, some genetic conditions. Urine drug screening is also performed. All potential donors are evaluated by our psychologist and take a standardized psychological screening test (MMPI).

What to Expect During the Egg Donation Cycle

If you decide to pursue IVF with donated eggs at Genesis, your physician will coordinate your cycle with your donor's cycle. You will take estrogen supplements to help develop the lining of your uterus. At the same time, the donor would be taking medications to stimulate her ovaries to produce multiple eggs. When the donor's eggs are mature, they will be retrieved in our operating room. Generally, you will begin taking progesterone on the day before the donor's egg retrieval. On the day the donor's eggs are retrieved, your partner will supply a semen specimen to fertilize the eggs. The resulting embryos are monitored in the laboratory as they develop over several days. Only the healthiest looking embryos will be considered for transfer. At the time of embryo transfer, your physician will discuss with you how many embryos he recommends for transfer. If there are any extra embryos of good quality, they may be cryopreserved for future use.

After the embryo transfer, you will continue estrogen and progesterone. Eleven days after the transfer, you will return to the office for a pregnancy test. If it is positive, you will need to continue the estrogen and progesterone for approximately two months. At that time, the baby's placenta will ensure proper hormone production, and the pregnancy can proceed as any other pregnancy, monitored by your obstetrician