Saturday, March 14, 2015

Donor egg IVF - is it right for you ?

Today, a larger number of couples are using donor eggs in IVF to have the baby they wanted. So, why exactly do people have to use donor eggs? IVF is a complex treatment and the outcomes have no guarantees. This is because there are just too many variables and regardless of how good the IVF clinic is the doctor does not have control over these. One of the key variables which affects IVF success is egg quality, which is measured by testing the patient’s ovarian reserve. For women with poor ovarian reserve, using donor eggs helps to maximize chances of success.

•    Age of Mother’s Eggs: Women are always born with all the eggs they can ever have. In a way the age of the woman becomes the key factor in predicting the success of the IVF treatment. A number of women defer starting a family and don’t realize that as their age progresses; they will have difficulty getting pregnant.

Their eggs age along with their chronological age , and by the time they touch 40, the chances of successful fertilization and producing a healthy embryo are significantly diminished. Women above the age of 40 years, who have IVF treatment with donor eggs that have come from a younger woman , have a much higher success rate with getting pregnant and giving birth to a healthy baby

•    Cancer treatment/Premature Menopause/ Other Health Issues: Women who have had their ovaries removed for medical reasons; those who have had chemotherapy or radiation for cancer treatment; and those with unexplained premature menopause, might not be capable of producing eggs- this condition is referred to as ovarian failure.

 In case their uterus is intact , they have an excellent chance of getting pregnant with donor eggs. Rarely, in case a woman knows that she is carrying a serious genetic disease, she might opt to use donated eggs- this prevents the disease from being passed onto the child.

IVF with Donor Eggs- The Process

Most of the procedures that are used in IVF with donor eggs are similar to the ones that are used in IVF with eggs from the wife’s eggs. The ovaries of the egg donor are stimulated with fertility drugs, the mature eggs are then retrieved and fertilized in the IVF lab with the sperm of the husband .

The patient is treated with estrogen to ensure that her cycle is synced with the donor’s cycle.  Once the embryos are ready, we then transfer 1 or 2 of them into her.  If everything goes well, the embryo will implant in her uterus and will grow into a baby.  Interestingly, the uterus is an immunologically privileged site, and every woman can accept donor eggs from any other woman – no matching is needed !

Eggs from Frozen-Egg Banks

Today, it’s possible to get eggs from frozen egg banks. If these eggs are used, then:

•    The egg’s recipient’s cycle does not have to be synced with cycle of the donor as egg retrieval has already taken  place
•    This reduces the wait time, because the frozen eggs are always available 24/7.
•    It’s also easier to match the physical traits of the egg donor and the recipient when we use frozen eggs.
•    The success rate of IVF with frozen donor eggs is as good as with the success rates of IVF with fresh donor eggs

Will Donor Eggs Work For You?

There are a number of things which have to be investigated before you can become a parent with the use of donated eggs:

•    Many of our patients who use donor eggs feel sad that they have to bear a child that isn’t genetically-related to them
•    They need to balance this with their desire to experience pregnancy and have a baby
•    Many are very grateful to the donors who are generous enough to donate their eggs in order to help them to have a baby – after all, we cannot manufacture these !
•    The other aspect that has to be taken into consideration is that of the donor egg costs. These are  in addition to the IVF treatment cost

As you can see, donor egg IVF is no cakewalk .  We counsel our patients, and then help you explore which of the many paths to parenthood is the right one for you.

Need more information? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at so that I can guide you better!


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