Many women are faced with the disappointing discovery that they are no longer producing eggs, or that the eggs they are producing are of poor quality and cannot result in a healthy pregnancy. For these women, donor eggs can provide a highly successful alternative to natural conception.
The egg donation procedure has helped countless couples worldwide to experience a pregnancy and to have children.
Dr. Berin, Dr. Levine, and our knowledgeable and thorough Physician Assistant, Alyson Butler, are all well-versed in managing every aspect of egg donation. Ms. Butler also serves all egg donor patients by coordinating their cycles with the donor.
For most couples, the decision to go with egg donation is a difficult one, but no one who elects to go this route regrets doing so. The technology of egg donation has brought much happiness and fulfillment to women and couples for whom the chances of a successful pregnancy were low.
Selecting an Egg Donor
Many women prefer anonymous egg donation where identities on all sides are kept confidential. For other women, directed egg donation – eggs donated by someone they know and trust, such as a close friend or family member – is preferable.
In either case, during egg donation the potential egg donor is rigorously screened in a process involving a personal and family medical history, a detailed psychological assessment, testing for infectious and genetic diseases and, of course, a full fertility evaluation.
Patients considering the use of a particular anonymous egg donor have access, in an anonymous fashion, to relevant details about the potential donor including her age, physical characteristics, ethnic and religious background, family history, and educational and occupational/professional background.
Synchronizing Donor and Recipient Cycles
Once the egg donor is selected, the egg retrieval and transfer process must be synchronized so that the recipient’s uterus will be ready to receive embryos when those embryos are ready to be transferred.
To accomplish successful egg donation, the recipient generally needs to take natural hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, for several weeks to prepare the lining of her uterus, while the egg donor takes ovarian stimulation medications to help her produce multiple follicles and eggs.
Egg Retrieval and Embryo Transfer
When the egg donor’s follicles and eggs are ready, she undergoes an egg retrieval procedure here at the Fertility Institute to remove the eggs from her ovaries. At that point, the egg donor’s role in the process is over.
The donated eggs are then fertilized with sperm from the intended recipient’s partner, or in the case of a man with no sperm, a single woman, or a same-gender female couple, donor sperm may be used.
The fertilized embryos are cultured in vitro in the laboratory; and 3 to 5 days later, embryos are transferred into the recipient’s prepared uterus. Pregnancy testing takes place about 7 to 10 days after the embryo transfer to confirm that a pregnancy has begun to develop.
Early pregnancy development is monitored by blood tests and ultrasound examinations during the following several weeks by the Fertility Institute’s physicians.
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