Egg donation s a type of IVF treatment in which retrieved oocytes from a young and healthy women of reproductive age who voluntarily consented to egg donation are used in the treatment cycles of other patients.
The obtained donor oocytes are fertilized by ICSI with the recipient’s partner or donor sperm and are transferred on Day 3 or 5 into the recipient’s uterus for a pregnancy to be established.
In majority of cases 2 blastocysts are transferred and the created top quality surplus embryos are frozen and will be stored in liquid nitrogen to be used in the recipient’s further treatment cycles.
This kind of treatment is resorted to for various medical reasons and very often is the only chance for the recipient to carry to term and to give birth to a healthy child.
Egg donation is recommended for:
- Patients in advanced maternal age.
- Young patients with premature ovarian failure or premature menopause.
- The patients whose ovaries were surgically removed or in case of their inborn absence (Turner syndrome and gonadal dysgenesis).
- Patients with genetic disorders which either cause infertility or will be passed to the descendants.
- Patients who underwent oncology treatment.
- Patients with unexplained infertility, repetitive fertilization or pregnancy failure.
Egg donation procedure:
Stage 1: Egg Donor Application and Screening
Once a women who complies with egg donation program criteria (ages 18-32, is of perfect physical and mental health, has no negative phenotypical manifestations, is a non-smoker, does not have any other addictions and has already her biological healthy child, she is admitted into the egg donation program.
All donors whose vitrified oocytes are available at First Egg Bank have been tested and screened twice: they underwent an extensive initial screening and were screened immediately before the program according to the European Union Tissues and Cells Directive 2004/23/CE, 2006/17/EC and 2006/86/EC for:
- HIV 1, 2 & 0
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
Stage 2: Egg Donor Matching
Usually egg donor matching is performed on line – a recipient gets a link to an egg donor catalog with available donor profiles and informs the clinic’s coordinator about the made choice. After this a fertility specialists prescribes a protocol for the recipient to get prepared for transfer and simultaneously donor’s stimulation is planned.
At times, due to the immediate unavailability of the donor, the treatment cycle can be postponed for several months.To omit waiting lists, a recipient can consider a cycle with vitrified donor oocytes which are immediately available. A cycle with vitrified donor oocytes also eliminates the risk or donor’s cycle cancellation or retrieval of any oocytes due to empty follicle syndrome.
On First Egg Bank’s catalog of vitrified oocytes there is a possibility to book the oocytes of the donor you liked the most – our coordinator will get in touch with you to confirm the order. We will be also happy to assist you in donor selection on your request.
Stage 3: Egg donor suppression and stimulation
The chosen by the recipient egg donor will have a GnRH agonist injection to suppress her natural cycle. In the course of the ovarian stimulation stage, that lasts 12-14 days, the egg donor takes daily injections of medications (gonadotropins) to stimulate her ovaries to be able to retrieve enough mature oocytes to perform an egg donation cycle. The stimulation stage involves close donor monitoring to make sure that the ovarian response is proper – the donor comes for ultrasound scans and her blood is taken to evaluate estradiol serum level.
Stage 4: Recipient’s preparation to the embryo transfer procedure
While the donor undergoes stimulation, the patient takes medications (estrogens and progesterone) to prepare her linning and to create an implantation window on the day of embryo transfer. The minimal thickness of endometrium is 7 mm and the optimal one is 9.
Stage 5: Donor’s ovulation triggering and oocyte retrieval
When the ovarian follicles reach diameter of 18-20 mm which is confirmed by ultrasound images, the doctor administers the medication which will trigger donor’s ovulation (hCG) and the date of the oocyte retrieval is scheduled. In two days after the ovulation triggering the donor comes for the egg retrieval procedure. The procedure is performed under IV sedation and while the donor is asleep, under ultrasound guidance oocytes will be retrieved transvaginally through the aspiration needle into special tubes which are immediately handed over to the embryologists.
Stage 6: Oocyte fertilization and embryo transfer
The retrieved mature donor oocytes are fertilized with partner's or a donor's sperm. For the fertilization both frozen and fresh sperm samples can be used. The fertilized oocytes are graded daily and cultured to either Day 3 or 5.
An embryo transfer is a completely painless and short procedure.
Step 7: Further steps
After the egg collection a donor should return to the clinic for a scan.
The recipient will have her pregnancy blood test in 14 days after the transfer. In case the hCG tests comes back positive, the recipient is provided with a protocol of supportive treatment – the list of medications to be taken until the 12th week of the pregnancy.
View Egg donor database