Donor egg IVF makes parenthood possible
Women who are unable to produce or use their own eggs require donated eggs. The following are some of the reasons why patients may turn to donor egg IVF.
- Premature menopause
- Genetic abnormality
- Carriers of a genetic disorder
- Poor ovarian response to hormonal stimulation
- Absence of the ovaries
- Ovarian failure due to chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment
Donor and recipient matching as part of egg donor IVF
Recipients complete a profile form listing the personal and physical qualities they want in their donor. There are three options when selecting a donor, including internal (from our in house program), agency or known.
We have an in-house donor egg program available to our patients. If you are working with an agency, they will contact us with your information. Once you match with a donor, we will schedule the screening appointments for her.
The process for the donor when conceiving with donor eggs
After completing the paperwork, your donor will start ovarian stimulation with her next menses. We will time it using oral contraceptive pills (OCP). As the next step, she will begin receiving injections of gonadotropins (Follistim, Gonal-F).
Once the egg-containing follicles are mature, usually after 10-12 days of medications, the donor takes an injection of human chronic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone is necessary for the final maturation of the eggs.
We accomplish the egg retrieval non-surgically using vaginal ultrasound guidance. An anesthesiologist will administer the sedation to the donor for maximize comfort and safety.
Fertilization and preparation for embryo transfer
Our laboratory team isolates the eggs from the follicular fluid and places them in culture media. A few hours later, the eggs undergo fertilization. If the parents want genetic testing, we perform a biopsy just before freezing the embryos. Genetic testing results are usually available 5-7 business days following biopsy.
The mother will start the preparation for the embryo transfer once the donor’s stimulation starts. She will take birth control pills to prepare for the embryo transfer. Then, the physician will perform testing.
The mother will then start a medication called Lupron (GnRH agonist) to suppress ovulation and begin hormone stimulation with estradiol to prepare her uterine lining for implantation. Approximately 4 to 6 days before the transfer, she will receive daily injections of progesterone.
Embryo transfer and follow-up care for donor egg IVF
At Fertility Specialists of Texas, we perform all embryo transfers under ultrasound guidance. The ultrasound allows for the accurate placement of the embryo in the uterus. The transfer is a painless procedure, and the patient can go home the same day.
To ensure an optimal environment for implantation, the mother continues the hormone injections during the post-embryo transfer phase. Ten days after the embryo transfer, we perform a pregnancy test.
If the test is positive, the hormone injections continue until 12 weeks gestation. We will confirm a clinical pregnancy with an ultrasound to detect a fetal heartbeat at approximately 7.5 weeks. Our team performs additional ultrasound monitoring 1-2 weeks later to monitor fetal growth until releasing the woman to her OBGYN.
Donors come forward voluntarily. They are well-motivated and usually complete the treatment for egg donation. It is, however, completely within their rights to withdraw from treatment at any given time until egg retrieval.
There may be a rare occasion when the donor does not produce enough follicles or stimulates too quickly. In either of these instances, the treatment cycle may be canceled. If the treatment cycle is stopped the physician will discuss the circumstances and plans of another attempt will be considered.
Contact us to learn more about conceiving with donor eggs.