Egg Donation: Definition & Explanation
Egg donation is the process of selecting and retrieving eggs, or donor oocytes, from an egg donor and placing them into the recipient’s uterus during IVF treatment. Intended parents can choose an egg donor candidate based on a variety of criteria. Once a donor is chosen, she will take fertility medications to produce multiple eggs for retrieval to be used in conjunction with IVF.
When Is an Egg Donor Recommended?
Egg donation is a fertility treatment used for women who have a healthy uterus but no eggs or poor quality eggs that have not been responsive to fertility medications and IVF treatment. If there are male factor considerations as well, such as low sperm count or motility, egg donation can be used in combination with ICSI.
Egg Donation — Getting Started
If you believe that egg donation is right for your family, the first step toward finding an egg donor is to schedule a consultation. During your consultation, you will meet with one of our board-certified fertility specialists, who will help you craft an affordable and effective fertility treatment plan. Our financial counselors are available to walk you through our payment plans & insurance options.
Egg Donation — Related Topics
Egg donation is commonly used in combination with IVF. Learn more about other advanced IVF treatments:
View more infertility treatments »
Egg Donation Process
Finding an egg donor can be a difficult and challenging process. At Fertility Solutions, we have the expertise to guide you through fertility treatment options and provide compassionate care as we help you grow your family:
Step 1 — Finding an Egg Donor
Choosing your egg donor is a very personal process. There are many dimensions to consider, including personality, intelligence, physical appearance, ethnicity and more. Most couples or individuals will identify a donor through one of several egg donation agencies. Fertility Solutions can also help a patient identify their own egg donor, such as a family member or friend. With the help of our fertility specialists, we are confident you will find suitable donor.
Step 2 — Legalities
Once an egg donor has been chosen, a contract will be drawn up, by an attorney who specializes in fertility law within your geographic region. We can recommend skilled fertility lawyers in your area.
Step 3 — Fertility Medications
Your egg donor will take fertility medications to produce several mature eggs for retrieval. Her ovaries will be monitored to ensure that egg removal is performed at the correct time. To increase the probability of a successful IVF cycle, it is very important that the eggs are at the correct level of maturity at the time of retrieval.
Step 4 — Egg Retrieval
Egg retrieval is a minimally invasive procedure. A hollow needle enters the ovaries through the vagina and uses suction to retrieve eggs (follicles) for IVF.
Step 5 — IVF
The eggs and sperm are placed in a laboratory dish for fertilization, and then the embryo is transferred to the mother’s uterus.
Step 7 — Follow-Up
The next two weeks involve a lot of waiting and checkup visits with your fertility specialist. Afterward, a blood test is given to determine whether you are pregnant. With expert treatment, attentive care and just a little luck, you will have a positive result. Then it is time to start planning for the new addition to your family!
Possible Egg Donation side effects include multiple births, minor physical discomfort and stress.
Facts about Egg Donation
- The first human birth from a donated egg was on February 3, 1984 here in the U.S.
- Over 47,000 live births have resulted from donor egg cycles in the United States.
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