IVF with donor egg is used to treat infertility arising from the inability of a woman's ovaries to produce viable eggs, which is often caused by aging or early menopause. As a woman ages, the quality of her eggs decreases over time, and the likelihood of miscarriage and birth defects increases as well. For women in their later 30s and 40s, donor egg may be the solution for getting pregnant. Donor egg is also used with the absense of ovaries and can help couples with potential genetic abnormalities that might be carried by the woman. Additionally, donor egg is also the solution for gay male couples.
IVF with donor eggs is a fertility treatment that has been available since the mid 1980’s. Oocytes (eggs) are retrieved from an egg donor and inseminated with the sperm of the intended father. Resulting embryo(s) are then transferred to the uterus of the intended mother. If there are extra eggs or embryos, they can be cryopreserved for future use.
The Donor Egg Program at IVF New England
IVF New England offers options to couples needing donor egg. Traditionally, fresh donors are selected by the intended parents either through people they know or through agencies or private recruitment efforts. Over the last several years, frozen donor egg has become an option. IVF New England was one of four founding members of the largest and most diverse national egg bank known as MyEggBank.
Both donors and recipients participate in preliminary screening procedures, including review of medical records, physical examination, blood testing, screening for genetic and infectious disease, and a psychological consultation. In order to avoid the possibility of fertilization with the donor partner’s sperm, there will be times during the donor’s treatment that she will need to abstain from sexual intercourse.
Egg Donor Categories
Egg donors are healthy women ideally between the ages of 21 and 30. The following are categories of potential egg donors:
The primary benefit to every woman who donates eggs is the altruistic aspect of helping another person or couple achieve pregnancy. Anonymous donors receive remuneration for their time, effort, inconvenience, time lost from work and in some cases there are financial benefits to women undergoing their own assisted reproductive treatment cycles who donate their eggs. Guidelines have been set by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) to assure that donor compensation is not construed as “purchasing” oocytes. Our practice abides by these guidelines.