Using an egg donor is a good option for couples that are trying to conceive when their infertility is the result of the quality of the woman’s eggs. A donated egg from another woman can be the key to a successful cycle of IVF for a couple that is struggling with infertility.
An egg donor is a woman who offers the use of her eggs to be fertilized by the man’s sperm with the purpose to have the embryo implanted in the intended mother. The egg donor is the biological mother of the child, but not the birth mother. To put it simply, she provides a healthy egg for fertilization for another woman’s baby.
The use of an egg donor in infertility treatments is growing in popularity, particularly for women who are over 40. According to WebMD.com, 12 percent of the assisted reproductive techniques (ART) in 2005 were achieved using a donor egg in the cycle. Those numbers have likely increased over the past decade as well.
The best candidates for ART procedures using donor eggs include:
- Women with a history of failed IVF cycles where egg quality is the suspected problem
- Women over 40 whose ovarian reserve is greatly diminished and of poor quality
- Women who have a history of genetically transmitted diseases
- Women who suffer from premature ovarian failure, a condition caused by an early menopause typically for women who are under 40
- Women who do not respond well to fertility drugs
- Women who have had chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer or ovarian surgery
Egg donors have a rigorous screening before they are approved to donate their eggs. Egg donation agencies will test for both physical and mental health as well as for emotional well-being before a candidate is chosen to have her eggs harvested. Candidates who have been approved by the egg donation agency will have their eggs removed through surgery to be used for IVF cycles immediately or frozen for future use.
Women wishing to use an egg donor are connected with the agency, typically through their fertility specialist. They will choose their donor based on the profile and workup the agency provides. Once legal documentation is signed where the donor releases her rights to any children conceived with her donated eggs, the birth and biological mother can determine what level of involvement the donor will play in the future of the child.
Many couples have started families using an egg donor and IVF. It is often the best option for women who want to carry a child but whose eggs are not viable. Talk to your fertility specialist to see if egg donation is right for your next cycle of treatment. It may be the difference it takes to achieve a healthy pregnancy.
“Donor Eggs in Fertility Treatments.” www.webmd.com. Web. 5 March 2014. <http://www.webmd.com/infertility-and-reproduction/guide/donor-eggs-in-fertility-treatments >
Trimarchi, Maria. “Egg Donation Overview.” Health. Howstuffworks.com. Web. 5 March 2014. <http://health.howstuffworks.com/pregnancy-and-parenting/pregnancy/fertility/egg-donation.htm>