Egg Donation Cycle: Overview
Once the eggs are retrieved from the egg donor, they are separated from the follicular fluid and prepared for fertilization by our donor egg program embryologists. The world-renowned embryologist Barry Behr, Ph.D. is the laboratory director for our California donor egg program.
If the eggs are scheduled for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), sperm will be injected directly into the eggs before incubation. The infertility specialist will consult each couple prior to the cycle when ICSI is necessary.
The eggs are placed in incubators after they are fertilized and remain there for 3-5 days (sometimes longer periods are necessary). Often a developing embryo will advance to the blastocyst stage by day 5. Blastocysts are heartier and generally produce better outcomes. Since they are more likely to implant and develop, fewer can be transferred, thus lowering the incidence of multiple births.
The donor egg recipient will come to the HRC donor egg clinic for the embryo transfer. She is notified once the infertility specialist and embryologist judge that the embryos are mature and ready for transfer.
Embryo transfer into the recipient's uterus is a painless procedure requiring less than 10 minutes. The patient returns to the HRC Fertility donor egg clinic for a pregnancy test as instructed.