Egg Donation Process
Egg donation is a process in which a fertile woman donates an egg, or oocyte, to another woman to help her conceive. It is a part of assisted reproductive technology or ART.
The most common reason why single women and couples turn to egg donation is poor egg quality due to advanced maternal age. A woman’s egg quality lessens as she ages and significantly declines after age 37.
Who Uses Egg Donation?
- Couples in which the woman has poor-quality or no eggs, but who want a biological child using the male’s sperm
- Women with no ovaries but an intact uterus
- Women with genetic factors that they do not want to pass on to their children
- Women over the age of 42
- The egg donor gets hormone injections to induce ovulation of multiple eggs. Women naturally release one egg a month and the injections allow a large number of eggs to mature at the same time. Once her eggs are mature and ready for retrieval, her fertility doctor schedules the procedure.
- The egg donor is put under sedation and her doctor uses an ultrasound-guided needle inserted into each mature follicle to retrieve each egg. The lab will attempt to fertilize several eggs in a laboratory using the recipient’s partner’s sperm or selected donor sperm. This process is in vitro fertilization (IVF).
- An embryo (fertilized egg) is then transferred into the recipient’s uterus.
In a fresh transfer cycle, the donor and the recipient’s cycles are synchronized using medication.
In a frozen transfer, the embryos are frozen and typically transferred at a later time. Frozen transfers are sometimes utilized so that preimplantation genetic screening for aneuploidy (an abnormal number of chromosomes) can be performed.
If successful, the embryo will implant into the uterine lining and develop into a healthy baby.