What is an egg donation IVF cycle?
The donor egg IVF cycle is similar to a traditional IVF cycle. The egg donor receives a treatment of fertility drugs, stimulating multiple eggs to grow and mature. Once mature, the eggs are removed from the donor’s ovaries and fertilized with the male partner’s sperm to create embryos. These embryos are then transferred into the recipient patient’s uterus.
The recipient is placed on hormone therapy to ensure an optimal environment for the embryos to implant and grow in her uterus. Dr. Susan Hudson will monitor blood work and the growth of the uterine lining with ultrasound to determine exactly when the uterus is best able to accept the embryos. Embryo transfer usually occurs on either day 3 or day 5 after fertilization.
The donor egg IVF cycle is a process with many moving pieces, including synchronizing two different menstrual cycles, but it can produce successful results for infertile couples. And in most patients undergoing egg donation IVF, a positive pregnancy test can be achieved as early as 11 days after the embryo transfer. For many couples, donor oocytes -eggs- and donor sperm may be the fertility treatment that results in a child of their own.
Candidates for egg donation
Oocyte -egg- donation is a viable and successful fertility treatment for couples who are having difficulty achieving pregnancy. When consulting with Texas Fertility Center of New Braunfels, Dr. Hudson may suggest donor egg IVF as a fertility treatment depending upon your age, past fertility treatments, if you are experiencing diminished ovarian reserve or ovarian failure or if there are genetic concerns.
Diminished egg quantity and quality
Age plays a significant role in infertility. Women are born with a limited number of eggs. As they age, the number and quality of eggs diminish, decreasing the odds for a successful natural cycle and for a successful IVF cycle. With age also comes an increased risk of miscarriage and chromosome abnormalities that can result in birth defects, such as Trisomy 21 (Down’s syndrome).
Unsuccessful IVF treatments
For some women, IVF treatments can be continually unsuccessful. Ovarian stimulation protocols may fail to produce eggs, may only produce a few eggs, or may produce low-quality eggs that result in poor prognosis embryos. Poor prognosis embryos may fail to develop properly and stop growing in the IVF laboratory, fail to implant after embryo transfer or potentially result in miscarriage of the pregnancy.
Premature ovarian failure or diminished ovarian reserve
Premature ovarian failure -POF- is the loss of ovarian function before age 40. During premature ovarian failure, the woman ceases to ovulate at an early age and complete ovarian failure will require the use of donor eggs. Although a different condition, women with severe diminished ovarian reserve may also benefit from the use of donor eggs.
Genetic diseases or illness
Genetic diseases and illnesses such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, spinal muscular atrophy, Tay-Sachs or thalassemia can be passed down to the child if both parents carry the gene. If both partners are found to be carriers of the same recessive genetic disorders, there is a 25 percent chance that the child will be affected. Donor eggs are an option that can be used to stop the expression of high-risk genes from the female partner.
Where do donor eggs come from and how are they screened?
It typically takes about six weeks for a potential egg donor to complete the screening process. Screening includes an interview that will include a full medical history. Other tests will include:
- Drug screen
- Blood testing for various genetic illnesses
- Ultrasound and physical exam
- Psychological evaluation
- Infectious disease screening
Egg donor testing routinely looks for: infectious diseases, pelvic abnormalities, psychological disorders, and genetic conditions that could be passed on to a child.
Donor sperm services
If male infertility is a factor in a couple’s difficulty to conceive a child, donor sperm is an effective alternative. Donor sperm can be used in either artificial insemination -IUI- or in vitro fertilization -IVF- treatments.
Dr. Hudson and her team at Texas Fertility Center of New Braunfels know that infertility is a highly personal and emotional journey, and want to guide you through it to a successful pregnancy. Call today to discuss your options.