For some couples, the dream of having a child is not easily realized. Sometimes the path to parenthood must involve an egg or embryo donor. Traditional IVF works best if the woman has a sufficient supply of good-quality eggs. Unfortunately, aging of the ovaries and subsequently the woman’s eggs, is not a reversible problem. Through the use of a donor eggs, however, women who have poor egg quality (low ovarian reserve) can benefit from IVF. For over 20 years we have helped many couples experience the joy of pregnancy and childbirth through the use of donor eggs or embryos. Pregnancy success rates with egg or embryo donation at ARM have been consistently high.
Candidates for Egg Donation Include:
- Healthy women who have a low ovarian reserve due to premature ovarian failure
- Women who have had a poor response to ovarian stimulation medications
- Some women with a genetic condition that may be passed from mother to child
- Multiple failed IVF cycles
- Prior chemotherapy or radiation that has damaged the ovaries
- Women over 42 years of age
Sources of Eggs Include:
- Recruited anonymous donors that our program locates for you
- Anonymous donors identified through an independent agency
- Anonymous donors who have already donated and frozen eggs at an egg bank
Egg donation can be anonymous and non-anonymous (“known”).
Anonymous egg donors must meet the following criteria:
- Age between 21 and 32 years
- Good general health
- No significant medical problems
- No current or prior history of drug abuse or sexually transmitted diseases
- Successful completion of the psychological evaluation
Our donors are all caring individuals who wish to help an infertile couple receive the gift of life. Some are students at local colleges or graduate schools, while others are working professionals. Regardless, all donors are required to provide an extensive personal and family health profile, which is provided to the prospective recipient couple. Our program’s philosophy is to provide as much information as possible to the recipient couple regarding anonymous donors without ever divulging their identity. Similarly, the egg donor would never receive any information regarding the identity of our patients. All of these donors are counseled extensively regarding the entire donation process, including the absolute need to maintain confidentiality. In addition, donors are compensated $8,000 upon completion of the egg donation cycle.
A donor egg cycle involves several steps. The egg donor undergoes ovulation induction with fertility medications (FSH) to cause her ovaries to create many eggs. Once her eggs mature they are collected under light anesthesia using vaginal ultrasound. Once retrieved, the eggs are combined with the sperm and allowed to fertilize. Sometimes intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is employed to increase fertilization rates, especially if sperm problems are present.
The fertilized eggs, now called embryos, are allowed to mature and grow under controlled conditions in specialized incubators in the IVF Lab. Once ready, the embryos are transferred to the recipient woman. The donor egg recipient receives medications to prepare her endometrium to receive the embryo(s). We call this synchronization. Often extra embryos are available that can be frozen and stored as a “backup”. This may allow additional children to be born from a single egg donor cycle. The child produced will have the genetic makeup of the father and the egg donor.
Egg donors receive compensation for their time and inconvenience. Most donors have a sincere desire to help couples conceive. Qualified egg donor candidates who are interested in helping infertile couples enjoy the gift of parenthood should contact the Donor Egg Program by calling 732-339-9300.
Embryo donation is a procedure that enables frozen embryos that were created by couples undergoing fertility treatment to be transferred to other infertile women in order to achieve a pregnancy. Often the donating couple has completed childbearing but wish to donate their remaining frozen embryos to another woman/couple. Some of these embryos derive from egg donor cycles or have had chromosomal testing. Genetic embryo biopsy allows us to know the sex of the frozen embryo before transfer. Chromosomal testing makes these embryos much more likely to produce a baby for the embryo recipient couple. For more information, please call the Donor Egg Program by calling 732-339-9300.