Whether you are interested in using an egg donor for reproductive assistance or you would like to become an egg donor, you are probably wondering about how does the egg donation process work?
In egg donation, a female with viable eggs will donate her oocytes to an accredited fertility center. A fertility specialist will extract the eggs from the donor’s ovaries and will either freeze them for later use or fertilize them directly and implant them into a woman’s uterus to prompt pregnancy. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that in 2012, more than 55% of egg transfers using fresh embryos resulted in live births.
The following is a brief guide aimed at helping readers understand “how does the egg donation work?”
Who might use donated eggs?
Heterosexual couples, gay couples and single men may use egg donation in order to start a family. Reasons for using a donor egg include:
- Advanced Age of Mother
- Early Menopause
- Medical Reasons
- Numerous Failed Pregnancies
Where does egg donation occur and how are the eggs sourced?
The process of egg donation occurs at a fertility clinic and is executed by a fertility specialist. Egg donors are recruited via a complex screening process.
What is the profile of an ideal egg donor?
Preferred candidates are in their twenties, have no history of genetic disorders on either side of the family, are physically fit and in sound health and do not use prescription or illegal drugs.
Is the egg donation process anonymous?
The donor’s name is kept confidential. If both parties agree to share their personal information, the couple or person seeking the donation may meet the donor before proceeding further with the implantation.
How are donors chosen?
Some parents may request a specific genetic profile. For example, they may want a donor with a similar complexion, eye color or hair color so that the child will resemble them.
How does the fertility center determine the health of a donor?
All egg donors must undergo a physical and psychological screening before undergoing egg extraction. The donor must be mentally and physically sound to be able to donate her eggs. Physical exams may include blood tests, pap smears, a pregnancy test and pelvic exam. A mental health professional may also conduct a psychological screen of the potential donor.
What is the time duration of egg donation?
The process takes up to six weeks.
What occurs before the egg extraction process?
Before the actual extraction, both the recipient and donor receive hormone therapy in order to sync both their reproductive cycles. The donor will receive multiple injections of follicle-stimulating hormone therapy which will encourage the ovaries to release mature eggs.
How are the eggs harvested?
Guided by an ultrasound machine, the specialist will use a thin, long need to aspirate the oocytes from both ovaries. This procedure occurs on an out-patient basis.
What happens post extraction?
A sample of sperm will be used to fertilize the eggs. These eggs are monitored for a few days in the lab until they become blastocysts. This type of egg is capable of manufacturing its own nutrients for survival until the implantation procedure occurs.
Before undergoing egg donation or seeking this treatment, it is important to understand how does the egg donation process work.