Straight and lesbian couples, or single women unable to conceive on their own, who have tried and failed IVF, can realize their dreams of becoming a parent with donor eggs.
According to the CDC, 12% of all IVF cycles in the U.S. involve eggs retrieved from donors. Donor egg IVF has the highest success rate of any fertility treatment – 54-55% nationally. This is because donor eggs come from young, fertile women. At Virginia Fertility Associates our success rate is 65-70%.
Who are appropriate candidates for Donor Egg IVF?
- Women with premature ovarian failure, defined as premature menopause that occurs before age 40. If you are over 44, the odds of conceiving with IVF using your own eggs are only 0.8%.
- Women with premature ovarian failure, diminished ovarian reserves or poor egg quality due to age-related decline in fertility.
- Women known to be carriers of significant genetic defects that could be passed on to a child.
- Women with a history of failure with IVF, believed due to problems with their egg quality.
Infertility takes an emotional toll. Feelings of grief over the loss of fertility causes distress over perceived failure at what is so natural to others. Not to mention the despair of losing the chance to have a family. Stress and anxiety are normal. When all other options are off the table, donor-egg IVF could be the answer.
Preparing yourself for Donor Egg IVF
You and your partner must be psychologically ready to move forward. You will both receive pre-IVF psychological counseling to address the psychological and social aspects of donor-egg reproduction. Understand that not being biologically related to your child is a big loss, and you may need time to grieve. But the desire to have a child is strong. You can have that family you dreamed of. It will simply be a bit different than you expected. Remember that you will be carrying your partner’s child, and you will form strong bonds with your baby during the pregnancy.
It is normal to be anxious about the potential for your donor to be involved with your child’s life. Legal preparations will address topics like what to do with extra eggs, freezing embryos and paternal rights. Realize that donors usually sign away their legal rights to any children born with their eggs.
Finding and Choosing an Egg Donor
The next challenge is to find the “right” egg donor. It can take weeks or months to find the right donor and confirm all the legal and medical arrangements. So be patient.
You can find your own donor or select an anonymous donor. You could decide to ask a friend or family member for an egg donation. Finding a donor through your fertility doctor will provide you with the comfort in knowing that the donor will have been screened, is healthy, has healthy eggs, has a good medical history, was screened for many of the most common genetic problems in the population and has similar personality characteristics, intelligence and longevity. The donor must pass an FDA-required round of testing including all infectious disease testing before an official match is made.
Ideal donors are women between the ages of 21 and 29 who have received psychological, medical and genetic screening. A young, healthy donor produces high-quality eggs. High quality eggs are associated with higher success rates. Once a potential donor match is made our IVF coordinator will help you manage the process.
Donated eggs from qualified donors may be provided fresh or frozen. Frozen eggs are eggs that come from a donor who previously underwent an IVF cycle. This eliminates the necessity of putting the donor through an IVF cycle.
Donor egg IVF
When you choose fresh eggs, both you and your donor will receive a cycle of hormones to synchronize your reproductive cycles to ensure that your donor is ovulating when your uterus can support an embryo. Fertility drugs will help the donor’s eggs to mature, and prepare your uterus for pregnancy.
Going forward, the procedure is identical to IVF. Your partner’s sperm will be combined with your donor’s eggs in a lab. A few days later, the fertilized eggs will be inserted into your uterus. Your fertility specialist at Virginia Fertility Associates will discuss with you the possibilities of twins or triplets. In about 40% of donor egg IVF more than one embryo implants and you may have multiple births.
At Virginia Fertility Associates in Richmond, VA, your doctor will be with you throughout your journey. Our excellent fertility specialists are a kind and caring, world-class fertility experts with top credentials. They will be your allies in your efforts to conceive.
Fertility is an intimate, private and sensitive issue. Our fertility specialists will listen to you, answer your questions and treat you with respect. We are committed to patient-centered care and support the active involvement of patients and their families. We will be responsive to your preferences, needs and values, and empower you to make choices, provide support and information. You can feel confident and safe with Virginia Fertility Associates.