Egg Donation Fertility Treatment
|What Is Egg Donation?
Egg donation is a type of infertility treatment. It is where one woman (the egg donor) has eggs from her ovaries surgically removed and donates them to another woman (the recipient). The eggs are fertilized in a laboratory using the recipient’s partner's sperm. Then, using IVF treatment, the resulting embryos are implanted in the host mother and a normal pregnancy ensues. Unlike sperm donation, which has been around for decades, egg donation is a relatively new infertility treatment (the first baby born via donor eggs was in 1984). Currently about 30,000 babies every year in the United States are conceived by egg donation. The process is carried out by egg donation clinics and is regulated by the FDA.
Egg Donation: The Donors
Most egg donors receive compensation for their eggs. This fee averages between $3,000 and $5,000 per cycle of harvested eggs (in comparison, sperm donors only receive about $100). In fact, the ASRM (American Society for Reproductive Medicine) has set guidelines for how much egg donors should be paid. They state in their ethics code that:
Most clinics have a set list of criteria as to the type of donor they want on their books. It should also be noted, that even if you pass all the criteria you may still not be accepted. Although it isn't written anywhere or even discussed, your physical appearance will play a role. See, what type of donors do clinics want? for a list of criteria.
The procedure is lengthy, often taking months, and involves working with lawyers, psychologists and fertility doctors. You will have to take fertility drugs to boost your egg production and undergo a minor operation to have those eggs harvested. You will have to sign a contract relinquishing all paternal rights to any resulting baby.
In short, yes. Donating eggs involves pelvic examinations, blood tests and daily injections of fertility medications which can cause side effects such as nausea, bloating and headaches. When it comes to the time to harvest the eggs you will be given a local anesthetic and a transvaginal ultrasound aspiration is performed (see picture). This invasive surgery carries the risk of injury to organs near the ovaries. To date no evidence exists to suggest that it causes infertility long-term in the donor.
Egg Donation: The Recipients
Egg donation is an expensive form of assisted reproduction technology. Not only do you have to cover your own medical costs, but also those of the egg donor and her fees. All in, expect to pay between $25,000 and $30,000 per cycle. For this, you can expect to receive about 10 to 15 eggs from your donor who will be taking fertility medications to boost her production before 'harvesting'.
For more details, see what is the cost of egg donation?
Your doctor may recommend egg donation if you:
Your doctor will prepare your womb for receiving the embryos by giving you high doses of estrogen and progesterone hormone injections. When the eggs are removed from the donor, they are delivered to the lab for fertilization by your partner’s sperm. The resulting embryos are incubated for 3 days and graded. Using IVF procedure, only the best of the embryos (the ones most likely to survive) are implanted in your womb. A pregnancy test will be carried out 9 to 11 days later. This is considered one egg donation cycle. According to a study presented at the IVF World Congress, the success rate of pregnancy after egg donation is 80 percent after 4 cycles. For more details, see how does egg donation work?
BEST EGG DONOR CLINICS
New York and New Jersey
|Related Articles on Egg Donors And Recipients
For more advice, see the following:
• Reproductive system disorders: What can go wrong 'down there'.
Back to Homepage: Womens Health Advice