Egg donation is a process in which the eggs of a young, healthy woman (donor) are combined with sperm in the laboratory via in-vitro fertilization (IVF). The resulting embryos are transferred to the uterus of the recipient. Egg donation is a viable option for women who may be at risk of passing on a genetic condition or who face ovary function or egg production issues.
Our team of experienced doctors, nurses and counselors can help women and couples explore this option, and determine whether egg donation is the right approach for you.
Initial consultations for potential egg recipients involve:
- Reviewing your medical history
- Comprehensive review of the egg donation and recipient process
- Complete physical examination
- Extensive evaluation of your financial considerations and options
The RMANJ complementary care staff can answer any and all questions you may have at any time during the process.
Who Are the Egg Donors?
Egg donors come from one of three sources:
1) Anonymous donors identified and screened by RMANJ
2) Anonymous donors identified through a commercial service
3) Known donors identified by the patient (family member, friend)
Women who participate in RMANJ’s Ovatures Egg Donation Program as anonymous donors must undergo an extensive medical, genetic and psychological screening process using standards established by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).
Couples who choose an anonymous donor through our program will have their name placed on a waiting list until a suitable match becomes available. When a donor becomes available, the recipient will receive a full report on the candidate. You can choose not to accept a donor for any reason without compromising your position on the wait list.
What’s involved for egg recipients and donors?
1) The Prep Cycle – 2 Weeks
Women with functioning ovaries are given a medication such as Lupron® to temporarily stop the ovaries from producing hormones. Estrogen is introduced to stimulate thickening of the uterine lining. Progesterone is then used to end the prep cycle and the woman menstruates. The couple is then placed on the waiting list for a donor.
2) Coordination of Donor and Recipient – 8-12 Days
Hormones are used to synchronize both the donor’s and the recipient’s menstrual cycles. Each are also treated with oral contraceptives. The recipient is treated with the medications that she received during the prep cycle. For donors, injectable fertility medications stimulate the development of multiple follicles containing eggs.
3) Egg Retrieval – 36 Hours
When the follicles are mature, the hormone hCG is used to initiate the final maturation of the egg in the donor. The recipient is treated with progesterone on the day of the retrieval to prepare her uterus to receive the embryos.
Once eggs are retrieved from the donor, they are examined by an embryologist, placed in an incubator and inseminated with sperm. The fertilized eggs are placed in medium to promote growth prior to implantation.
4) Embryo Transfer – 6 Days
Embryos are typically transferred to the recipient’s uterus six days after the retrieval. Embryos that have been cultured in the laboratory are placed into a woman’s uterus using a catheter, which is inserted through the cervix. The transfer is an ultrasound-guided procedure that does not require anesthesia.
5) Testing for Pregnancy – 2 – 7 Weeks
An RMANJ doctor will measure the recipient’s progesterone levels after one week to ensure they are sufficient to support a pregnancy. If she becomes pregnant after 14 days, hormonal support is continued and progress is monitored carefully for another four to five weeks. The expectant mother’s care is then transferred to her obstetrician.