Egg donation is the single most successful form of fertility treatment in existence. With proper management of the multitude variables involved, including uterine preparation, donor selection, ovarian stimulation, laboratory conditions and embryo transfer, success rates can approach 70-80%.
The prospect of egg donation is daunting to many patients. This post will go through the logistical steps required when one is utilizing donor egg to become pregnant. Importantly, each situation is unique and therefore this is a general guide. Depending on the individual patients and donor, more or less steps may be required. For example, if a donor has donated before, some of the screening steps may have already been completed. Alternatively, if a specific issue arises with a donor, more testing may be required.
1. Consultation with your physician to discuss egg donation.
2. Make sure that all the important fertility factors other than the eggs (uterus, sperm, pre-natal lab tests etc.) are optimized. This may include more specific sperm tests and uterine evaluation such as HSG or hydrosonagram.
3. Choose 1-3 potential egg donors. Donors are available through our practice or through egg donation agencies. Alternatively, some people choose donors who are friends or relatives.
4. Initial donor screening/ records review. Your physician will evaluate the potential donors from their medical records and donor profile report. The doctor will be looking to ensure that the donor is healthy, will produce an adequate number of eggs, and is not at increased risk to pass on a genetic disease.
5. Select your donor. Based on the doctor’s recommendations, you will be able to choose the donor that best suites you.
6. Secondary donor screening. The chosen donor will visit your doctor for a face-to-face interview and physical exam, including trans-vaginal ultrasound. If the physical and interview go well, she will also undergo a blood test for some specific genetic diseases.
7. Psychological evaluation. In addition to the medical screening, donors are screened form a psychological perspective. This ensures that they do not harbor any mental illness and are not donating for inappropriate reasons.
8. Legal contracts. A lawyer familiar with reproductive law will draw up contracts establishing that the intended parents have full rights and responsibilities in regards to all offspring generated from the egg donation process.
9. Build a calendar. Based on all parties’ schedules, a calendar is constructed to synchronize the cycles of the donor and recipient. The calendar will include expected dates for menses, medication, doctor visits, egg retrieval, embryo transfer and pregnancy test.
10. Begin the cycle. Once medication starts, embryo transfer usually takes place about 4 weeks later.
Egg donation is a wonderful for building a family. If you have any questions about egg donation or fertility treatment in general. Feel free to contact us, we are happy to chat with you.