Not everyone has the option to conceive or carry a child naturally. Egg donation and surrogacy can create opportunities for many patients to become parents, including LGBT couples and mothers suffering from severe fertility problems.
Individuals in Los Angeles, CA, Tarzana, CA, Bakersfield, CA, and surrounding areas who are considering the benefits of egg donation can learn more about the egg donor and surrogacy process as offered by the fertility specialists at The Center for Fertility and Gynecology.
The Selection Process
To start the egg donor process, prospective parents must select an egg donor. If the intended mother will not be carrying the embryo herself or if the intended parents are a gay couple, then a surrogate must also be chosen. Patients have the option to choose an egg donor and surrogate among their friends and family, or they can choose a candidate from our database. We work with carefully screened and highly qualified women who are ready to help our patients on their pursuit of parenthood.
Donor and Surrogate Screening
Although the donors in our database are pre-screened, there will be a secondary screening process after a family has chosen to work with them. Both egg donors and surrogates may undergo a genetic, physical, and psychological screening. These tests are performed to ensure our patients are working with only the most qualified egg donors and surrogates.
In preparation of egg donation, donors undergo ovarian stimulation. Egg donors are given a series of fertility medications that stimulate the ovaries and encourage the production of multiple mature eggs. To prepare the carrier or surrogate for an embryo transfer, she is given her own combination of injectable and oral fertility medications. The medications given to the carrier build up the lining of the uterus, or the endometrium, so it is prepared to support the implantation of an embryo.
Following ovarian stimulation, the egg donor will undergo egg retrieval. This is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that is performed with the patient under conscious sedation. Using ultrasound guidance, a small thin needle attached to a catheter is inserted through the vaginal wall. Using light suction, the catheter retrieves mature eggs one by one.
Collected eggs are fertilized in our laboratory using a concentrated sperm sample that has been collected by the intended father or sperm donor. Eggs are evaluated for several days to observe the success of fertilization. On day three or five of the fertilization process, embryos are graded, and the desired number are selected for embryo transfer. Remaining embryos can be frozen for future fertility treatments.
The final step of the egg donation and surrogacy process is embryo transfer. Like egg retrieval, embryo transfer is a minimally invasive procedure. Embryos are placed in a thin catheter. The catheter is passed through the vagina and cervix to reach the uterus, where embryos are deposited. Ideally, embryos will implant to the lining of the uterus, thus resulting in pregnancy.
If you are interested in learning more about the egg donation and surrogacy process, the fertility specialists at The Center for Fertility and Gynecology would be happy to answer any questions you may have. To get in touch, send us a message online or call (818) 881-9800 at your earliest convenience.