Egg donation is one of the most popular modern assisted reproductive technologies. This program helps women become pregnant who are unable to produce healthy eggs on their own, even with medication support. It is also often used after several failed in vitro fertilization attempts.
This is a fairly popular technique that is used in different countries. But many women are afraid to go for it, through the possible risks to the health of their own and their child. Therefore, we decided to tell you how the selection of women for donation is going on, in fact, how the donation process goes, as well as the subtleties and possible risks.
Who can be an egg donor?
The egg donation program includes women aged 18 to 34 years who, at the time of donation, have their own healthy child. A woman must be genetically, physically and mentally healthy, and any bad habits (alcohol, smoking or drugs) are also excluded. Before registering as a donor, she undergoes a comprehensive medical examinations, gynecologist, psychiatrist, therapist and passes a large number of various tests: sexually transmitted infections, AIDS, syphilis, hepatitis, cancer, hair tests for drugs.
And also a donor woman undergoes a highly specialized genetic test, which excludes genetic and other diseases in her and her family, about which they often do not even know. If necessary, additional examinations are also possible.
How is the procedure going?
Egg cells donation is the voluntary donation of your own mature eggs suitable for fertilization. Later they are used for IVF procedures for infertile couples. Freshly obtained (own) eggs are more commonly used, but pre-cryo-frozen egg cells can also be used.
Our center has its own database with a portfolio of women who have previously agreed to become egg donors. They have undergone a complete examination and are completely healthy.
In order for the donation to be successful, the following steps are carried out:
- A female donor is selected in the database. The couple is shown the donor profile, where the full phenotype of the woman is collected, sometimes with photographs and complete information (for example, favorite subjects at school, meals, sports activities, scientific activities, and much more). And also the database contains all the examinations and test results of the donor.
- After the selection, the donor woman undergoes a second medical examination and key tests. And preparation begins.
- For one month, a course of hormonal therapy is carried out in order to synchronize the menstrual cycles of the donor and recipient. The donor woman undergoes controlled ovulation stimulation in order to obtain several healthy eggs. For the female recipient, hormones are prescribed to prepare the endometrium for embryo replanting. This is done in the case of using own eggs. If frozen is used, then the endometrium of the recipient woman’s uterus is simply prepared for transplantation, without the participation of the donor.
- After the preparatory steps have been passed, egg donation takes place. From a donor woman, ovarian follicles are punctured transvaginally and several mature eggs are taken. At this time, the man (future father) donates sperm. And the laboratory assistant selects the most active ones, and subsequently they fertilize the eggs in vitro (in a test tube) or using ICSI (manual injection of the sperm into the egg).
- Fertilized eggs grow in the laboratory for 4-6 days. Mature and healthy embryos are implanted by a fertility specialist in a recipient woman who will continue to carry a pregnancy and, as a result, will give birth. The fertilized embryos that remain are cryo-frozen and stored in special embryological laboratories. They can be used on subsequent pregnancy attempts.
What are the risks of IVF with donor eggs?
Any donor program has its own risks, including an in vitro fertilization procedure with donor eggs. But in a greater degree they are exaggerated and are found in very rare cases.
- Embryos from donor eggs often do not attach to the uterine wall. In fact, before carrying out embryo replanting, the doctor monitors their development through a microscope every day and only viable and fully developed embryos that have the greatest chance of attaching are implanted. Indeed, there may be a chance that the embryo is NOT implanted into the wall, but this chance is no greater than when IVF is performed with its own eggs. It should also be taken into account that an important factor is the preparation of the uterus for attachment. And it is not a ready-made endometrium that can cause an unsuccessful attempt.
- There is a risk of giving birth to a child with deviations and defects. The option of giving birth to a child with deviations and genetic defects with the IVF technique is minimal. After all, before that, the donor woman takes a detailed genetic test and if she has genetic disorders, such a donor is not accepted. Also, while the embryos are developing, a complete genetic analysis can be performed on them. This is an innovative method to ensure that the embryo is completely healthy. The whole process is automated, so the reliability of the analysis of the embryo genome for chromosomal and monogenic abnormalities is more than 99%. Thus, the chance of having a child with defects is almost completely eliminated.
So, just like any medical intervention in the human body has its own risks, IVF can have various complications. But they appear very rarely and modern medicine successfully copes with them.
There are also studies that show that IVF with donor egg cells is more effective than with your own. As, eggs are taken exclusively from a completely healthy woman and the chance of fertilization, embryo implantation and the development of a healthy child is much greater.
Thus, you can make sure that the in vitro fertilization program with donor egg cells is as safe as possible from the consequences and complications for the recipient woman and the future child.
Contact our center and we will choose the best donor eggs for you!