For many patients, donor egg or donor sperm are the only option to create their family.
Whether the reason is medical, age-related, or simply a social situation, egg or sperm donation provide an excellent chance for success!
When should you consider using donor eggs?
- Age-related infertility
- Multiple failed IVF cycles
- A history of chemotherapy
- Diminished ovarian reserve
- Premature menopause
- Known genetic defect in the female partner
The first step in utilizing donated oocytes (eggs) is to choose an egg donor. All egg donors undergo a strenuous screening process. This includes a personal medical history, a multi-generational family medical history, and tests for sexually transmitted disease, hundreds of genetic diseases, substance abuse, and a psychological assessment, among others. These test results, as well as their physical characteristics, are presented to the intended parent(s). Once the intended parents confirm their donor choice, the treatment cycle can begin.
Each donor egg cycle takes approximately two months to complete. It involves giving the recipient estrogen and progesterone to prepare the uterus for implantation. The donor is given medication to mature many eggs. Once the eggs are mature, they are removed from the body, fertilized in the laboratory with the intended father’s sperm, and then embryos are placed into the intended mother’s uterus. Estrogen and progesterone supplementation is continued for approximately ten weeks, and then the pregnancy proceeds as usual.
When should you consider using donor sperm?
- Severe male factor infertility
- Known genetic defect in the male partner
- Single women
- Same-sex couples
Donor sperm is generally obtained from a commercial sperm bank. Every major sperm bank has a website where you will be able to review the policies and screening procedures for the donors, as well as see characteristics of each individual donor. Once you choose a donor, you will have the sperm sent to TFC for use in IUI or in IVF procedures. Donor sperm can be used in natural (unstimulated) cycles, as well as in cycles stimulated with either oral medications (such as Clomid or Femara) or the injectable gonadotropins. Donor sperm can also be used with IVF if IVF is required for other reasons.