Egg Donation

The Effects of Age on a Woman’s Eggs

The success rates with IVF are higher today than ever before. One of the most important factors affecting the pregnancy rate with IVF is egg quality which, in turn, is greatly affected by the age of the woman producing the eggs. As a woman ages, the proportion of eggs having an abnormal number of chromosomes increases. The use of eggs donated by women in their twenties is a treatment option with a very high success rate due to the high egg quality. Donor eggs are used to assist conception in women with varied reproductive problems including premature ovarian failure, decreased ovarian reserve, poor egg quality in prior IVF cycles, or women with chromosomal translocations or genetic disease that they wish to avoid passing on to their offspring. In addition, donor eggs can be used along with gestational surrogacy to allow gay men to have their own biological children.

Selecting an Egg Donor

The egg donation process begins with donor selection. The egg donor may be a family member, friend or an anonymous individual selected through an agency and screened by our staff. Once an egg donor is selected, she undergoes medical, psychological, and genetic screenings to confirm that she is an acceptable candidate.

Egg Donation Process

The egg donor consults with a reproductive attorney and then signs a contract that defines that the donated eggs and future embryos are the property of the recipient couple or individual. Once all legal documents are signed and medical screening labs have been completed, medical treatment may begin. The egg donor essentially undergoes an IVF cycle while the recipient takes estrogen and progesterone to prepare the uterus for embryo implantation. The donor’s ovaries are stimulated to produce multiple eggs; the eggs are retrieved, fertilized, and embryos are cultured. The best one or two embryos are transferred into the recipient’s uterus under ultrasound guidance. The pregnancy rate using donor egg is approximately 75-80% with a delivery rate of over 55% per embryo transfer cycle.

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