Some women may not be able to conceive a child using their own oocytes (eggs). The reasons vary, but may include: early menopause (premature ovarian failure), dimished egg quality, absence of the ovaries from birth, previous chemotherapy, previous ovarian surgery, prior unsuccessful fertility treatment, or genetic issues. Such patients are encouraged to explore donor egg IVF options at PREG. To be considered as a recipient for donor eggs, you must have a normal uterus and be 51 years of age or younger.

Patients of advanced reproductive age (40 years or older) are the most common donor egg recipients and able to overcome the implications of the reproductive aging process with the use of donated eggs. Patients undergoing IVF with donor eggs enjoy very high success rates because all egg donors are extensively screened for medical and genetic conditions and of ideal reproductive age. Egg donation in recent years has become a very successful option for couples that would otherwise be unable to have children.

Selecting an Egg Donor

There are two categories of egg donors – unidentified (“anonymous”) and directed (“known”). Unidentified donors are not permitted to meet you (the recipient) and cannot know whether or not a pregnancy occurred from your cycle. Egg donors are usually unidentified unless the recipient has a family member or friend that chooses to be a donor, and in that case, they would be considered a directed egg donor. All egg donors must undergo extensive screening to assure they are suitable candidates. Donors must be healthy women between the ages of 21 and 32. They are asked to complete a thorough questionnaire that is reviewed by our staff. Should they pass initial screening and be considered a potentially favorable candidate, subsequent evaluation is scheduled, featuring completion of a detailed history, physical examination, and extensive family medical history. An interview with a licensed clinical psychologist as well as PAI (personality profile) is administered to ensure there are no underlying psychological concerns present. They are also counseled on the psychological and physical effects of donating eggs to make sure they are well informed of the process as a whole. In addition, all donors are screened for sexually transmitted diseases as required by the FDA, urine drug screening, a full physical exam and comprehensive genetic carrier screening. The recipients, at their expense, may request additional genetic screening once a donor has been selected.

Those pursuing donor egg IVF will be able to review profiles of available egg donors and make a choice best for them. The profile will include egg donors’ health history, genetic carrier screening results, family health history, physical descriptions of family members, and childhood photos. This allows the recipient to make the most informed decision possible regarding their potential egg donor. Your donor egg IVF coordinator will be able to guide you through the selection process and answer any questions that you may have.

Directed (known) donors are often related to the recipient or a compassionate acquaintance. Directed donors must go through the same FDA screening as required for unidentified donors and they, along with their recipients, will be required to have psychoeducational counseling prior to treatment. In directed donor situations, it is also required that all parties involved sign a legal contract outlining the details of the egg donation. PREG can refer you to legal counsel with extensive experience in such matters.

At PREG, patients have access to our own fresh donor egg IVF program as well as all major donor egg banks, allowing for maximum selection opportunity when choosing an egg donor. Furthermore, our fresh donor egg program is multi-tiered, making what has historically been a quite expensive process much more financially obtainable for more patients. Our physicians, donor egg IVF coordinators, and financial counselors look forward to helping you learn more about your options at PREG.

Patient Evaluation

During your initial consultation at PREG, all aspects of the egg donation program and related options will be discussed. If you are not a current patient at PREG, you will need to contact us to schedule a new patient appointment.

The decision to conceive a child through the use of donor eggs can be a challenging one. As such, we’re able to make referrals for psychoeducational counseling and emotional support. We feel this is an important step, allowing an opportunity to discuss matters related to non-biological parenting, fertility struggles, parenting at an older age, potential disclosure to your children, and issues/concerns which may not even be foreseeable.

If you are over 45 years old, a letter of clearance from your OB/GYN will be required, as well as an EKG, coordinated by your primary care physician within one year, and preconception counseling with a Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) specialist. Your physician can provide referrals as needed, and the purpose is to ensure that pregnancy won’t lead to an excessive increase in medical risk.

Uterine cavity evaluation through a simple ultrasound study is necessary for those pursuing donor egg IVF. This ensures that the uterus is in optimal condition to allow for the highest possibility of a successful implantation of an embryo and progression of the pregnancy. This also allows an opportunity to perform a mock (practice) transfer to ensure that no difficulties will be encountered during the eventual embryo transfer procedure. Should abnormalities be identified, directed uterine surgery may be necessary prior to moving forward.

Both you and your partner (if applicable) must have blood work completed to screen for infectious diseases and other conditions that can affect your pregnancy. A male partner must also complete a semen analysis. Genetic testing is also available and can be discussed with your physician.

Related Resources
    • Third Party Reproduction: ASRM Patient Guide
      • The phrase “third party reproduction” refers to the use of eggs, sperm, or embryos that have been donated by a third person (donor) to enable an infertile individual or couple (intended recipient) to become parents. Donors may be known or anonymous to the intended recipient. “Third party reproduction” also includes traditional surrogacy and gestational carrier arrangements.

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