The Benefits of Using Donor Eggs with IVF to Achieve Pregnancy
While IVF is a successful method of family building for many people, it doesn’t work for everyone. In some cases, it may be the mother’s eggs that are preventing the IVF from being successful. When that happens, using a donor’s eggs may be the next best option. Donor eggs can be fertilized with either a partner’s sperm or sperm from a donor and give the mother an opportunity to experience pregnancy and childbirth. It can be an appealing family building option when you’ve exhausted alternative methods using your own eggs.
IVFMD offers donor egg IVF in our Grapevine, Irving, and Arlington, Texas clinics, and we welcome families from across the United States. We’re proud to offer this level of care to hopeful parents while keeping our costs as low as possible.
If you are ready to learn more about our donor egg IVF program, get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation.
How Does Donor Egg IVF Work?
The first step in your donor egg IVF journey is selecting a donor. While you can choose anyone to be your donor, our medical team recommends selecting someone who is between the ages of 22 and 32. Donors over the age of 35 tend to produce fewer eggs, many of which may be low-quality. The better the egg quality, the higher the chance of a successful embryo transfer and a healthy pregnancy.
There are several ways to find an egg donor:
- Asking family and friends. Some people prefer to use eggs from someone that they know. They may make the pregnancy feel more personal or give the child a closer genetic link to both parents.
- Working with an agency. Professional private agencies carefully vet the applicants for their medical history, genetic history, and personal information like talents and physical appearance. Prospective parents can review the donor’s information and choose someone they feel is a good fit for them.
- Through the IVFMD donor program. In 2013, IVFMD started recruiting egg donors interested in helping families achieve a healthy pregnancy. Choosing a donor through our program can help reduce the cost of egg donor IVF while still receiving carefully-screened donor eggs.
All egg donors, whether chosen privately, through IVFMD, or from a private agency, will need to attend a psychological screening as well as a medical evaluation in our Texas clinic. The evaluation process includes an interview, physical examination, and pelvic sonogram. We also do a thorough blood workup to check for any communicable diseases, which we repeat a month before the egg donation. This helps to ensure a clean bill of health before the donation process begins.
Cycle Synchronization & Ovarian Stimulation
Once you select a donor, the donor and recipient’s menstrual cycles will need to sync up for the best chance of a successful embryo transfer. To do this, both the donor and recipient will start taking birth control pills at the same time, then stop taking them at the same time shortly after. This will stimulate the start of menstruation and synchronize the fertility cycles.
- Next steps for the recipient: The recipient will then receive an injection of Lupron. This is a drug that inhibits the ovaries from producing eggs. To prepare her uterus for the embryo, she will also get estrogen injections about a week before the donor starts ovarian stimulation. While waiting for the embryo transfer, she will receive regular sonograms and blood tests to make sure her uterus lining is responding to the medication.
- Next steps for the donor: When the recipient is ready, the donor will get an injection of medication that helps stimulate her ovaries. There will be several sonograms and blood tests in the two weeks leading up to the egg retrieval. This will help the medical team make sure her ovaries are responding to the medications.
Egg Retrieval & Embryo Transfer
To retrieve the eggs, the donor will need to go under IV sedation, given by an anesthesiologist. Once the doctor retrieves the eggs, the donor’s part of the process is complete. She may go home to rest and recover after the procedure.
At this point, the recipient will then stop taking Lupron and estrogen and instead start taking progesterone. This prepares the lining of the uterus for implantation. Our medical team provides a vaginal form of progesterone. Recipients often prefer this method, as they can avoid painful injections for this important part of the process.
The harvested eggs are then fertilized by the IVFMD team and their progress carefully monitored. The transfer to the recipient usually happens about five days after fertilization, giving the eggs time to develop into blastocysts. It’s at this stage that they have the best chance of survival in the transfer. Our doctors will select the embryo that they believe has the best chance of implantation, then freeze the remaining embryos for future use if desired.
The recipient will continue to take progesterone and estrogen until pregnancy is confirmed via a blood test. If the results are positive, they will continue with the estrogen and progesterone until their body starts to produce sufficient levels itself. This usually happens around the 10th or 11th week of pregnancy.
Is Egg Donor IVF the Right Option to Help You Grow Your Family?
If you are struggling to become pregnant with the use of your own eggs, there are other options available. Using donated eggs can help overcome specific fertility concerns and give you an opportunity to building your family while still experiencing pregnancy and childbirth.
Contact the team at IVFMD today to see if this or one of our other fertility treatments is right for you. Our team prides itself on our high success rates and low costs. We’re passionate about helping people in Texas and across the United States experience the joy of expanding their families despite fertility concerns. Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation with our experienced fertility doctors and discover which family-building options may be the right ones for you.