If using an IVF procedure, a woman is not able to achieve pregnancy with her own eggs; the procedure is attempted using donor eggs, at times donor embryos. A woman is warranted to receive donor eggs in the following medical conditions:
- Premature ovarian failure: In this condition menopause begins much earlier than the usual frame of time, usually prior to attaining the age of 40.
- Ovarian reserve reduction: This means that whatever eggs you are left have low quality. This happens because of the advancing age as the fertility gets declined steeply after the age of 40.
- Apprehension about passing on the genetically transmitted diseases to the baby.
- A past history of IVF failure, particularly if the IVF specialist believes that the eggs quality may be issue for the IVF failure.
Employing donor eggs in the IVF and other assisted reproduction techniques (ART) is increasingly gaining popularity. It is estimated that nearly 11% females used donor eggs while using the reproduction techniques for treating infertility. And, among all fertility procedures, the technique benefits the highest rate of success. Apart from this, females using spanking new embryos, rather than frozen ones, enjoy nearly 44 per cent chances of achieving pregnancy in every cycle.
Looking and Selecting Egg Donor
Egg donations are mostly anonymous. But many couples desire to be familiar with egg donor to involve the donor woman into a legal contract for the egg donations. In case the donor is known to the doctor, the former may desire to have updated information on the birth of a baby and even may request regular visits to see the child. Even if the donor happens to be a relative or a close friend, the contract should explicitly spell out the future relationship terms between the egg donor the expectant baby.
In case you take a decision in favor of using donated eggs, you may inquire from the fertility clinic if the proposed donor has been properly screened. As some clinics may have a pretty long waiting list, you may desire finding an egg donor through egg donor registries and agencies. Some people may even like placing advertisements for egg donors in college magazines or other publications that the most young females read.
Finding an egg donor yourself may be speedier than seeking the help of a busy clinic. But it may involve serious disadvantages. You may have to interview the donor yourself instead of a professional screening for evaluating the egg donor. It is vital to examine the donor for serious ailments like HIV and other genetic disorders. The same holds true for females using donated sperm.
Egg donor plans are variable as per your requirements. But all of them require wide-ranging screening to help you know the donor’s:
- Medical history
- Family background
Several fertility clinics stipulate age limits strictly. They usually do not entertain egg donors beyond the age of 25, though the recommendations of The American Society for Reproductive Medicine suggest 34 or less age of the egg donor. So, the thumb rule is younger the egg donor, the better it is.
What to Anticipate with Egg Donation
The egg donation and implantation procedures are the same as in standard IVF procedure. Soon after performing a thorough examination, the recipient female will require a hormonal treatment for preparing her for using the egg donation. In case she still holds functional ovaries, she may be given estrogen + progesterone for coinciding menstrual cycles of both the donor and the recipient.
In the meantime, the donor may also be given hormonal treatment for inducing super-ovulation in her. Thereafter, the eggs are retrieved and fertilized. After a few days, one or more embryos are implanted in the uterus of the recipient. And, the recipient mother continues to be given hormonal treatment for nearly 10 weeks.
Donor eggs are frozen for using them at a later stage, but the probability of success gets decreased with frozen eggs.
A new technique is available for embryo implantation, wherein frozen embryo previously that remained unused from the IVF treatment of some other couple is used. That particular couple may have either decided against the IVF procedure or achieved pregnancy. Whatever the case may be, they have given the Clinic the permission to donate the unused embryo to some other couple. But there is a negative aspect of this. These donated embryos usually come from elderly couples perhaps combating infertility themselves. There is a less chances of success with these embryos in comparison to the eggs coming from a healthy and young egg donor.
Legal Rights of Egg Donors and Recipients
There are several probable legal issues that may arise when infertility is righted by using donated eggs. The egg donor agreement should overtly say that the egg donor gives up forever all parental rights over the expectant baby. The contract should say that babies born out using the donated eggs are the lawful babies of the soon-to-be parents.
Other problems with Egg Donation
The couples, who use donor eggs, are usually made to bear all the costs. You may still enquire the availability of insurance cover for such procedures. If yes, ask for a statement of benefits in writing. Usually, you are required to pay for your own procedure and the egg donor’s medical expenditure. Apart from this, you are required to bear additional expenses because of any complication that may arise during the egg retrieval procedure. Such complications may be infection, injury to the bladder or organs of the reproductive system or bleeding.
The donor is generally paid a fixed amount of fee for her involvement. This amount should be specifically stipulated in the contract between the desiring couple and the egg donor.
The contract should also spell out how the money is to be paid, such as partial payment prior to egg retrieval and thereafter. There should be clarity from between the contractual parties on what will transpire if the donor backs out prior to retrieval of eggs.
As you may not achieve pregnancy with the first attempt, you may like to inquire from the donor if she would be ready to donate eggs in the second or subsequent attempt and include this provision in the contract.