Egg donation is a reproductive technique where transferred embryos are donated anonymously, voluntarily and selflessly. The female gametes – the eggs – are collected from women under 30 years old. Those embryos, which have a different genetic load from the receptor couple, are transferred to the uterus of the recipient woman in order to achieve pregnancy.
Receiving donor’s eggs is, at the moment, the assisted reproductive technique which holds the best results regarding pregnancies with over 50% rate of success.
Egg donation cases
Egg donation is recommended to any woman still having an intact uterus but having lost their ability to procreate.
The most frequent cases are the following:
- Early menopause o premature ovarian failure.
- Not having ovaries (from congenital causes or surgery).
- Having healthy ovaries but not enough eggs (age, genetics).
- Previous failures of assisted reproductive technique.
- Lacking healthy eggs or embryos.
- Suffering from or being a carrier of genetic disorders that can be transmitted to the offspringsand that cannot be diagnosed through PGS (preimplantation genetic screening).
Egg donation treatment
This medical procedure prepares the recipient woman’s uterine lining or endometrium to receive the future embryos. The treatment may vary if the patient is having her menses or not.
In the first case, GnRH agonists are used so there are no interferences with other hormones. Then, controled doses of oestrogen and progesterone are subsequently used to prepare the uterine lining.
If the patient has not yet menstruated, only oestrogen and progesterone are used for this therapy.
In order to know when the endometrium is ready, its width is measured through ultrasound controls, as well as blood tests, in particular cases, to check oestradiol levels. When the patient is ready, there is only the egg retrieval left to do on the donor.
The uterine lining is usually ready in 6 days or so, although it is recommended to wait at least for two weeks. The oestrogen substitution therapy can be continued for over 60 days without adverse effects in order to synchronise with a donor.
On the day of the egg retrieval from the donor, we call the recipient to confirm the number of matured oocytes asigned to her and to start the progesterone treatment.
On the same day, the male needs to come to the clinic to leave a semen sample to fertilise the eggs.
Donor asignation to a recipient is done depending on her characteristics. First, blood type and Rh factor, ensuring compatibility between the two of them. Then ensuring there is no race, skin, hair and eye color discrepancy.