Egg Donation Program and Egg Bank
The donor egg program is for women who have poor egg quality, advanced maternal age (AMA), premature menopause, a genetic disorder, or absence of ovaries due to surgery, previous chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Women who are unable to produce healthy eggs are able to achieve pregnancy and experience childbirth through the egg donation. Egg donation is a process in which eggs from a young, healthy woman (the donor) are fertilized in the laboratory by sperm from the recipient’s partner or sperm donor. The resulting embryos are then transferred to the recipient’s uterus (womb).
Oocyte donors can be anonymous (unknown), known (like a friend or family member), or from an agency. The Main Line Fertility Center has an egg donor program coordinator who recruits and screens potential egg donors. These donors must undergo an extensive screening process established by the FDA and American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). Screening includes medical and family history, physical exam, psychological evaluation, and infectious disease testing.
Donor Eggs: A Valuable Option
An increasing number of women are choosing egg donation when other traditional infertility therapies have been unsuccessful or when hormonal tests indicate very poor reproductive potential. Using an egg donor may also be appropriate for a woman whose ovaries were absent at birth or were removed or damaged by surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation. Finally, it can be an option for patients who would like to eliminate the risk of passing on a known genetic condition carried by the female partner.
Because the chance of achieving a live birth is strongly related to the age of the egg, using donor eggs can often substantially increase the likelihood of having a baby from IVF. At UCSF, the chance of achieving a live birth from a single egg donation cycle is greater than 60%. Furthermore, because many cycles using donated eggs result in surplus embryos to freeze, the cumulative pregnancy rate including subsequent frozen embryo cycles is approximately 80% at our center.
Having a baby using a donor egg provides couples with the opportunity to experience pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding, and to have a child who is genetically connected to the father. You and your partner will have control over many aspects of the process, including when to try to become pregnant and the choice of the donor.