What is egg donation, and why would a woman use this treatment to have a baby? Egg donation allows women to become pregnant even when they lack eggs of their own, or their eggs are of poor quality. Women may have poor egg quality because of their age (advanced maternal age being thirty-five and up), or they just may have poor functioning ovaries for genetic reasons or health reasons, which in turn makes egg quality poor and greatly decreases one’s chances of getting pregnant.
The technique is most commonly used in women who are unsuccessful after undergoing multiple cycles of in vitro fertilization (IVF), those with premature ovarian failure or elevated FSH levels, and those of advanced maternal age, typically thought og as over the age of forty-three, although some women begin to have a drastic decline in quality around age 35 – each woman is different. The combination of young eggs plus optimal preparation & healthy pre-conception care, such as proper nutrition, stress reduction, and fertility acupuncture, of both the egg donor and the intended mother makes egg donation tfertility treatment a very successful fertility procedure.
The process of egg donation requires that the components of a single IVF cycle be divided between the donor and the intended mother. The donor undergoes the initial steps of IVF, including ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval, and the intended mother undergoes the embryo transfer.
Traditionally both women’s cycles must be synchronized using a combination of birth control pills and Lupron. When the cycle begins, the donor is administered the medications required for a standard IVF cycle, while the intended mother takes a combination of estrogen and progesterone to prepare the uterine lining for implantation. However, with recent improvements in embryo freezing, comparable pregnancy rates are now being observed between fresh and frozen donor egg embryos allowing much greater flexibility in scheduling. Once the donor’s eggs are mature, they are retrieved using the standard trans-vaginal ultrasound-guided method of follicle aspiration. The sperm is provided by the intended mother’s partner (or by a donor) and fertilization takes place in the laboratory.
Typically the embryo transfer is scheduled 3 or 5 days later. The intended mother continues to take estrogen and progesterone through the end of the first trimester to mimic the hormones produced by the ovary in natural conception. At the end of the first trimester (twelve weeks gestational age, or approximately ten weeks after embryo transfer), the placenta produces the necessary hormones, and the estrogen and progesterone supplementation is no longer required. However, with recent improvements in embryo freezing, comparable pregnancy rates are now being observed between fresh and frozen donor egg embryos allowing much greater flexibility in scheduling.