Using Donor Eggs For IVF
- We work exclusively with Pinnacle Egg Bank to offer the best quality of donor eggs to our patients.
- Our live birth rate from both frozen and fresh donor egg cycles is industry leading at approximately 65%
- Donor Egg IVF package include all embryology, ICSI, assisted hatching, surgical fees, embryo freezing and the first year of storage. Some package exclusions apply.
Egg Donation Program
Here, at Santa Monica Fertility, we have developed an egg donation program to support patients whose journey to parenthood may need to include using donor eggs. While using an egg donor and a surrogate is a popular option for gay men to become parents, there are also many reasons why women turn to egg donation to achieve pregnancy.
We successfully work with patients who:
- are later in reproductive age (ages 43+)
- have experienced premature ovarian failure
- have undergone several failed IVF cycles
- exhibit elevated FSH levels
- carry risk factors for genetic diseases
- gay men
- single fathers
We offer treatment with frozen donor eggs and work exclusively with Pinnacle Egg Bank. You can view profiles of available donors at Pinnacle Egg Bank’s online database here. During our complimentary informational phone call we will discuss your individual circumstances and provide the best treatment recommendation based on your situation as well as your fertility goals.
Pinnacle Egg Bank’s Online Egg Donor Database
Pinnacle Egg Bank’s Egg Donor database provides insight into the donors whose frozen eggs are currently available. Each profile features not only adult and childhood photos of the donor, but also lists significant medical history and information about immediate family. The donors have an opportunity to tell you about themselves in their own words too; who they are as a person, what was it like growing up in their family, what passions, talents, likes and dislikes they may have and why they decided that donating their eggs was for them.
The database is updated on a regular basis, and the availability changes frequently. Choosing an egg donor may not be a straightforward process; if you don’t see anyone you feel might be right for you, please contact our egg donation coordinators. We’re here to help find the best match for you through our complimentary matching service.
Using Frozen Donor Eggs
Using frozen donor eggs is great alternative to fresh egg donation. Because the eggs have already been retrieved and frozen, these are available for use as soon as the recipient (the intended mother or a surrogate) is ready. At Santa Monica Fertility live birth rate using frozen donor eggs is now comparable to fresh egg donor cycles at approximately 65%. Using frozen eggs may also be a more financially accessible option and we have seen great outcomes for our patients.
Using Fresh Donor Eggs
Using fresh donor eggs means that the eggs are fertilized on the day of retrieval. We currently do not offer treatment using fresh donor eggs.
How Do Donor Eggs Work?
If you are a woman who no longer has viable eggs for a variety of reasons, including conditions such as age, premature menopause, cancer treatment, or ovarian surgery, donor eggs are a great option. Donor eggs are also used by men who require them to become parents, if they are single men or a gay couple hoping to build a family. The way donor eggs work is that the intended parents select either fresh or frozen eggs from a donor egg bank. The eggs are fertilized using partner or donor sperm to create embryos, which are then cultured in an IVF lab. The embryos are tested for chromosomal abnormalities as well as the sex of the baby if desired, then frozen until they are needed for a planned transfer to an intended mother’s or surrogate’s uterus to create a pregnancy.
How Many Donor Eggs Should I Buy?
How many donor eggs to buy is a common question and one that requires a little bit of math. In general, for every 3 eggs, we expect to be able to produce 1 advanced embryo, known as a blastocyst. Each blastocyst then leads to an approximately 65% live birth rate once it is transferred to the uterus. Patients who wish for 1 child only will usually secure 6 eggs if using frozen eggs. This will likely create 2 blastocysts which provide a backup blastocyst available for transfer if the first one does not work.
Using this general formula (3 eggs for each blastocyst produced) if the intended parents desire 1 to 2 children, they obtain 8 eggs (fresh or frozen). If they want 2 to 3 children, they secure 10 eggs. If the intended parents want the embryos tested for chromosomal normalcy using PGT-A, then we recommend securing at least 8 eggs to create 3 blastocysts. This takes into account that some embryos’ testing results will come back as abnormal or mosaic, meaning that some of the tested cells were normal and others were abnormal.
For intended parents who want to select the sex for 1 child, we recommend securing 12 eggs to create 5 blastocysts. This would give them the expectation of 3 normal blastocysts, with each one having a 50% chance of being the desired sex. Keep in mind that these outcomes are typical, but of course are not guaranteed and may in some cases be lower if there are obvious sperm or uterine issues, or a history of recurrent miscarriage.
How Many Donor Egg Cycles Before Success?
As explained in the previous paragraph, intended parents can secure as many eggs from 1 donor egg cycle as they require to meet their family building goals. Depending on the number of eggs secured by an intended parent, there may be more than 1 viable embryo available for transfer from 1 batch of secured donor eggs. In case where first embryo transfer is unsuccessful, we’ll transfer remaining embryos at no additional cost, until pregnancy is achieved, or all embryos have been transferred.
At Santa Monica Fertility, our live birth rate per embryo transfer is 65 to 70%. If the embryo undergoes PGT-A testing and is known to be chromosomally normal, that live birth rate goes up to 75 to 80%.
Chances of twins with donor eggs
Most natural twins are the result of two independent embryos implanting in the uterus, a result of the mother ovulating two eggs. Similarly, with IVF, twins are typically seen when two embryos are transferred to the uterus. Identical twins are relatively rare in nature and IVF occurring approximately 0.5 to 2.5% of the time respectively. Since egg donation is associated with the highest pregnancy rate per embryo transferred, it follows that the chance of twins with donor eggs is equally elevated when two donor egg embryos are transferred – occurring approximately 50% of the time.
Getting Pregnant With Donor Eggs
The donor egg IVF process is straightforward but does involve quite a few steps. Everything begins with the intended parents choosing their egg donor and deciding if they will use fresh or frozen donor eggs. Other major milestones for the intended mother or a surrogate in getting pregnant with donor eggs include:
- Baseline ultrasound and blood test.
- Retrieval of eggs from chosen egg donor (or thaw, if using frozen donor eggs).
- Eggs fertilization with male partner’s or donor’s sperm. Fertilization confirmation is done the next day to determine which eggs are fertilized.
- Preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) is done if desired and takes place on day 5 or 6 of development. Embryos are biopsied then frozen, awaiting the results of chromosomal and/or gender testing.
- Embryo transfer: if no PGT is performed, after five days the embryo can be transferred to the egg recipient’s uterus, via a soft catheter guided by ultrasound. Supplemental hormones are usually required for the first 12 weeks after embryo transfer. If embryos are frozen, they are thawed and transferred at a later date.
How Long Does It Take to Get Pregnant With Donor Eggs?
Most intended parents are pleased that it does not take too long to get pregnant with donor eggs. Women who have completed all of their prenatal and fertility tests can proceed directly to embryo transfer planning. Typically, if frozen donor eggs are used, transfer can occur within 6 to 8 weeks. If fresh eggs are used, the time is usually 12 to 16 weeks from securing donor eggs.
Is Financing Available for IVF with Donor Eggs?
We understand that using donor eggs can be expensive and we have partnered with several fertility financing providers to ensure that our services are more accessible.
If I Use a Donor Egg Is the Baby Mine?
Yes, absolutely, if you use a donor egg the baby is yours. Although the use of an egg donor to become pregnant is a relatively new medical development, egg donors do not have parental responsibilities or rights. It’s important to work with a well-respected egg donation agency or clinic like Santa Monica Fertility, as established procedures and processes are already in place to help intended parents navigate through the legalities of this process and create an egg donor legal contract that protects all parties.
Become a Parent Using Donor Eggs
If you would like more information on using donor eggs and our egg donation program, or are ready to begin your journey to parenthood, we are here for you. Please contact us or call to speak to our egg donation coordinator on 310 566 1470.