Using Donor Eggs For IVF
- All our egg donors are fully medically and psychologically screened and ready for their egg donation cycles.
- Our live birth rate from fresh donor eggs cycles is industry leading at approximately 70%
- Both our fresh and frozen donor eggs packages include a second embryo transfer if the first doesn’t result in a live birth
- All cycles include:
- IVF procedures for both intended parent(s) and donor
- all donor’s compensation, legal representation and travel if needed
- all embryology, ICSI, assisted hatching, surgical fees, embryo freezing and the first year of storage
- We don’t charge an agency fee for shared donor eggs cycles
- And if you are already working with a fertility doctor, there’s no need to leave your clinic. We can ship frozen embryos to any IVF clinic globally
Egg Donation Program
Here, at Santa Monica Fertility Center, we have developed an internal 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 both fresh and frozen donor eggs and maintain an inhouse, online egg donor database where you can view profiles of our available donors. During our complimentary informational phone call Dr Jain will discuss your individual circumstances and provide the best treatment recommendation based on your situation as well as your fertility goals.
Egg Donor Database – Santa Monica Donor Egg Bank
Our Egg Donor database provides insight into the donors we are currently working with – donating both fresh and frozen eggs. Each profile features not only adult and childhood photos of the donor, but also lists significant medical history and information about immediate family. Our egg 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.
Although we update our database on a regular basis, we are always speaking to and screening new potential donors. 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 build strong relationships with our donors, get to know them well and – through our free matching service – we’re here to help find the best match for you.
Using Fresh Donor Eggs
Using fresh donor eggs means that we fertilize the eggs harvested from the donor on the day of retrieval. Once you decide between using fresh or frozen donor eggs and choose your egg donor, our medical team will work with you and the donor to schedule and create cycle calendar. This will outline the exact timing for both you and your egg donor to start taking relevant, prescribed medication and will provide an approximate date of egg retrieval.
Dr Jain will be able to discuss the difference between using fresh or frozen sperm. If fresh sperm is being used for fertilization, your nurse will coordinate an appointment for the day of donor egg retrieval. If the use of frozen sperm is approved, we will need the sperm (your partner’s or donor’s) to get to our clinic at least 1 day before the procedure of donor egg retrieval. Once fertilized, we leave the eggs to grow into embryos for 3 or 5 days and they are ready for a transfer into the intended mother’s or surrogate’s uterus. Alternatively, we can freeze the embryos at this point for transfer at a later stage. Live birth rate is comparable in both fresh and frozen embryo transfer, at approximately 70% per embryo transfer using fresh donor eggs.
Using frozen donor eggs is an alternative to fresh egg donation; because we have already retrieved and frozen the eggs, these are available for use as soon as the recipient (the intended mother or a surrogate) is ready. Live birth rate using frozen donor eggs is now comparable to fresh egg donor cycles, may sometimes be a more financially accessible option and we have seen great outcomes for our patients using frozen donor eggs. You can view our donors who have frozen eggs available in our Donor Egg Bank; we identify them by adding ‘frozen’ on their profile.
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.
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.