In egg donation, eggs (oocytes) are provided to the recipient from another woman, this is typically from an anonymous egg donor, but also can be a friend, sister or other family member. The donated eggs are used in the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process and are typically fertilized by the husband or partner’s sperm. In some cases both egg donors and sperm donors are used to create embryos for the recipient parents.. This is an option for women who may have been unsuccessful with in vitro fertilization using their own eggs or for women who have gone through early menopause or chemotherapy.
If you are interested in becoming an egg donor and helping couples become parents, please contact our Egg Donor Coordinator, Dr. Randi Weinstein, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 520-733-0083 for more information.
Fresh Donor Eggs vs. Frozen Donor Eggs
Patients at Reproductive Health Center have the option to use fresh donor eggs or frozen donor eggs. Patients should consult with their donor egg coordinator to assess which option is better for them.
Fresh Donor Eggs
Each egg donor undergoes comprehensive physical, psychological, and genetic screening prior to begin the egg donation process. Both the donor and the recipient are prepared for the procedure using hormone replacement medication to suppress the menstrual cycle. Then, the donor begins ovarian stimulation medication to increase the number of eggs that will develop. The donor is effectively a “stand in” for the recipient mother.
These fertility drugs enable your donor’s ovaries to produce many eggs. Doctors monitor the development of the eggs using ultrasound and keep track of hormone levels through blood samples. While the egg donor is being stimulated to produce eggs, the recipient is undergoing hormonal stimulation of the uterine lining to be receptive to the embryos produced with the egg donor’s eggs.
The eggs are removed from the egg donor through follicular aspiration. Typically, this is after 10 to 12 days of hormone injections to develop the eggs. The procedure is performed under monitored anesthesia care with a board-certified anesthesiologist. The follicles are aspirated and the eggs retrieved are sent to the embryology lab. The eggs from the donor are then fertilized with the partner’s or donor sperm and the embryos are cultured to the blastocyst stage.
Frozen Donor Eggs
Reproductive Health Center partners with Fairfax EggBank, a frozen donor egg bank, to give patients the option to use frozen donor eggs. Frozen donor eggs have seen significant improvements as rapid freezing and thawing techniques have advanced, and is an increasingly popular option for patients to use.
Unlike fresh donor egg cycles that involve the necessary step of synchronizing the egg donor and recipient’s menstrual cycles, frozen donor egg cycles give you the ability to start your cycle when you’re ready. The simplified treatment plan allows you to schedule your IVF treatment without having to factor in another woman’s menstrual cycle or her personal schedule.
All egg donors at Fairfax EggBank are pre-screened and FDA-compliant, and have undergone comprehensive physical, psychological, and genetic screening. If you select a donor at Fairfax EggBank, your donor egg coordinator at Reproductive Health Center will coordinate the shipment of eggs from Fairfax EggBank’s facility to Reproductive Health Center’s lab.