We have put together steps to guide you through Egg Donor IVF. From what to look for in an egg donor until embryo transfer day, we are here to help you!
Donated eggs have made it possible for thousands of women, who might have otherwise never had the opportunity, to experience the wonder and joy of pregnancy and childbirth. If you have been advised to consider undergoing IVF with egg donation, Northern California Fertility Medical Center can help.
The egg donor may be a person known to the recipients, including a family member (such as a sibling), a friend, or may be a known donor from an egg donor agency.
Alternatively, the donor may be an anonymous donor from the donor pool of Northern California Fertility Center or from another agency. Egg donation with an anonymous egg donor is more common than a known donor. The recipient(s) would know much about the donor, but not her identity. An anonymous donor does not know anything about the recipient(s).
The choice of obtaining eggs from a known donor vs from an anonymous donor would be made by the recipient(s).
The recipient (or gestational carrier) and the egg donor will be started on oral contraceptives for approximately three weeks in order to synchronize their menstrual cycles. This allows synchronization of the recipient’s uterine lining for transfer of embryos created from the donor’s eggs at a time that will maximize the chance for embryo implantation.
After the birth control pills are stopped, the recipient will be on medications, including Lupron and estrogen, to ready her lining for embryo transfer. The recipient will have ultrasounds performed to be sure her uterine lining has reached a thickness deemed adequate for embryo transfer. If the lining does not reach the desired threshold for transfer, the embryos will be frozen for a planned frozen/thawed transfer at a future date.
After stopping birth control pills, the donor will be taking ovulation stimulating medications along with a GnRH antagonist medication to prevent her from ovulating before the eggs are mature. She will be monitored by ultrasounds and estrogen blood levels. Once the eggs are deemed mature, she will receive a final injection to allow scheduling of the egg retrieval, which will take place approximately 36 hours after that injection. The egg retrieval will be accomplished under light anesthesia in the operating room at Northern California Fertility Center and takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. She will stay in the recovery room for about 45 minutes and will be discharged home in the care of a family member or friend.
While the egg retrieval is taking place, the male partner of the recipient couple will provide a sperm specimen which will be used to fertilize the eggs (unless previously frozen/thawed sperm is to be used).
Once the eggs are fertilized, an embryo or embryos will be transferred to the uterus of the recipient or gestational surrogate 5 days after the egg retrieval. The recipient will continue estrogen and will also be placed on progesterone, both of which are needed to support a pregnancy. These medications are most often continued for 9 weeks from the time of the transfer and then the placenta makes all the hormones needed and the medications are stopped.
If there are extra embryos, these will be frozen for a potential future thaw and embryo transfer. If the plan was not to perform an embryo transfer on the cycle of the egg retrieval, all of the embryos will be frozen five to six days following the donor’s egg retrieval. A plan will be formulated for a transfer of thawed embryos to the recipient’s or gestational surrogate’s uterus at a future date. This may require medications to prepare the uterine lining or may on occasion be performed on a natural cycle.