When a couple first learns they’re infertile, the last thing they can imagine is the incredible moment of bringing a baby home. This is particularly true for women with poor egg quality whose options appear limited. These couples shouldn’t despair. There’s an effective fertility treatment they may not have considered, and it’s rapidly growing in popularity. In vitro fertilization incorporating the egg donation process gives hope to couples by keeping their dream of starting a family alive.

Donor Egg Success Rates

Unfortunately, a women’s poor egg quality is a major barrier to pregnancy. This is especially true for older women, who experience lower success rates with traditional IVF. The use of donor eggs in IVF cycles significantly increases the chance of a successful pregnancy for these women. The national average delivery rate using frozen donor eggs is approximately 44%.

The Donor Egg IVF Process

The donor egg IVF process is similar to traditional IVF with your own eggs. The biggest difference in using frozen eggs is it’s far less invasive for the recipients.

Donor egg recipients avoid having to undergo the stimulation and egg retrieval process, as well as any risk of failing to retrieve viable eggs. Also, bypassing this part of the process means time and money saved.

Selecting a Donor Egg Program

When selecting a donor egg program or service, you should research their egg donor database and screening processes.

Ideally, you should have access to a wide variety of egg donors along with important information about them, such as family medical history, physical characteristics, education, and accomplishments. Further, you should ask about the screening process potential donors undergo to qualify.

Depending on the program, you may be able to choose between using fresh or frozen donor eggs. If you choose fresh donor eggs, you and the donor’s menstrual cycles need to be synchronized. Synchronization isn’t necessary when using frozen donor eggs. The process can start at the time that’s most convenient for you, and costs around half as much as using fresh donor eggs.

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Getting Support

During the donor egg process, it’s not unusual to experience a range of strong emotions such as grief, anger, anxiety, fear, and sadness.

Having a thorough understanding of the process can provide some relief. Experienced donor egg programs will ensure qualified staff members are available to answer any of your questions or concerns. Also, you may like to seek support from a counselor or trusted medical professional during this time.

Donor Egg Delivery

If you choose to use frozen donor eggs, your selected donor egg lot will be shipped to your preferred fertility clinic. To give you the best chance of achieving pregnancy, each lot includes between five to eight mature eggs.

The IVF Transfer

Your donor eggs remain frozen in storage while you prepare for the IVF transfer. You’ll need to take medications to thicken your uterine lining. Your fertility doctor will then monitor your hormones and lining to identify the optimal time for transfer.

Once your optimal time is determined, the eggs will be quickly re-hydrated or warmed, and your partner’s (or donor’s) sperm will be used to fertilize the eggs. Three to five days later, your fertilized eggs will become embryos, the best of which are selected for transfer. The selected embryo or embryos will be transferred into your uterus using ultrasound technology and a thin catheter. This process doesn’t require an anaesthetic and is painless for most women.

The Waiting Period

The final part of the donor egg IVF process is the two-week waiting period before taking a blood test to measure the level of HCG {Human Chorionic Gonadotropin}, also known as the pregnancy hormone, to confirm pregnancy.

If all goes well, you’ll receive a positive result and experience pregnancy the same as any other prospective parent.

Realize Your Dream of Having a Baby

If you’re having trouble conceiving with your own eggs, donor egg IVF can help you realize the dream of bringing a baby home.

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is a 30-something work-at-home mum who blogs in between home chores + child-minding. i love coffee, books + reading, collecting lovely postcards, + spending loads of time outdoors with my little man.