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Should I use an egg donor?
To determine whether using an egg donor is the appropriate choice for you, you first need to make sure you know the actual cause of your infertility. That starts with getting a correct diagnosis.
Why might my fertility specialist recommend using an egg donor?
If you do not have eggs that will successfully fertilize and result in a healthy pregnancy due to various medical conditions or simply because of your age, your fertility specialist may recommend using an egg donor.
Egg donation is a viable infertility treatment for women with any of the following conditions:
- Diminished ovarian function due to ovarian cysts
- Cancer of the ovaries or other ovary disease
- Lacking ovaries
- Compromised egg or embryo quality
- Poor ovarian response to fertility medications
- Diagnosed or suspected of genetic disease
- Family history of genetic disease
Egg donation has also been shown to be a successful treatment for women who have had multiple IVF (in vitro fertilization) cycles and failed to achieve a pregnancy.
Egg Donor Instead of a Surrogate?
For many women, the satisfaction of being able to carry a child to term is why they choose an egg donor instead of using a surrogate.
The SCRC Egg Donor Program
Thanks to SCRC’s egg donor program, we have helped many couples, who thought they would never be able to have children, start families without using an egg donor; Los Angeles now boasts hundreds of these grateful couples, who are now enjoying the delights of parenthood!
Los Angeles egg donor program participants should know that our egg donor program meets the highest levels of professional standards and discretion based on criteria set forth by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). Couples can be assured that all prospective egg donors undergo a thorough screening for communicable diseases and genetic disorders.
The Egg Donation Process
The egg donation process at SCRC starts by retrieving eggs from a woman who has normally functioning ovaries. This process takes place in the Beverly Hills in vitro fertilization lab, or ART Reproductive Center. Egg donor program participant couples may choose to know the identity of the egg donor, and vice versa, or the parties may choose anonymity.
After the egg retrieval procedure, the donor eggs are fertilized in the IVF lab using sperm from the recipient couple’s partner. Following IVF, the resulting embryos are transferred to the uterus of the woman who wishes to carry the baby. If a pregnancy is established, the receiving woman becomes the gestational mother, carrying the developing baby through the full term of the pregnancy and childbirth.
A more detailed explanation of the entire process
Egg donor program candidates are given a series of basic fertility tests; following these tests and a thorough medical history, your fertility specialist will advise you as to whether egg donation is appropriate for you. In addition, the entire process will be explained, including:
- Egg donor selection
- The evaluation cycle
- The donation (or actual) cycle
- Success rates
The decision to proceed with egg donation is a very big step. The evaluation cycle and donation are explained briefly below, and our fertility consultants are happy to answer all of your questions about the success rates and costs of the egg donation program as an infertility treatment.
The Evaluation Cycle
Before the actual egg donation cycle, SCRC performs a “trial run” to establish the proper dosages of estrogen and progesterone that your body needs for a successful pregnancy. We’ll give you an orally administered, natural estrogen called Estrace® in gradually increasing dosages over a 10–14-day treatment period and then measure your blood estrogen levels. Next, an ultrasound is performed to determine the thickening of the uterine lining, which is necessary for successful implantation of the embryo. After the full evaluation cycle is completed — usually taking from four to six weeks — your SCRC fertility specialists will know how to most effectively prepare your uterine lining for the actual fertilization cycle.
The Egg Donation Cycle
Before egg donation is started, you will begin taking estrogen. This is followed by your egg donor starting her medication. Ultrasounds and blood tests will be performed on a periodic basis to ensure that your uterus is ready for the embryo transfer. A sperm specimen is then given by your partner on the same day that the donor’s eggs are retrieved. At this time, the IVF procedure will be performed to fertilize the donor eggs.
Typically, you will begin taking progesterone on the same day. About five days following IVF and the start of progesterone therapy, the developing embryos are transferred to your uterus. Your first pregnancy test is administered approximately 12 days after embryo transfer. If the pregnancy test is positive, you will continue taking estrogen and progesterone for two additional months, after which the developing baby’s placenta will produce the appropriate hormones necessary to carry the pregnancy to full term, allowing the hormone therapy to be discontinued.
Getting Started with SCRC’s Egg Donor Program
If you are considering utilizing an egg donor, a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation with one of our physicians at one of SCRC’s offices is the first step. For your no-obligation consultation, call (800) 600-9112, or click here to contact us. If you like, you can always come and visit one of SCRC’s fertility clinics. SCRC has locations in Beverly Hills/Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Burbank, Ventura, Lancaster/Palmdale, Valencia, Bakersfield, Santa Monica, and Glendale. Our fertility consultants will be happy to assist you with any questions you might have.