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Anonymous Egg Donation

Receiving news that egg quality is poor and the chances of pregnancy using patients’ own eggs is very low is probably the toughest diagnosis for patients to learn about.  In these situations, couples must grapple with the options of traditional adoption services, egg donor or embryo donation.  This requires a great psychological transition for patients who, for their entire lives, have believed in their ability to have children.  This diagnosis most commonly does not mean that absolutely no chance of pregnancy exists, but best translated means the chance of treatment associated pregnancy, even with IVF, is extremely low (usually < 1% per cycle).  Egg Donor offers couples with this problem a 50+ % chance of pregnancy per cycle which represents the best pregnancy rates we see in IVF for any diagnosis.

The real question facing patients at this time is to pursue traditional adoption or egg donor.  The reasons supporting egg donor include:  the ability of the female partner to carry the pregnancy and experience the delivery, control over the pregnancy (no drugs or alcohol), and the preservation of the male partner’s genetics in the child.  Psychological studies strongly support the fact that for women, bonding is primarily with the pregnancy and the delivery, not with the origin of the egg.  For these reasons, family egg donation is usually not problematic in contrast to family sperm donation which historically has created many problems later in family dynamics.  In our experience, by the time patients reach their pregnancy test, they have all but forgotten the strange feeling they encounter when they first consider egg donor and the excitement of their success becomes the focus.  We have never had a couple who has related any long term problems with this therapy.

Egg donation most commonly requires a “fresh donor” which means that the eggs are harvested, inseminated, and transferred in the same cycle.  In contrast to sperm donation, there is no quarantine period where the eggs are housed for a period of time allowing for retesting of infectious diseases.  To date, we know of no transmission of any disease from egg donor to recipient or resultant pregnant fetus.  As a result, we are very confident that this represents a viable and very successful way to treat patients who need eggs.  The success rate ranges from 50-60% in patients with out uterine abnormalities.

We work hard to provide you with a donor matching your specifications.  Since egg donors undergo a much more rigorous treatment than sperm donors, in general there may be 3 – 10 to choose from.  If we do not have a suitable donor, we will work hard to find a good fit.  We are happy to work with family donors, sisters, nieces, or cousins and will be happy to do so long distance if the donor lives in other areas of the country.  This process requires a great deal of coordination and scheduling and we ask that you be patient with our nursing staff as they work hard to make your cycle successful.

In the future, as egg freezing is further tested and proven safe, we will likely be shifting from “fresh donor” to a frozen egg model similar to that currently available with Donor Sperm.  Eggs would be shipped to our practice and inseminated with partner’s sperm for transfer.  Currently, both safety concerns and a significantly decreased pregnancy rate, prevents general use of frozen donor egg.