Donor egg is an option for many women. In the past, women who have few, if any, quality eggs had little or no chance of conceiving a child. The most common reason for the condition is the aging process itself, such as occurs frequently in those individuals greater than 40.
Other causes include surgery or radiation therapy of the ovary, or it can be congenital as in the case of Turner's Syndrome. It can also occur in young individuals for unknown reasons.
The diagnosis of this condition is aided by testing the blood for several hormones, such as follicle stimulating hormone (FSH,) which is frequently done on day 3 of the menstrual cycle. More recently, antimullerian hormone (AMH) has become a more popular hormone to analyze.
Unfortunately, when egg numbers decline, all fertility treatments will not be as successful, including traditional IVF. Fortunately, for those that would consider the assistance of an egg donor, conception is still a distinct possibility. In fact, donor egg is arguably associated with the highest success rates of any fertility treatments available to any woman. Egg donation has thus allowed many thousands of infertile women to have children.
A donor egg cycle involves using the eggs from a young fertile donor in an IVF cycle. The donor undergoes ovulation induction with hormones such as FSH to create numerous eggs, which are retrieved and fertilized with the recipient partner’s sperm in the laboratory.
The donor recipient’s cycle is synchronized with medications so that her endometrium will be prepared to accept the embryos at the appropriate time. After incubation in the laboratory for 5 days, the mature embryos are then transferred to the recipient’s uterus.
For more information on egg donation or to enquire about donating your eggs, see our egg donor page.