In vitro fertilization (IVF) is an Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). It is one of the most effective infertility treatments. IVF works by using a combination of surgical and medical procedures for fertilising the egg.
IVF is usually done if any other infertility treatment is either not working or not an option. If you are going through an IVF the most obvious option for proceeding is to use the eggs and sperm of you and your partner. However, there can be many cases in which a woman is considered not suitable for egg retrieval. In such cases, an egg donation is used for the process.
What is Egg donor IVF?
Egg donor IVF is a fertility treatment option for women who don’t want to or can’t use their eggs for the IVF treatment. If you are using an egg donor for the treatment it means you won’t be genetically related to the child but your partner (the father) will be unless a sperm donor is also being used.
When should you go for an egg donor IVF option?
In an IVF treatment, a woman is often given fertility drugs to stimulate egg production in the ovaries. Once the eggs are matured they are retrieved.
The retrieved eggs are then fertilised with the help of the sperm in a laboratory dish. The fertilised eggs are then put inside the woman’s uterus. But what if the woman is not able to produce eggs or the eggs are not suitable? In that case, an egg donor is an option for the treatment. Some other reasons why an egg donor may be needed for your IVF treatment are:
- If you are of old age (somewhere around 40 years) as this decreases the quality of the egg making it hard for the egg to fertilise and implant itself in the uterus for conception
- If you are suffering from some genetic disease which may risk your or the child’s life or maybe there is a probability your child will also receive this condition from you
- If you have a low ovarian reserve. It means you have a low number of eggs which means you may not be able to produce a sufficient number of eggs for the treatment
- If you have gone through cancer treatment and your ovaries or eggs are damaged or removed in the process
- If your previous IVF treatments failed because of low ovarian response
- If the IVF treatment is failing repeated for unexplainable reasons
- If you were born without ovaries
If you suffer from or more reasons mentioned above, you might have to go for an egg donor for a successful IVF treatment. If you are suggested to for the egg donor IVF option, there are many things you need to consider before selecting your donor.
How to get an egg donor for IVF treatment?
Now once you have decided you will use donor eggs for your IVF treatment, you need to find an egg donor. One option is if you have someone who is willing to donate her eggs for the treatment. The person can be a family or a friend.
If you cannot find an egg donor yourself, there are many other options. There are many IVF clinics in India who themselves offer donor programs. They either have supply for donor eggs and sperm in their own clinic or they may work in collaboration with a donor agency that provides them with the donor eggs and sperm.
Once it is decided to use a donor, your doctor themselves will give you these options. They will ask you if you want to use the egg of someone you know or would you want to source the eggs through a donor program or a donor agency. If you decide to go with the donor program or donor agency, the doctor themselves will help you with the process that follows.
What are the requirements for egg donation?
After you have decided to go for a donor agency or program you might wonder the quality of the eggs that you will be offered. Well, stay assured that the eggs you receive will be of good quality and properly stored and handled.
The donor agencies or programs go through an entire screening process before taking an egg from a woman. Once a woman is deemed eligible for the donation, she is allowed to go forward for the donation.
The woman donating the eggs undergoes medical and physiological screening. Some clinics also check her medical history, do a physical exam and ovarian reserve assessment. Usually, egg donors are healthy women under the age of 21 to 30 years.