Egg Donation

Egg Donation

Egg Donation


Couples who are infertile have a host of assisted reproductive techniques these days to help them conceive. In cases where the female partner has defective of no eggs, she may opt for donors of eggs.

Women who are eligible for donor eggs are those who have either an early menopause also known as premature ovarian failure, low quality eggs, failure with in vitro fertilization. Women who have the risk of transmitting a genetic disease to their offspring may also opt for donated eggs.


Procedure of egg donation like sperm donation is usually anonymous. The couple opting for the donation usually does not know the donor. However in some cases the donor and the couple might wish to get to know each other. In some cases the donor may be a friend or a relative of the couple. In all cases there has to be a legal agreement between parties that spells out terms of future relationships with the child as well as with each other.

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Egg Donation

Usually the couple opting for the egg donation needs to specify the terms and agreements of payment to the donor and also pay for all the medication and therapy for the donor. In case of any adverse outcomes of the donation procedure the couple needs to bear the cost of the donor’s treatment.

The potential donor must be tested for disease like HIV and other medical and inherited disorders.

The potential donor must be tested for disease like HIV and other medical and inherited disorders. This procedure is similar to sperm donation protocols. Some protocols specify the age of egg donor to be less than 34. Since older women tend to produce eggs that may have higher risk of congenital disorders when fertilized, this precaution is taken.

Once selected the donor is given injections or medications that stimulate her body to mature and release more eggs from her ovary compared to the usual one per ovulatory cycle. The ovary stores the ready-to-release eggs in a bubble like protrusion on its surface called a follicle. Just before release these eggs need to be retrieved. The follicles of the ovary are located using ultrasound guidance and the eggs are retrieved in a syringe using a needle.

Recuperation and post procedural complications

The retrieval process is usually painless and is conducted with the donor under sedation. In case of pain, pain relievers may be prescribed. Once retrieved the eggs may be used for in vitro fertilization in the infertile couple. A batch of the eggs may also be stored in frozen form for future use by the couple.

This process is called cryopreservation. Cryopreserved eggs may be used if the first attempt of IVF fails in the couple. The chance of success with frozen eggs is lower than with fresh eggs. The couple may request a fresh batch of eggs from the same or different donor.

Success rates of pregnancy using donated eggs depend on multiple factors like pathology in the female partner, low count or poor quality of sperms from the male partner etc. Commonest side effects of IVF using donated eggs include twins or multiple births and its associated complications.

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