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Donor Program

Donor PageA need for egg donation may arise for a number of reasons. Couples may resort to egg donation when the female partner cannot have genetic children because her own eggs cannot generate a viable pregnancy, or because they could generate a viable pregnancy but the chances are so low that it is not advisable or not financially feasible to do IVF with her own eggs. This situation is often, but not always based on advanced reproductive age. It is also due to multiple medical reasons that a woman is unable to conceive. Many women do not have any of these medical issues, but continue to be unsuccessful using their own eggs–in other words, they have undiagnosed infertility–and thus turn to donor eggs or donor embryos. As stated above, egg donation is also helpful for LGBT parenting.

Egg donations are anonymous or semi-anonymous. Anonymity, semi-anonymity and non-anonymity are made by the donor and recipient, although some IVF clinics maintain their own database of egg donors, they strongly encourage or require anonymity.

Donors unrelated to the recipients who do it for monetary reasons are anonymous donors recruited by IVF clinics or egg donor agencies. Such donors may also be non-anonymous donors, i.e., friend or relative brought by the recipients’ to serve as a donor specifically to assist them.

They must first be chosen by a recipient from the profiles with an agency or IVF center. Evaluations are necessary to ensure that the donor is fully prepared and capable of completing the donation cycle safely and successfully before any intensive medical, psychological or genetic testing is done on a donor. The donor is then required to undergo a thorough medical examination. A family history of approximately the past three generations is also required, meaning that adoptees are usually not accepted because of the lack of past health knowledge. Genetic testing is also usually done on donors to ensure that they do not carry mutations (e.g., cystic fibrosis) that could harm the resulting children.

To become an egg donor:

In order to qualify as an egg donor, donor must undergo screening process,  Once the screening is complete and a legal contract signed, the donor will begin the donation cycle, which typically takes between three and six weeks. An egg retrieval procedure comprises both the Egg Donor’s Cycle and the Recipient’s Cycle. Birth control pills are administered during the first few weeks of the egg donation process to synchronize the donor’s cycle with the recipient’s, followed by a series of injections which halt the normal functioning of the donor’s ovaries. These injections may be self-administered on a daily basis for a period of one to three weeks. Next, follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) are given to the donor to stimulate egg production and increases the number of mature eggs produced by the ovaries. Throughout the cycle the donor is monitored often by a physician using blood tests and ultrasound exams to determine the donor’s stimulation to the hormones and the progress of follicle growth.

Once the doctor decides the follicles are mature, your clinic will establish the date and time for the egg retrieval procedure. Approximately 36 hours before retrieval, the donor must administer one last injection of HCG hormone to ensure that her eggs are ready to be harvested. The egg retrieval itself is a minimally invasive surgical procedure lasting 20–30 minutes, performed under sedation. A small ultrasound-guided needle is inserted through the vagina to aspirate the follicles in both ovaries, which extracts the eggs. After resting in a recovery room for an hour or two, the donor is released. Most donors resume regular activities by the next day.

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If you would like to assist others in achieving a family, please contact the Third Party Reproduction Team for more detailed information and a confidential phone consultation regarding your eligibility of becoming a donor.

To become a donor recipient:

For many people, their only chance of becoming a parent is with the help of eggs, sperm or embryos donated from another person or couple. These altruistic people make it possible for others to fulfill their dreams of parenthood. The decision to have a child using donation is a significant life event. There are many factors that need to be considered, including potential long-term psychosocial, health and legal issues.

In more cases than not, there is no ongoing relationship between the donor and recipient following the cycle. Both the donor and recipient agree in formal legal documents that the donation of the eggs is final at the time of retrieval, and typically both parties would like any “relationship” to conclude at that point; if they prefer continued contact, they may provide for that in the contract. Even if they prefer anonymity, however, it remains theoretically possible that in the future, some children may be able to identify their donor(s)using DNA databanks and/or registries (e.g., if the donor submits her DNA to a genealogy site and a child born from her donation later submits its DNA to the same site).

At the present time, the ASRM recommends that no more than 1 or 2 embryos be transferred in any given cycle. Remaining embryos are frozen, whether for future transfers if the first one fails, for siblings, or for eventual embryo donation.

Please contact the Third Party Reproduction Team for more detailed information and a confidential phone consultation regarding your eligibility of becoming a recipient.


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