Donor egg treatment is one of the most advanced and effective forms of infertility treatment for women who have issues using their own eggs to conceive, even after intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF). While IVF and donor egg treatment are very similar and use the same medical processes, the source of eggs used is the differentiating factor between the two treatments.

Women who need donor egg treatment often experience one or more of these conditions including advanced age, Premature ovarian failureGenetic abnormalities, Poor egg or embryo quality with previous IVF attempts, and Lowered ovarian function.

Why donor egg treatment?

For a vast majority of these woman, donor egg is the last opportunity to carry a child to term. While maternal age is a leading indicator of a couple’s ability to conceive, many assume that women in their late-40s are the only group who need donor egg. However, women of all ages can have non-age related conditions that have lowered their ability to conceive with their own eggs. In addition to this subset of women, same sex male couples who want to build a biological family often use both an egg donor and gestational carrier.

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), women over 40 have a less than 5 percent chance of conceiving naturally each month, compared with the 20 percent chance per month that fertile women in their 30s experience. With donor egg treatment, women have the highest pregnancy and delivery rates of any fertility treatment, while still allowing the intended mother to carry a child.

Who are egg donors?

Egg donors are women between the ages of 21 and 35 who have been medically, psychologically, and genetically screened by a fertility center, egg donor agency, or non-anonymous agency to ensure the recipient has the best chance of success. The age range for egg donors limits the chance of genetic abnormalities and miscarriage, which are both greatly impacted by age. Donors are reimbursed for the time and effort it takes to donate (based on ASRM guidelines) and limited by the number of times permitted to donate. Be sure to check with the testing and age requirements of your fertility center as some of the suggested guidelines may vary.

Why would an international couple travel to the U.S. for donor egg treatment?

Egg donation in other parts of the world can be lengthy process or completely unavailable, depending on the country, for couples in need of donor egg treatment. Many international couples come to the United States because of the wide access to genetically, medically, and psychologically prescreened donors, as well as the commitment by most US.-based centers to keep the donors identity anonymous.

Content provided by Shady Grove Fertility.