The egg donation treatment has completely changed the field of reproductive medicine. It is a great way to overcome obstacles such as patients’ advanced age and the decline of eggs’ quality and quantity. As a result, pregnancy success rates with egg donation are significantly better than pregnancy rates in IVF cycles using woman’s own eggs. In fact, egg donation can raise the likelihood of achieving a successful pregnancy up to 70% in just one cycle.
But despite all those obvious advantages, the idea of using donor eggs to conceive is still considered a touchy subject and remains a taboo for some fertility patients. Many IVF specialists admit that it is generally difficult to convince a woman that the quality of her eggs is not good and the egg donation seems to be the most reasonable solution for her. And, to be honest, it is not surprising at all. Going for donor eggs is probably the toughest decision one has to make over the course of own fertility journey.
Egg donation is defined as the process in which a fertile woman donates her egg (or oocyte) for the purpose of assisted or third-party reproduction. In other words, donor’s ovaries are stimulated to produce multiple mature eggs, which are then donated to another woman (a recipient) to help her conceive. Eggs may be frozen for later use or fertilised in vitro. In case of the latter, the resulting embryos are transferred into the recipient’s uterus.
If the embryo implantation is successful, it is followed by a pregnancy that is the same as all other pregnancies, either natural or through IVF. The recipient is suggested to have all the necessary pregnancy scans and tests and is expected to remain under obstetrician’s medical care until the childbirth as well as afterwards.
The indications for donor eggs
The basic indications for egg donation are diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) and primary ovarian insufficiency (POI), also called premature ovarian failure. As women age, their natural reproductive potential starts to decrease. It is a well-known fact that women over 40 years old have reduced fertility in general, what comes from ageing of the eggs and leads to reduced pregnancy success and an increase in miscarriages.
DOR is a decrease in the quality and quantity of woman’s eggs in her ovaries, which has serious impact on her fertility. POI, on the other hand, happens when the ovaries stop functioning before the age of 40.The ovaries do not produce normal amount of the hormone estrogen or release eggs regularly, leading to their complete depletion. POI may be referred to as early menopause occurring before the age of 40 and it affects approximately 1% of the female population