Dr. Greet Lammens from IMER Valencia, Spain, talks about when it is the best time to consider egg donation and when egg donation treatment is recommended to IVF patients by doctors.
It sometimes depends on your history. If you have had several embryo transfers without becoming pregnant, it is a possibility to try. We call these tests differently but do these tests to define if the moment when we transfer an embryo is in the right implantation window or not. That is possible with us. It is dependent on the details of your medical history.
In our clinic, it is the donor department in combination with a medical team who defines which donor is appropriate for a patient. When it comes to synchronizing a donor with a recipient, we seldom do that because it gives a lot of stress for the recipient and the results are not so good.
The treatments we do and the tests we perform on patients are all tests that are evidence-based and that give the patients a proven better chance for a pregnancy and we do not have any experience with the use of Mesenchymal stem cells for ovarian rejuvenation.
There are a lot of additional treatments along with egg donations, and one of them is intralipid immunoglobulins vaccines. We do not do that. There is not enough evidence that it will make your chances better or greater to conceive.
In the beginning, when I joined the clinic I asked that question as well. And I have seen all the figures. Indeed, that way we have a great possibility to match a donor and a recipient because we have a lot of eggs frozen from donors. We do that because the pregnancy rate and the live birth rate is as good as with freshly fertilized eggs these days.
Since the middle of March, the transfers that were scheduled after mid-March have been cancelled. The embryos are frozen, so nothing happens with them. They can be frozen for a longer time if needed. At the moment I am working from home, as are my colleagues. A lot of our work is not only seeing patients at a clinic but as well as making treatment plans, filing results the patients are sending, and we are now busy. We are contacting every single patient, and my assistant is scheduling telephone calls, and I have to speak with more than 50 patients one by one, asking how they are, how they are doing, if they are healthy or not, or if they have any questions. We are now waiting what the Spanish government will say about the measures when there is ease down and in what form and also the people in their own countries are subject to the lockdown. In general, the measures everywhere are the same, but there are also other problems. The airlines have to fly so from the moment when we can travel more freely then we will contact each and every one of our patients to inform them that they can begin treatment. I have a lot of video conferences with possible new patients who have a lot of questions. As we always do when somebody is interested in the treatment, we all always offer them a free conversation with me or by videoconference or I often go to Holland and in Belgium in person so that I can listen to their story, listen to their questions and answer them as well as possible. They have time to consider their choices as it is a difficult decision whether to go for an egg donation or to stop your fertility journey.
When we look at our numbers, we see that independent of the age of the patient, of the recipients. When we look at the patients who become pregnant after the first transfer of one embryo, and then the group of patients who are pregnant after the second embryo transfer, we see in our clinic a pregnancy rate of 75%. And in each case, I’m always talking about a single embryo transfer. When we understand that every pregnancy has a risk of 15% of a miscarriage, that means that in 60% of those cases a healthy child is born.
First of all, before answering that question I want to emphasize that any questions I will get on my email address that is through IVF media are very welcome after this webinar, and I will try to answer them to my the best knowledge and to my experience. Now we know about several coronaviruses such as influenza that they do not harm a child in the womb of a mother. You can even have a vaccine for influenza when you’re pregnant. Whether you’re two months pregnant or 6 months pregnant. About COVID 19 we do not know that and as nobody knows. We do not know when there will be a vaccine. I do hope that it will be sooner than later. You are thirty-eight. It’s an age when you’re already in a declining part of fertility. It depends how we all behave shortly if that if it will be a society where we keep our distance when we walk around with masks on. I cannot say exactly you should do this or you can’t do that. I think you can wait a bit longer until we know if the COVID/coronavirus harms the baby in the womb or not.