EGG DONATION, A TREATMENT WITH HIGH SUCCESS RATES
Egg donation is a safe and effective treatment that offers many women, who are no longer fertile, the opportunity to get pregnant.
In 2017, around 8 in every 10 egg donation treatments undergone at ProcreaTec resulted in pregnancy.
What does an egg donation treatment consist of?
It is an assisted reproduction procedure in which healthy eggs from an anonymous donor are used to create an embryo, which will then be transferred into the uterus of the patient in order to become pregnant.
Spanish legislation establishes very specific criteria which donors must meet in order to donate their eggs. It is a fully regulated, anonymous and altruistic process. It is prohibited for donors to receive any kind of payment for their eggs although it is legally stipulated that they receive financial compensation for any expenses and inconvenience caused during the process.
Donors are healthy women, under the age of 35 and without any previous history which could affect their fertility.
As for the recipient, egg donation, or oocyte donation is recommended for women whose ovarian reserve has naturally been depleted over the years or due to ovarian surgery or aggressive treatments, such as chemo or radiation therapy. Oocyte donation can also be done in patients with genetic disorders which could affect their offspring.
What are the stages of egg donation?
• Synchronization between recipient and donor. In this first phase, the recipient and the donor usually take contraceptives to coordinate their respective cycles. In some cases, medicine is also given to the recipient to slow down their ovarian activity and avoid desynchronization of the cycle. After stopping the contraceptive, the donor will start the ovarian stimulation and the recipient will carry out the endometrium preparation by means of an oestrogen treatment.
• Egg retrieval and fertilization. The egg retrieval is a very simple and quick procedure, which is carried out on the donor whilst under sedation. The ovarian follicles are punctured to retrieve the eggs. The same day of the procedure, the eggs are fertilized using a sperm sample from the recipient’s partner or a donor sperm.
• Development of the embryos. Embryos from an egg donor are usually of good quality, but this phase is essential in ensuring that quality. Day by day, specialists oversee their development and select the most suitable ones to be transferred to the recipient.
• Embryo Transfer. This is done five days after the egg retrieval is performed. The transfer is performed vaginally, without the need for anaesthesia. The embryo is deposited in the thickness of the endometrium, close to the bottom of the uterus to favour the implantation. The recipient must take a pregnancy test 15 days after this transfer.
Can the recipient choose the donor?
This is a very common question in recipient women who decide to start the egg donation process. Spanish law establishes that all donations are anonymous. Therefore, under no circumstances can the recipient choose or meet the donor. The clinic staff are the ones who choose the donor, based on the best criteria.
Do my chances of success decrease if I am over 40 years old?
In this situation, the chances of success in egg donation are not notably reduced by increasing age or passing the 40s mark.
Age mostly effects the quality of oocytes: this is why donors are young and healthy women. However, an older age can result in problems in the development of the pregnancy, so it is recommended that only a single embryo is transferred, to avoid twin pregnancy.