Even sophisticated, 21st-century medical technology has its limitations. When the best science has to offer is not enough for other medical problems, we may be forced to rely upon the replacement of faulty organs with donor organs. When science cannot help in reproduction we can turn to donation of sperm and eggs to achieve a healthy pregnancy. Donation of semen has been practiced for more than a century. The history of egg donation spans almost four decades. Initially it was applied only to women with ovarian failure who were unable to produce any eggs. Its use has further expanded with the realization that egg quality and number are critical to IVF outcome. Egg donation will yield much higher success in:
Prime candidates for utilizing donor eggs are patients when the female partner:
Or in which the couple:
The decision to utilize donor eggs can be made in two ways.
Until recently all egg donation was done in a fresh IVF cycle which required both the donor and recipient to have their cycles suppressed over a lengthy period of time so that they will be in synch. Fresh donors are available at some IVF centers or egg donation agencies, which recruit and initially screen the donors and charge a fee for their services.
Now, thanks to technology that allows eggs to be frozen, frozen eggs are available which can be used in a much quicker and easier process for the recipient couple. Reproductive Partners is fortunate to have partnered with Donor Egg Bank USA, which has frozen eggs from prescreened donors available immediately. The lack of a need to suppress the recipient’s cycle and coordinate with the donor’s cycle and schedule makes the process much quicker, often completing the embryo transfer within three weeks of the recipient’s last menstrual period. The efficiency of being able to use one donor’s frozen eggs for several potential recipients makes the process much less expensive.