If you are thinking of using an egg donor in your journey to parenthood, you probably have many questions! Our Using Donor Eggs FAQs offer answers to many common questions that intended parents often ask. For more information on our egg donation program and to view our available egg donors, please contact us or register for free access to our egg donor database.
How are the rights of everyone involved protected?
All parties are represented by attorneys experienced in reproductive law in the United States throughout the egg donation process. These lawyers ensure that the agreements entered into are carefully drafted to comply with both state and federal laws and avoid any confusion or misinterpretation regarding the rights, responsibilities, or intent of all parties.
Egg donation embryo transfer
In fresh egg donation, typically the embryo transfer is scheduled 3 or 5 days after the donor egg retrieval. The intended mother or surrogate continues to take estrogen and progesterone through the end of the first trimester to mimic the hormones produced by the ovary during natural conception. At the end of the first trimester (twelve weeks gestational age, or approximately ten weeks after the embryo transfer), the placenta produces the necessary hormones, and estrogen and progesterone supplementation is no longer required.
Alternatively, the embryo can be frozen and prepared for transfer at a later date.
Does the success rate differ by age?
In general, the uterus does not age in the same manner as the ovary. The success rate is similar for women in their third, fourth and fifth decade of life – assuming that the patient is in good health and otherwise a suitable candidate for this treatment.
Is there an upper age limit for being a recipient of donor eggs?
The typical upper age limit for a fertility patient using donor eggs is 55.
What information does each party have about the other?
Almost all egg donations are done anonymously. In these cases, the donor does not have any information about the recipient. Recipients have access to medical history and photos of the donor to aid in the selection process. In directed donations, both parties have access to more information.
What rights does the donor have over the eggs?
According to current laws, donors do not retain rights to eggs or resulting embryos after donation. You can learn more about legal considerations of egg donation in our blog Do Egg donors have parental rights here.
How are donors screened?
Egg donors go through a thorough screening process in order to select qualified candidates and help ensure that information provided about the donor’s medical history and health status is accurate. The process includes a medical evaluation (including an examination of reproductive organs and blood tests to check hormone levels), genetic screening, STD and drug testing, and psychological counseling. You can learn more about how egg donors are screened in our article here.
Where are donor eggs available and how long does it take to obtain them?
The length of time required for selecting a donor and going through a retrieval cycle for fresh donor eggs varies. Patients who want to shorten the time involved in selecting a donor may wish to use frozen eggs which are available immediately.
Is there a way to reduce the cost of egg donation?
Some patients choose the shared egg donation offered by Dr. Jain. In this process, two couples share the eggs retrieved from one donation cycle. This reduces the cost of the eggs for each couple by about 50%.
How is the cycle of the recipient synchronized with the donor?
Birth control pills and other hormones may be used to manage the recipient’s periods and ensure she is ready to receive the donated eggs at the appropriate time.
Does the recipient contribute any genetic material?
The recipient does not contribute to the genetic material of the embryo in a traditional sense. However, the environment of the recipient’s womb can have a substantial effect on how the embryo’s genes are expressed as it develops. You can learn more about egg donation epigenetics in our dedicated blog here.
What are my options when choosing an egg donor?
Prospective parents can access a complete egg donor profile in order to select a donor with specifics of ethnicity, physical characteristics — like height, skin, hair, and eye color – educational background, and personality traits. We also encourage prospective parents to prioritize their own wellness; epigenetics research has shown that the health and environment of the uterus that will be carrying the baby can also influence the child’s growth and development.
If I use a donor egg is the baby mine?
Yes, absolutely, if you use a donor egg the baby is yours. Although the use of an egg donor to become pregnant is a relatively new medical development, egg donors do not have parental responsibilities or rights. It’s important to work with a well-respected egg donation agency or clinic like Santa Monica Fertility, as established procedures and processes are already in place to help intended parents navigate through the legalities of this process and create an egg donor legal contract that protects all parties.
What are the chances of twins with donor eggs?
Most natural twins are the result of two independent embryos implanting in the uterus, a result of the mother ovulating two eggs. Similarly, with IVF, twins are typically seen when two embryos are transferred to the uterus. Identical twins are relatively rare in nature and IVF, occurring approximately 0.5 to 2.5% of the time respectively. Since egg donation is associated with the highest pregnancy rate per embryo transferred, it follows that the chance of twins with donor eggs is equally elevated when two donor egg embryos are transferred – occurring approximately 50% of the time.
How long does it take to get pregnant with donor eggs?
Most intended parents are pleased that it does not take too long to get pregnant with donor eggs. Women who have completed all of their prenatal and fertility tests can proceed directly to embryo transfer planning. Typically, if frozen donor eggs are used, transfer can occur within 6 to 8 weeks. If fresh eggs are used, the time is usually 12 to 16 weeks from securing donor eggs.