According to webmd.com, ‘If a couple cannot be helped through procedures such as in vitro fertilization, they may want to consider using donor eggs. Donor eggs — and sometimes donor embryos — allow an infertile woman to carry a child and give birth.

You might be a candidate for donor eggs if you have any of these conditions:

  • Premature ovarian failure, a condition in which menopause has started much earlier than usual, typically before age 40
  • Diminished ovarian reserve, meaning that the eggs that you have are of low quality; this can often be caused by age, because fertility drops off steeply after 40.
  • Genetically transmitted diseases that could be passed on to your child
  • A previous history of failure with IVF, especially when your doctor thinks that the quality of your eggs may be the problem

Making the decision to use donor eggs in IVF is often not easy.  If you’ve had failed IVF cycles using your own eggs or been told you have insufficient ovarian reserve for IVF, you and your partner may need time to grieve before moving on to donor eggs.  Once you are ready, however, donor eggs are a kind of miracle.  Eggs from young, healthy donors make it possible for women even of advanced maternal age to get pregnant and have a healthy baby at about the same IVF success rates as younger women, as high as 50 percent or more.  Those celebrities having babies well after age 40 are most likely using donor eggs.  When you and your partner are ready, these factors can help you select an egg donor who’s right for you.’

Some items to consider:

 Known Donor vs. Anonymous Egg Donor

Using a donor egg is a wonderful way for many couples to have a child when they have been long struggling to conceive using the woman’s own eggs. By carefully weighing both the pros and cons of using either an anonymous or known donor, you and your partner can decide which relationship is best for your family moving forward.

  • Anonymous – If you choose an Anonymous egg donor, no one can ever demand that the identity is disclosed. Neither parents, children, relatives, authorities nor others may obtain the identity .
  • Non-Anonymous – If you choose a Non-Anonymous egg donor, children can learn the identity upon reaching 18 years of age.  In other words, they may be contacted at some future time by children conceived using your eggs.

 Medical History and Mental Health/Intellectual Attributes

A donor from an agency, egg donor database, fertility center or frozen egg bank will be screened for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and genetic disorders, and will submit her and her family’s medical history.  A donor also undergoes psychological testing and evaluation.  Reading the donor’s profile will give you an idea of what she’s like intelligently and personality wise and if you feel she is a good match for you and your family.

 Ethnicity and Physical Attributes

If it’s important to you to select a donor who bears some resemblance to you physically or has the same ethnicity, hair color and/or eye color, then the larger the pool of donors, the greater the chance of matching more closely.  Religious background is another factor that may influence your decision.

 Successful Donation Previously?

Some people prefer to use an experienced donor because she has been through the process, knows what to expect, and responds well to fertility medications.

For some statistical data on egg donors by breaking down FRESH, FROZEN, THAWED and DONATED, please visit the SART (Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology) Donor Eggs section – https://www.sartcorsonline.com/rptCSR_PublicMultYear.aspx?reportingYear=2015#donor-fresh-egg

For more information contact CT Fertility at 203-373-1200.