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Egg Donation Procedure

Updated on August 6, 2009

Egg Donation Procedure

Many couples who want to have children find it difficult or impossible to conceive. Using assisted reproductive technology, some couples can conceive using their own eggs and sperm. Other couples may have to use sperm donated by another man or eggs donated by another woman. Egg donation procedure allows women, whose ovaries do not produce enough healthy eggs, to become pregnant using donated eggs. When donor eggs are used, the recipient is the birth mother, but not the genetic mother, of any resulting children.

Who uses egg donors?

Women with diminished ovarian reserve or women who do not produce good quality eggs, often because they are approaching or have already entered menopause. Also women without ovaries, or whose ovaries do not produce any eggs. Egg donation is also used by women who want to avoid transmitting a genetic disease to their offspring.

A couple has about 65-75% chance of achieving a successful pregnancy with the help of a young and healthy egg donor.

After the age of 36 women's fertility sharply decreases, and especially the quality of eggs is diminished, making conception and successful pregnancy difficult. If in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure is used with donor eggs, the pregnancy rate generally corresponds to the donor's age group.

Thanks to egg donation procedure many women in their forties or even fifties have been able to give birth to healthy children. In fact, over 10% of all couples undergoing assisted reproductive technology procedures use donated eggs or sperm.

Women choose the egg donation procedure as an alternative to adoption. The advantages of egg donation over adoption is that it gives the couple the chance to experience a pregnancy and birth, provides the man to be the genetic father, and the woman to be the biological mother of the child. Moreover, the recipients may select a donor that closely matches their own background.

How to choose the right egg donor?

If you are unable to produce viable eggs of your own, you may be considering using an egg donor in order to conceive. But how exactly do you choose the right egg donor?

An egg donor is a woman who donates her eggs to another woman to help her achieve a pregnancy. Donors can be anonymous or designated (known donor). Anonymous donor is a woman who donates their eggs but does not reveal her identity. Known donor is someone whom you know, such as your friend, sister or relative.

If possible, it is better to find a known donor who is in some way related to you. Another good way to find a donor is to use a donor egg agency to help you locate and screen an acceptable candidate. You may also choose to place your own ad in newspapers or online to search for a suitable person.

When choosing an egg donor, people usually consider the following characteristics: ethnic bacground, height and type of body build, color of the eyes and hair, as well as religion, education, interests and hobbys. When working with an an egg donation agency, the agent will provide you with a detailed profile that describes each of these characteristics.

Egg Donation Procedure Cost

The cost of egg donation is about $30,000 that includes the egg donor fees (from $5,000-$10,000), agency fees (usually in the $5,000 range) and IVF fees. On top of that the receipients may have to pay some additional medical fees, egg donor expenses, etc.

Because the cost of the entire process can be really high, so many clinics offer shared donor programs. Shared cycles allow to lower the the cost of the entire procedure by half without lowering the receipient's chances of having a baby. While adonor cycle costs on average about $30,000.00, by proceeding with a split cycle, the expense would be approximately $17,000.00 resulting in a significant savings.


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