Donor Egg Infertility Treatment FAQ
Question: What is egg donation as an infertility treatment?
Answer: Egg donation is a highly successful infertility treatment available to women with poor or absent ovarian function. The process involves the use of in vitro fertilization of eggs from a donor and sperm from the recipient couple. One or two of the resultant embryos (blastocysts) are placed in the uterus of the recipient woman who has undergone preparation of the lining of the uterus with use of estrogen and progesterone. Any remaining quality embryos are cryopreserved for the couple’s future use.
Question: Who should consider being a recipient of an egg donation?
Answer: Candidates for ovum donation include women who have experienced failed IVF cycles related to compromised egg quality, declining ovarian function most often related to advancing age, are menopausal, have been born without ovaries or have had them surgically removed, or have undergone cancer therapy. Recipients are married couples that meet medical and psychological requirements of the Reproductive Resource Center of Greater Kansas City and the guidelines from American Society of Reproductive Medicine. Recipients must be in good physical and emotional health.
Question: How long has the Reproductive Resource Center had a program for Ovum Donation?
Answer: Our program has been in operation since 1993.
What is the difference between fresh versus frozen donor eggs?
In a frozen donor egg cycle, the IVF cycle has already taken place, with the eggs retrieved and vitrified for use in your future treatment. Recipients using frozen eggs do not need to synchronize their treatment schedule with the donor, as is required in fresh egg donation cycles.
The major benefits of using frozen eggs are the convenience of being able to start based on your schedule alone, rather than having to work around the donor’s menstrual cycle or availability. At Fairfax EggBank, one of our our partnering donor egg banks, a cohort of frozen eggs consists of 6 to 8 eggs. It is possible that a fresh donor egg cycle could yield more than that (It is also possible that a fresh cycle could yield less). Many egg banks also offer an embryo development guarantee for each purchased cohort – this is the promise that if at least one good embryo does not result a free replacement cohort of another 6-8 eggs will be obtained.
Cost is almost always less when using frozen donor eggs and it is also more predictable. This is true in part because many of the variables in a fresh cycle are not present in a frozen cycle. These variables include costs of donor medications and insurance, and the expense of making last-minute travel plans due to a donor’s response that could be faster or slower than predicted.
Question: Once a donor is selected, how long does it take to get started with treatment?
Answer: Generally, you can expect to start a treatment cycle within 30 days of selecting your donor eggs. The actually treatment cycle itself, from the start of birth control pills for menstrual cycle regulation until embryo transfer is about 45 days.
Question: Who are considered the legal parents?
Answer: The Kansas Parentage Act recognizes the recipient woman and her husband as the legal parents of a child conceived with donor egg. With that said, in the case of using a known donor, a legal contract is still recommended.
Question: How do I become a recipient?
Answer: Patients may be referred by a physician or by self-referred. After completing an application form, available online, you will be scheduled for a consultation with our board certified Reproductive Endocrinologist, Dr. Celeste Brabec or Dr. William Phipps, and our Nurse Practitioner, Marge Vogt, who is the Nurse Coordinator for our program. This consultation will include a thorough evaluation of your medical history and a physical exam with ultrasound of the pelvis. Additionally, the couple will be provided ample time to discuss the medical and psychosocial aspects of ovum donation as a family building option.
This is just an abbreviated sample of the most requested information. Please feel free to contact us at Reproductive Resource Center of Greater Kansas City with any question that may help you become more familiar with Ovum Donation as an option for building your family.
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Listen to Dr. Brabec's Fertility Health Tips
Last month, our own Dr. Celeste Brabec was interviewed for the HCA Midwest Health Talk Podcast, hosted by . The topic this week was proactive fertility health in an era when women/couples are waiting longer to start families. Dr. Brabec provides a range of important fertility health tips. Age Matters...