Exploring egg donors and the egg donation process
Egg donation is one of the most successful ways a couple may choose to build their family. Egg donation simply refers to using an egg donor along with the male partner’s sperm to achieve pregnancy. This is an option for those couples who are experiencing infertility (most likely caused by poor or absent ovarian function), but want to experience pregnancy and a biological connection as well as a genetic connection to the child.
The ovum donor program at Reproductive Resource Center of Kansas City (RRC) has an average live born rate of 64% per embryo transfer since 1993. Over 750 recipient patients have gone through the program.
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 RRC and the guidelines from American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). Recipients must be in good physical and emotional health.
Donors are fertile, healthy women between the ages of 21-33 who have met the medical and psychological requirements of RRC, the guidelines from the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, and the FDA requirements for tissue donation. Donors may be anonymous, known to the couple or a family member or friend who is presented to our office for consideration as a donor.
Our screening program for all donors includes a complete medical evaluation of the potential donor, to include the family history. Additionally, the donor will undergo a physical exam, ultrasound of the ovaries, laboratory screening for infectious diseases, genetic screening as indicated, and drug screening. Our psychological evaluation includes written testing, and a structured clinical interview by a counselor specializing in reproductive issues. This interview includes a detailed social and family history.
As a recipient, you would complete a recipient profile that will include a photo of you and your husband, physiological details, preferences, interests and talents. The ovum donation team will provide you with donor profiles for your review. You will make the selection of the donor most appropriate for you. Patients now have the ability to view donor egg profiles on our website with login/password info.
Generally, you can expect to start a treatment cycle within 30 days of selecting your donor. The actual treatment cycle is about 45 days. The procedure itself mirrors in vitro fertilization (IVF) in that superovulation is induced via hormone injections. The egg donor produces multiple eggs (instead of one) and those eggs are harvested and fertilized in the lab, using the sperm from the male partner. After a few days in the lab, embryo(s) are then inserted in the uterus of the recipient, and she will support the pregnancy.
Costs vary, but range anywhere from $22000- $28000 per cycle. ”Known” ovum donor cycles are less expensive than “Anonymous” ovum donor cycles. If you would like to learn more about our egg donor program, please call us at 877.221.2323 or 913.894.2323. Our Medical Director, Dr. Celeste Brabec, is a board certified Reproductive Endocrinologist. She would be happy to meet you!
*oocyte image courtesy of euthman / creative commons
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RRC has over 200 years of combined experience. As a leading reproductive health, infertility, and in-vitro fertilization (or IVF) center based in Kansas City, we're proud to have the highest level of expertise available to our patients.