Using An Egg Donor at CC
As a Woman Ages, So Does Her Fertility.
Sometimes the media would like us to believe differently, BUT there is no question – as a woman ages, her fertility declines, regardless of her overall health. Certain lifestyle choices like poor diet, smoking or excessive alcohol or drug use as well as some environmental factors like radiation exposure or chemotherapy can certainly expedite the decline, but so far, science has found no way to delay or halt it.
By the time a woman reaches her late thirties, her chances of a natural conception drop dramatically, and her chance for miscarriage rises significantly.
The concept of using donor oocytes (eggs) is pretty simple; take the eggs from a young healthy women, fertilize them in the laboratory with sperm from the intended father or another donor source, and then transfer the resultant embryos into the hormonally prepared uterus of the intended mother.
Success Rates of CC’s Donor Egg Program
Donor egg cycles tend to have the highest success rates for clinical pregnancies and live births compared to any other group of patients being treated for infertility. Carolina Conceptions has the largest and most successful egg donor registry/program within North Carolina with often more than 65 egg donors available for fresh donation.
Since it takes 9 months to determine if a live birth occurred from a recorded pregnancy, success rates cannot be accurately reported and analyzed for fertility clinics until well over a year after a positive pregnancy test is recorded. The most current information available from SART [Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology] at this time is from 2014.
In 2014, Carolina Conceptions had a live birth rate of 60% from couples who chose to use our donor egg program.
Pregnancy rates from fertility clinics can be reported more quickly than live birth rates. In 2016, Carolina Conceptions ended the year with a pregnancy rate of 76.2% from couples who chose to use egg donors. Through July of 2017, we have an 85% pregnancy rate with donor egg!
Choosing An Egg Donor
Egg recipient patients at Carolina Conceptions can select a donor from our private egg donor database via a unique password after their cycle deposit has been paid. This gives the recipient the opportunity to view photos of potential donors, review their medical history, as well as read a little bit about how the donor views herself. Recipient patients have the luxury of selecting the donor they feel is the best match.
FAQs for Donor Egg Recipients
What Labs & Tests Are Required For the Intended Mother?
- Lab testing includes but may not be limited to: Blood Type, RPR, HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Varicella, Antibody screen
- Current pap smear (recommended, not required)
- Recent Hydrosonogram (saline ultrasound) or HSG
- “Mock Transfer” (a practice transfer to measure uterine length and ensure accurate placement of the embryo on the day of actual embryo transfer)
If the intended mother has medical problems that may increase her risks during pregnancy, we recommend she meet with a specialist in Maternal Fetal Medicine for preconception counseling. If over the age of 45, you must also provide a copy of your latest mammogram, have an EKG, and complete a consultation with a high risk OB-GYN physician.
What Labs & Tests Are Required For the Intended Father?
- Lab Screening For: HIV 1 & 2, Hepatitis B surface antigen, Hepatitis B Core antibody, Hepatitis C, RPR and blood type. We may recommend he be screened for genetic carrier status if the donor is a carrier of a recessive disorder.
- A Semen Analysis is required from the intended father to provide information about the ability of his sperm to fertilize an egg.
- The above labs may be completed in our office, at LapCorp, or other approved lab with results faxed to our office. The results must be current within twelve months (except blood type).
What Labs & Tests Are Required For the Egg Donor?
- Genetic screening & infectious disease testing as required by FDA Standards.
- Physical exam.
- Psychological evaluation to confirm the donor understands all aspects of the egg donation process and her questions have been answered regarding this decision.
- Next, our donor coordinator will contact both parties to schedule appointments and develop a treatment calendar outlining exactly what will happen when.
What Happens in an Egg Recipient Treatment Cycle?
After a donor has been selected and labwork is complete for all parties, egg donor recipients will take a DONOR EDUCATION CLASS at CC. During the class, recipients will review the treatment dates, be instructed in the use of medications, review and sign consent forms.The recipient will take medication to suppress her ovaries and build up the lining of her uterus to prepare her body for embryo implantation. The donor will use injections to stimulate her ovaries and induce ovulation.
Both the donor and recipient will be monitored via labs and ultrasounds in our office. The donor will have more frequent monitoring, and the recipient will be updated with the donor’s progress each time she is seen. When the donor’s follicles have reached a mature size (generally after 8-12 days of stimulation medication), it is time to schedule the donor’s egg retrieval surgery and the intended father’s semen collection.
After the donor’s egg retrieval, the recipient will be notified how many eggs were retrieved. We will call the recipient the following day with fertilization results (how many embryos developed) and schedule an embryo transfer for the recipient between days 3-5, unless PGS/PGD is being done and a frozen embryo transfer will take place on a later date.
Two weeks after the egg retrieval, a pregnancy blood test will be done in our office to find out if the cycle worked.
How Long Does the Process Take?
From the time a donor is chosen by the recipient through embryo transfer usually takes approximately 8-10 weeks. Occasionally the process may take longer depending on various factors like where each woman is in her menstrual cycle, or if the intended parents have chosen to do preimplantation genetic screening on their embryos prior to transfer.
Does the Egg Donor Have Any Legal/Parental Rights to A Future Child?
No. Anonymous gamete donors, be they egg or sperm, sign away any rights they may have had to any resultant offspring when they consent to be a gamete donor. We make every effort to protect the anonymity of both our donors and our oocyte recipients.
Learn more about the patient privacy for both parties in a donor egg treatment cycle and fees required to begin previewing egg donors.
Contact our Egg Donor & Recipiency Coordinator, Ellie Downs with additional questions.
What Do We Tell Family, Friends, or Future Children About Using An Egg Donor?
Prior to beginning your donor egg cycle, we recommend you consider who you will inform about your use of donated eggs, and the potential consequences of this decision. We encourage all couples discuss their questions and concerns with a counselor or psychologist trained in this area. We highly recommend Dr. Ryan Blazei, Licensed Clinical Pscyhologist. Dr. Blazei also runs periodic workshops for couples considering using an egg donor, which many patients find helpful. She also has provided an excellent blog article on what to tell your children about donor conception.
Patient & Donor Privacy
Carolina Conceptions takes the privacy of our patients and anonymous donors seriously. If you elect to participate in our anonymous egg donor program, this information will be held in confidence. The health care providers who assist in your care will know that you are an egg recipient. It will be up to you and your partner to decide with whom outside of this office you choose to share this information. The egg donor’s identity is also protected. You will be given basic information about her to aid in your decision process, but you will not be given any personal information that might compromise her anonymity.
We will discuss our screening process with you and make an attempt to incorporate any special requests that you may have in the selection of your donor. If you choose to use a known donor, she will be requiredto undergo the same screening criteria as our anonymous donors.
Cycle Deposit & Access to Donor Egg Database
A deposit of $3,000 ($500 non-refundable) is required prior to begin this process (before viewing egg donor profiles). With receipt of the deposit, you will be issued a unique password that will grant you access to our online donor profiles. The remainder of the cycle charges must be paid in full at your education class in order to initiate a cycle. This policy is designed to help us minimize the cost of egg donation for our patients. Charges for the cycle with either anonymous or known donors are the same with the possible exception of donor compensation. It is your decision to choose whether or not you want to compensate a known donor. Questions regarding financial matters should be addressed to our financial representatives at 919.782.5911 x104 or x110.