What can influence the outcome of your donor egg program?
For many patients, egg donation is something of a “last resort”, decided upon after several failed cycles using their own eggs. As such, they want to be certain that they are doing everything in their power to ensure the treatment’s success. What exactly, however, has a direct impact on the success of an egg donation cycle? Which factors are at play? Am I doing my part?
To help us understand every element at play during an egg donation cycle, we asked three experts one question. We ask to explain everything that can influence the outcome of treatment.
Check their answers in 3on1 #IVFANSWERS:
- Dr Renáta Krmíčková, IVF Zentren Prof. Zech, Czech Republic
- Dr Maria Arque, Fertty International, Spain
- Dr Nataliya Kushniruk, FertiCare Prague, Czech Republic
Answer from Dr Krmíčková
There are a few well known factors that can increase the patient’s chances when undergoing an egg donation program. First, you should try to eat well, exercise regularly, get enough sleep and reduce stress in your life. These are the general pieces of advice. They can improve your drive in general. Mental health and physical condition can have huge impacts on the possible success of the therapy for mothers to be. But the most important thing regarding success of an egg donation treatment is the choice of an experienced IVF clinic that applies modern medical standards. At the same time, full mutual trust between the clinician and the treated couple are the necessary factors for the treatment’s success. So, we do our best every day to provide first class treatment individually and make our patients feel welcome.
Answer from Dr Arque
I would say that one of the most important aspects is that the clinic has its own egg donation programme – that way, we can guarantee that the programme follows all the recommendations and guarantees to screen and select the donors in the required way, under European Legislation, and the way we can ensure that there is the highest level of safety and quality possible. This is one of the most important things in my opinion. Another one is to have a state of the art lab, with expert biologists working there, who excel at all the processes which are involved in the egg donation programme, especially if frozen eggs are used, they have to be very good at vitrification as well.
Answer from Dr Kushniruk
What we are mostly concerned with is embryo quality and the health of the uterus and the endometrial cavity. When it comes to the quality of embryos, we need to be mindful of the malefactor – that is, we need to be sure that the sperm quality is normal, that its motility, morphology and concentration are all at satisfactory levels. Moreover, the sperm needs to be free of immunological issues, as well of genetic issues such as DNA fragmentation. Aside from the malefactor, we also look at the morphology and the genetics of the embryo. We use the Gardner blastocyst grading scale to judge their overall morphological quality. We also perform a trophoblast biopsy on the fifth day of the embryo’s development in order to obtain a sample for genetic testing. These tests help us determine which embryos are the best candidates for implantation.
Let’s also talk about the endometrium. If we attempt to transfer an embryo into a uterus which is simply not ready to accept an embryo, the pregnancy will most likely not occur. Thus, it is important to synchronize the menstrual cycle and the embryo implantation date – usually, this means implanting between the 19th and the 24th day of the cycle, when its receptivity is at its highest and when the endometrium is thick enough. It also goes without saying that the uterus should be healthy; that is, it should not be afflicted with issues such as endometriosis, polyps, cysts or fibroids which negatively impact the implantation process.
Those are the two main factors which can influence the success rate of an egg donation cycle.