Egg donation cycle means that one woman (donor) gives her eggs to another (recipient) to help her get pregnant and have a baby. The entire process assume egg donor taking medications that stimulate her ovaries to produce multiple eggs over a single cycle. When her body is ready, cells are retrieved during surgery and evaluated by an embryologist. Eggs may then be used during fresh cycle in vitro fertilization or be frozen.
The history of egg donation begins in early 80s. In the USA egg donation was introduced to a commercial market after 1978 when IVF is proven to be successful infertility treatment method. In 1983 the first pregnancy achieved thanks to in vitro fertilization and donated eggs is reported in Australia. In the same year the similar procedure took place in United States at the Harbor UCLA Medical Center under the direction of Dr. John Buster and the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine. After nine months the first baby conceived from donor oocytes was born.
In 1990 in vitro with donor eggs became acceptable to treat age-related infertility. Since then the treatment has been available to women, even those over age of 40, who are physically able to bear a child. Of course also financial aspect matters. Egg recipients should be also capable of spending a lot of money for donors during egg donation process.
Trough years egg donation as a part of fertility treatment has been successfully developed. For women who were unable to get pregnant due to various infertility reasons this is entire new opportunity. Additionally in vitro with donated eggs is a good solution for patients who wanted to avoid passing genetic disorders. Prior to this, thousands of women who were infertile, single men or women and gay couples had adoption as the only path to parenthood. In the twenty-first century advanced techniques was introduced and new treatment options have been available.
Since the first egg donation birth over 50 thousands babies come to life from donor eggs. Oocyte and embryo donation now accounts for approximately 5% of in vitro fertilization recorded births. In many countries new law was established to regulate this medical procedure. The implementation of new methods into common practice resulted in wide debate. As the entire field of ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) Medicine was growing, medical associations all over the world prepared guidelines including IVF-Egg Donor cycles.
Over the past 25 years development of egg donations has brought up discussions about ethical and legal aspects of the method. In many countries technical and legal framework for clinical use of human oocytes has been established. Many regulations has been introduced to secure the safety of babies born and their parents, but also to assure that selection process guarantees donor’s health protection. However legal status and donor compensation models may vary in different places. In some countries the procedure is illegal (eg. Austria, Italy) or allowable only if it is anonymous and non-profit. In other it is acceptable when non-anonymous and without gratification for a donor (Canada). In some it is legal if anonymous and donor may receive compensation (like in Spain or Czech Republic and Poland). If a couple considers going abroad for the treatment, they need to do some research on legal issues in the country of their destination.