Clinic’s offers for in vitro with donor eggs may differ in various countries and regions. Commonly couples may choose between a couple of programs and they may meet with options mentioned below:
- Complete egg donor cycle (exclusive donor) – fresh or frozen cycle – when you receive all eggs from a chosen donor which means no other recipient will be getting them. This might be a good solution if you have certain expectations for physical characteristics and other features of a donor. In case of first attempt failure, you don’t need to wait for another woman who fulfills your demands.Pros – more eggs, no problems concerning a second recipient, has the potential for more embryos to be frozen, lesser chance for cycle cancellation
Cons – only the price
- Egg sharing or shared egg donor cycle – this program may have at least two variants: in some clinics it means that you will share eggs from a donor you picked up with other patients, but it may be also a program where one infertile couple, shares their eggs with another infertile couple if it possible and safe.Pros – a lot cheaper option making it available for more people, less eggs are wasted
Cons – statistically 10% lesser pregnancy rate, fewer embryos, cycle can be cancelled for the second recipient if there is not enough of eggs for both, coordinating both with other recipient and donor
- In vitro with fresh donor eggs – recipient’s cycle is synchronized with the donor cycle through medication. After retrieving donor’s oocytes are fertilized with sperm obtained from recipient’s partner or a donor (laboratory needs to receive fresh or frozen sperm on the retrieval day). During embryo culture recipient’s endometrium is prepared and after a couple of days embryos are transferred.Pros – wide selection of donors, potentially multiple embryos, high pregnancy rates
Cons – must coordinate with the donor (her menstrual cycle and availability), whole procedure takes more time then with frozen eggs and usually is more expensive, sometimes donors are not immediately available
- In vitro with frozen donor eggs – frozen cycle – cycles of donor and recipient are not synchronized. After hormonal stimulation and pick-up, collected oocytes are frozen. The recipient decides when she is ready for her treatment. On the day of eggs thawing the partner donates sperm (or a couple may use sperm from a donor). After fertilizing oocytes, embryos are cultured and after a couple of days they are transferred.Pros – it is a quicker process then with the fresh eggs, wide selection of donors with immediate availability, you don’t have to coordinate with the donor, it is usually less expensive than the fresh egg cycleCons – lower number of embryos around 50% of oocytes are thawed properly, slightly lesser success rates than in fresh cycles however it depends on ivf laboratory experience,
- In vitro with frozen embryos (embryo donation) – An infertile couple undergoing the IVF process sometimes has more embryos than they need, so they can give those embryos to the bank so that they can be passed on to another couple.Pros – It is not expensive, pregnancy rates same as in fresh ivf cycles but with better rates for women aged between 35 and 37 and just before 40, about half the price of ivf with fresh eggs with less medication and less stress (no stimulation response, egg development and embryo growth issues)
Cons – very low accessibility of embryos in banks and clinics
There is also the matter of choosing the type of a donor. A donor could be anonymous or known or semi-known (when you know his identity information but you don’t know him personally).
When you choose an anonymous donor you both sign your agreements and the donor renounces her rights toward the child. The child will not be able to know about its origins and about the donor until he is 18 and then he is able to legally get to know about these matters. It is good to be straight with the child and gradually with time make him or her aware of it. It is good not to burn all the bridges between you and the donor, especially when some accidents occur involving the child and specific blood type is needed.
Choosing a known donor you may be forced to come up with some sort of relationship between the donor and the child. It is probable that your own relationship with the known donor will change. If it’s your sister or a close friend think about the impact it could have on your friendship. In the case of the donor being someone very close to your family like your sister for example it is very probable that she will have frequent contact with the child. It could be very emotional for all of you.
Think about all the options and talk about indications, possible chances for pregnancy, risks and costs before you make your decision. Sometimes psychological consultation may be helpful. Especially if you wonder what implications in vitro with donor eggs may have for your family and future children.