Egg donation may be a part of in vitro fertilization. In this procedure healthy oocytes donated by a donor to infertile couple are fertilized within a laboratory setting. It is a solution for women who are unable to produce their own eggs or have other medical indications (pregnancy losses or genetic disorders).
The idea that stands behind egg donation is pretty simple – it involves a healthy woman who is donating her eggs to another infertile woman. Firstly a potential donor must go through a selection process that includes general medical examination, blood tests and sometimes psychological consultation. The woman which wants to become donor should be both physically as well as mentally prepared. When she is accepted she starts taking medications and needs to be under medical control.
On the recipient’s side the selection of a suitable donor is made. Usually a couple can pick an anonymous donor considering her characteristics such as height, weight, posture, color of skin, eyes and hair , as well as blood type and Rh factor. Some clinics give patients access to donors’ pictures or additional information about her origin, religion, sexual orientation, educational background, work experience, interests, talents, genetic and medical history, etc.
One of the most important elements of egg donation process is the egg retrieval. It is a medical procedure in which recipient has a chance to become a mother as a result of using the donor ‘s eggs during in vitro fertilization program.
The oocytes from the donor are fertilized by sperm of the partner of the woman who receives eggs or donor sperm. All procedures take place in properly equipped in vitro laboratory. When embryos have 2,3 or 5 days they are transferred and implanted into the womb of the woman who will carry it to the term. For many women who receive donated eggs this is the only opportunity to give birth to a child.
The scientific breakthrough established standards and changed the outlook of ART medicine. As IVF has developed the procedures used in egg donation were also improved. Currently donor’s eggs are harvested from woman’s ovaries in a surgical procedure and fertilized in the laboratory. Embryo or embryos are then transferred into the intended mother. After she gets pregnant she is able to have her own (not in the genetic meaning) baby.
During the egg donation cycle, recipient may decide on some additional procedures such as ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) used in order to increase the chance of conception, AH (Assisted hatching) – it helps to increase the chance of embryo implantation, blastocyst embryo culture, MSOME IMSI (Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection with Motile Sperm Organelle Morphology Examination) – during this procedure male reproductive cells are thoroughly tested, testicular biopsy PGD (preimplantation diagnosis) or PGS (preimplantation screening) – that helps to avoid genetic diseases and chromosomes abnormalities.