Egg Donation Q&A
What is third party reproduction?
Simply, it’s a reproduction method that requires a person other than the parenting couple. This could be through sperm or egg donation. For example, with more partnerships and marriages occurring in the LBGTQ community, there are many family permutations that don’t include the components to achieve biological conception. The contributions of a third party are necessary to create a viable pregnancy with the biological contribution of at least 1 member of the parenting couple. Global Fertility & Genetics offers families of any membership fertility treatment options, including:
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
- In Vitro fertilization (IVF)
- Techniques using donated eggs
- Techniques using donated sperm
- Using a gestational carrier, also known as a surrogate mother
What is involved with egg donation?
The donor typically undergoes a 5-step process through the egg donation process.
The initial screening process usually includes a blood test on the 3rd day of a potential donor’s menstrual cycle to check for hormone levels. A transvaginal ultrasound establishes the donor’s physiology. Successful screening includes a psychological portion as well, if other tests are positive. The 2nd phase of screening includes additional blood testing for sexually transmitted infections, hepatitis, drug use, and genetic screening. The 3rd step includes the legal and financial stages, if these are involved. The 4th step synchronizes the egg donor with the egg recipient, whether it’s a member of the receiving family or their surrogate. The 5th step is the actual egg harvest, during which the donor undergoes a process that takes about 30 minutes, followed by a period of postoperative recovery. The egg is then available for fertilization and implantation.
Are there risks to the donation process?
Egg donation is a relatively new procedure, so no long-term, definitive studies have examined the process in depth. However, many of the steps prior to egg retrieval are used in other fertility treatments and so their effects are known. For instance, the risks associated with fertility drugs impact the egg donor. These include increased chances of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, which can, in rare cases, lead to enlarged ovaries or blood clots. A connection between fertility drugs and ovarian cancer is suspected, but not yet proven.