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Egg Donor and Donor Egg IVF in Houston, Texas

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Many women who hope to carry children are in need of help conceiving through the use of donor eggs.

When Do I Need An Egg Donor Or Undergo Donor Egg IVF?

If you’re over the age of 40 or have poor egg quality or ovarian reserve, early menopause, genetic disorders, hormone imbalances or if your ovaries have not responded well to IVF stimulation in the past, using donor eggs may be a great option for you. While the preference for most women will be to use their own eggs, using donor eggs may help a woman become pregnant when it is not otherwise possible or the IVF success rates are very low with her own eggs. One of the biggest advantages of using and egg donor is that you do not need to undergo the oocyte retrieval process which is part of In Vitro Fertilization process. You will still receive an embryo transfer and get to experience the joy of being pregnant and delivering your baby.

Do We Get To Choose Our Egg Donor?

Yes! There are several ways to choose an egg donor and you will be assisted by your fertility specialist and IVF nurse through the egg donation process. Traditional egg donation involved selecting an egg donor from an agency (anonymous) or choosing a friend or family member (known donor) to donate eggs. Potential egg donors or donor candidates all undergo rigorous FDA medical history screening, blood tests for hormone levels and infectious diseases, psychological screening and genetic testing for single gene disorders (carrier screen) or chromosome disorders. Agencies require an extensive egg donor application for screening and so they can provide complete donor profiles for your review. This will allow you to make an informed choice about the egg donor, their personality, appearance, talents and interests. The strict screening process for donors ensures all donors are of a high quality. Intended parents (patients desiring pregnancy) must also have a legal agreement with the agency or donor to clarify all expectations of the process prior to starting. After these steps are completed, the egg donation cycle (In Vitro Fertilization) can be started.

More recently, many intended parents will use egg donors from an egg bank. Using an egg bank has several advantages such as ease of selection and shorter time to starting the In Vitro Fertilization and embryo transfer process. Typically, when selecting an egg donor from an egg bank, the medical and psychological screening process, as well as the genetic testing, egg retrieval, and egg donation process has already been completed. Intended parents only have to select the egg donor they prefer from the egg bank profiles and request the eggs (egg lot or cohort) be sent to the In Vitro Fertilization Laboratory an Inovi Fertility & Genetics Institute. Typically, the donated eggs provided by an egg bank come as an egg lot or cohort that includes 6-8 eggs. Many egg banks will offer a guarantee of a minimum number of embryos for embryo transfer from each egg lot or cohort.

How Are Donor Eggs Used for IVF?

Once you decide to pursue IVF using donor eggs preparations will be made for In Vitro Fertilization. When the eggs are retrieved from your donor or they arrive from the egg bank, they will be injected with your male partner’s sperm (or donor sperm if you requested it) in our lab, fertilizing the donated eggs directly. The resulting fertilized eggs, now embryos, will mature for 5-6 days before the highest quality one(s) are chosen for embryo transfer to your uterus. If the procedure is successful, the embryo will implant in your uterus naturally and a blood test 10 days later will confirm pregnancy.

What Is The Success Rate Of Using Donor Eggs For IVF?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), donor eggs used for IVF offer the highest rate of successful pregnancies when compared to non-donor eggs. This is likely due to the intense pre-screening of donors prior to egg donation cycle.

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The Following Are The Basic Requirements To Become An Egg Donor:

  • Between the ages of 21-30
  • Physically healthy, preferably with a normal BMI
  • No significant medical history or infectious diseases
  • Not using an implant or the Depo-Provera shot for birth control
  • Non-smoker
  • Experiencing regular monthly menstrual cycles
  • Not abusing any substances
  • Has both ovaries and normal ovarian reserve (healthy eggs)
  • Has no family history of genetic disorders (normal genetic screening)
  • Willing to take injections and undergo In Vitro Fertilization
  • Confirmation of mental health and not taking psychoactive medications
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How Can I Become An Egg Donor In An Egg Donor Program?

If you are considering donating eggs to allow another woman to become pregnant, we want to encourage and support you in every way. At Inovi, we have the experience to guide you through the process of egg donation. When considering becoming an egg donor, it is important to consider the emotional involvement in addition to the physical changes you will go through to prepare to donate your eggs.

While the hormone injections necessary to prepare your body for egg donation may be difficult to administer for two weeks of the egg donation cycle, knowing that you have a biological child that you may never meet can be challenging. For this reason, all egg and sperm donors, and women who will serve as gestational surrogates, are asked to meet with a donor psychologist to review expectations for the process. Despite the feelings this might bring, nothing can compare with the beauty of knowing you have allowed a woman to conceive and bear a child who otherwise would not have been able to without your donated eggs.

Whether you desire to donate your eggs to a friend or family member, or if you simply want to work with an agency and donate them as needed, the process is the same. You will connect with a fertility clinic or agency that will first screen you to ensure you are a good candidate for donating your eggs. Tests for infectious diseases, hereditary genetic disorders and potential birth defects will be performed in addition to a physical exam, mental health inventory and medical history as recommended by the FDA.

If you are approved as an egg donor with an agency, you will provide an extensive personal profile to be on file for prospective parents to review. Once they choose you as their egg donor, arrangements will be made for egg retrieval.

Whether you are a friend of the intended parents or an egg donor from an agency, your body will need to be prepared for the egg donation process. You will receive hormone injections to stimulate egg development. During this time you will be closely monitored with blood tests and ultrasounds to evaluate the development of the eggs. Once enough mature eggs have developed, you will receive an hCG injection to prepare you for the egg retrieval process.

Thirty five hours later your eggs will be retrieved at your fertility clinic by a fertility specialist while you are under intravenous (IV) sedation. The egg retrieval process takes 10-15 minutes. About 10% of women may experience the side effect of IVF medications known as ovarian hyperstimulation when undergoing the egg donation process. Ovarian hyperstimulation can last for two weeks but usually resolves with rest and careful monitoring with ultrasounds and blood tests by your fertility specialist.

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How Many Eggs Are Retrieved Each Time?

The number of eggs retrieved from an egg donor varies during her cycle but 10 to 25 eggs is common.

Ready For Donor Egg IVF?

If you are ready to consider using donor eggs for IVF, let us be a part of your journey toward parenthood. Dr. Stephan Krotz will guide you through the sensitive process of using donated eggs to create the baby you’ve always wanted. Give us a call at 713-401-9000 today to schedule your fertility consultation.

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