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If you have premature ovarian failure, genetic diseases, or reduced ovarian reserve due to ageing or other factors, you may need IVF with donor eggs to get pregnant. Donor egg IVF is also normally recommended to women who want to undergo IVF after the age of 40 because the quality of eggs declines sharply with age and it is the main reason for women not being able to conceive in older age.

There are also other reasons for oocyte donation in IVF including repeated miscarriages, previous IVF failures, genetics, cancer, etc.

Before looking into your options for donor egg IVF, you must ascertain if that is the right treatment because other than paying the cost of IVF, you will also be spending on donor recruitment or for the batch of frozen eggs.

Our clients Leann and Ben from Australia were falsely recommended IVF with donor eggs for over eight years, and they failed so many cycles of IVF all over the world. However, what they actually needed was sperm DNA fragmentation analysis because the problem was male factor infertility.

IVF with donor eggs

Is donor egg IVF right for us?

If you have failed to conceive with your own eggs or have miscarried after a positive conception, it is possible that the quality of your eggs is causing embryo arrest and IVF with donor eggs may be recommended.

The other cases in which IVF with donor eggs is suggested are:

  • Early menopause – When your ovaries stop producing eggs, you will also stop getting periods and menopause occurs. Typically, this happens after the age of 45 years but the onset of these symptoms before that is known as early menopause.
  • Advanced age of female – Advanced age is often associated with diminished ovarian reserve and poor-quality eggs, which means lesser chances of success in IVF success. You might still decide to take a chance with your own eggs (as some women prefer) IVF is an expensive treatment and many decide on donor eggs to have better odds of success.
  • Premature ovarian failure – Occurs when ovaries don’t produce sufficient estrogen and stop to function normally before the age of 40. If, however, you have premature ovarian ageing, the condition may be reversable to a certain extent and you may be able to conceive with your own eggs with proper guidance.
  • Genetic problems – Congenitally missing ovaries or non-functional ovaries make donor eggs necessary. They will also be required if you have genetic diseases that may be transferred to the offspring and cannot be detected with pre-genetic diagnosis.
  • Hormonal problems – Uncontrolled hormonal issues that interfere with egg development and release (as in PCOS) may result in eggs that cannot be fertilized well, so donor eggs may be advised.
  • Single men/gay couples – If surrogacy is allowed for single men and gay couples, they will need an egg donor to provide the female gamete.
  • Cancer survivors – Chemo and radiotherapy can be harsh on the body and they often leave the individual with compromised fertility. Cancer survivors often need donor gametes unless they have preserved their fertility before the treatment.
  • Repeated IVF failures – Sometimes due to genetic diseases, poor egg quality, or just unknown issues, there may be repeated IVF failures. Many people opt for donor eggs if they’ve failed multiple cycles with their own eggs.

In the below video, Dr. Tan Chong, one of top doctors for IVF in Malaysia, explains the use of donor eggs in IVF:

These fertility tests for women can give an indication of your fertility status and based on the reports the doctor can suggest if donor eggs are advisable in your case.

Who will be the egg donor?

Your egg donor can be known or anonymous. Each country has its own regulations and laws for egg donation and the local laws will apply to your treatment.

Infertility Aide works with multiple egg banks, clinics, and agents to provide you the best options for egg donors. Your donor may also be someone from your family or friends, who is willing to go through the procedure and donate her eggs for you.

Whether she comes from an agency or from your circles, an egg donor must meet certain criteria to be accepted for the program.

Normally, a potential donor should:

  • Be between 21-32 years of age
  • Not have reproductive problems
  • Have a regular menstrual cycle
  • Preferably have children of her own
  • Be physically and emotionally healthy
  • Not indulge in excessive alcohol, drugs, smoking
  • Be willing to undergo medical examination
  • Be willing to take injectable medication

Egg donors are usually are screened for health and psychological problems and are willing to share their eggs for a small compensation. Some egg banks have a very strict selection criteria, which includes the donor’s family background and genetic screening as well.

The rules about selecting and meeting the egg donor are different in different countries. In some countries, you cannot meet the egg donor and neither can she find out about you so the process remains completely anonymous. However, in others, there is a more open and transparent arrangement, where you can learn all about the donor and even allow your child to meet her, if he/she choose so, on reaching the age of 18.

Cost of IVF with donor eggs

The cost of donor eggs for IVF can be highly variable. It largely depends upon the kind of donor profile you choose and whether you opt for fresh or frozen eggs. It also depends upon the donor’s profile. It can range between $2,000 – $20,000 (depending upon the location and donor profile you choose).

The costs are different because the cost of hiring the donor, medical and psychological evaluation, medications, and the egg donors’ fee vary from place to place.

Egg donation is not legal in many places including:

  • Thailand – Commercial egg donation is not allowed for foreign patients
  • Canada – Allowed but only for altruistic reasons. Monetary compensation for egg donors is not legal.
  • Australia – Sale of any human tissue (including eggs, sperm, embryo) is not allowed so your best option is to ask somebody you know to donate her eggs.
  • Austria, Italy, Germany, Norway, and many other European countries – Egg donation is illegal
  • China – Donor eggs and surrogacy are illegal

How does donor egg IVF work?

Below is the process of IVF with donor eggs:

STEP 1 – Donor selection and screening

Based on the selection criteria the egg donors are screened for physical and psychological health, and their consent is taken. Usually an egg donation agency will have a database of selected donors.

STEP 2 – Donor matching

Your blood group and physical profile will be matched with the donor and if it’s a good match her basic profile will be shared with you. If the local laws allow, you may be allowed to see the donor’s picture or meet her as well.

STEP 3 – Ovarian stimulation

Suppression of the natural cycle and then stimulation of ovaries is done with the help of daily injections to increase the possibility of collecting a good number of eggs.

STEP 4 – Endometrial preparation of the intending mother

Simultaneously, near to the ET date, you will be given estrogen and progesterone injections to prepare your endometrium for pregnancy.

STEP 5 – Ovulation trigger and egg retrieval from the donor

Once the doctor is convinced of with complete development of eggs with the help of ultrasound imaging, an HCG injection is given to trigger ovulation, and egg retrieval is done two days later.

From STEP 6 – the normal IVF procedure follows.

Donor egg IVF Success Rates

According to statistics from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology for the year 2015, the highest success rate of 50.4% was recorded with donor egg IVF, where fresh embryos were used.

Some clinics report upto 70% success rate with donor egg IVF.  Given that the quality of eggs is one of the major reasons for IVF failure, higher success rates are certainly obtained with donor eggs but you must also get tested to check for your ability to carry the pregnancy to term.

If both the gametes (eggs and sperms) are good quality and you are physically and emotionally fit to carry the pregnancy, the chances of IVF success become very high.

Risks related to egg donation

IVF with egg donation carries risks similar to that of IVF, including:

  • 20-25% risk of multiple pregnancies (if multiple embryo transfer is done)
  • 3-5% risk of birth defect (same as in natural pregnancy)
  • Side effects (like OHSS) from hormonal injections to the donor
  • Women may face other problems—such as nausea, vomiting, breathlessness, pain—from the administered medication

Legal concerns

Whether the donor is known to you or anonymous, if your treatment is protected with legal contracts, parental rights of the donor can be removed.

For affordable donor egg IVF treatment, please get in touch and our care team member will get back to you.


National summary report: Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology

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