WHAT IS EGG CELL DONATION?

Egg donation is a particular kind of IVF treatment whereby the embryos proceed from donor egg cells which are fertilised in a lab with the sperm cells from the receiver’s partner.

This is a very simple technique to execute and which offers the highest success rates.

At AMNIOS in Vitro Project we do not have any waiting lists and we guarantee a minimum amount of 6 useful egg cells per treatment. Furthermore, we use the latest technology and have a professional and humane team that allows us to offer the highest possible success rates to our patients for their treatments.

CAN I HAVE CHILDREN WITH ANOTHER WOMAN’S EGG CELLS?

At AMNIOS we make an IVF treatment with donor egg cells available to you.

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM EGG DONATION?

Couples eligible for egg donation are:

  • Women with early onset menopause: a woman’s ovaries have stopped working in an early stage of her life.
  • Women with a low ovarian reserve: without reaching menopause, a woman’s ovaries have less production capacity of healthy egg cells.
  • Women with low egg cell quality: when in previous IVF cycles it was observed that the patient’s egg cells were of low quality to achieve pregnancy.
  • Couples or women with multiple failed IVF cycles.
  • Women who have experienced multiple miscarriages: in some cases for couples with multiple miscarriages this is the only solution.
  • Genetic factors: when the woman suffers a problem that can be genetically transferred to her offspring and which cannot be solved through preimplantational genetic diagnosis.

HOW DOES AN EGG DONATION TREATMENT WORK?

Egg donation treatments are very simple. The procedure consists of taking oestrogen pills which allow the woman’s uterus to be more receptive to the embryos it will receive. In some occasions, it is necessary to first apply a medication called Analogues of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which suppresses the functioning of the ovaries and allows the uterus to be more receptive during a prolonged period. While these treatments are being carried out, the donor will be synchronised with the receiver, in such a manner that a few days after the receiving patient is ready, the egg cells can be retrieved. These are the steps of the process:

The first step is assigning an egg donor. Assignment is based on the physical characteristics of the woman, and their blood groups. The aim is to assign a donor who is physically similar to the receiver. However, you have to keep in mind that physical characteristics bear a multi-genetic inheritance (which means that numerous genes are involved), and these are not always dominant. Therefore, selecting egg donors of similar physical characteristics of the patient does not always guarantee that her children will receive these same physical features. This also occurs with natural pregnancies.

The preparation process for the endometrium is very simple. Basically, the production of hormones from the pituitary gland is blocked, in case the woman is ovulating normally. Then, oestrogens are administered (orally, with plasters…), that need to act on the endometrium and make it grow. With this treatment, we reproduce the follicle phase of the ovarian cycle, until the endometrium reaches a sufficient size. We consider the woman to be prepared when the endometrium has a thickness of 6 mm or more. This generally happens between 8 and 12 days after initiating the treatment with oestrogens. We use ultrasound to check that the endometrium is prepared. And thanks to this treatment, the endometrium can continue preparing during a long time (up to 100 days), which allows us to complete the donation process without any problems.

If it were not for this type of endometrial preparations, the egg cell donation would have to coincide with the days the endometrium is receptive to embryos (just 3 or 4 days every cycle), which complicates matters. In some cases however, the treatment for egg cell donation is carried out during a natural cycle.

The time that passes from the moment that the endometrium of the patient is prepared to receiving the egg cells depends on the synchronisation with the donor. Normally just a few days pass, but in some cases this may take up to 3 or 4 weeks. The chances of pregnancy are the same, independently of the time that has passed until the reception of the egg cells.

It is advisable that the couple leaves a frozen semen sample in the lab. This way, the sperm cells will be defrosted once the egg cells are donated and they will be used to fertilize the egg cells.

In case the couple decides not to leave a frozen sperm sample, they will need to come to the clinic on the day of the ovarian puncture of the donor, to hand over the sperm sample.

The rest of the process is the same as IVF. The egg cell transfer can be carried out on days 2, 3 or 5 (in case of a long process).

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WHO ARE THE DONORS?

The requirements to be an egg donor are determined by law. The donor should be between 18 and 35 years old to avoid genetic problems. The donors undergo an exhaustive study, also determined by law.

First, an informative interview is held with the possible donor to explain what the previous study and the treatment that will be carried out afterwards to donate egg cells consists of. During this visit, a clinical history is compiled of the donor and her family. She should have a personal and family history without any antecedents or risks and a normal physical exploration and psychological valuation.

If in this interview no reasons are discovered for refusing her as a donor, a complete analysis will be carried out, with all the tests as established by law, which vary from a general blood test to specific testing for infectious diseases such as hepatitis B and C, syphilis or HIV and genetic testing.  The patient will furthermore be evaluated through a personality test.

Once the study is completed, and it is confirmed that the donor complies with all the necessary requirements, the receiver will be assigned and the treatment is started.

In Spain, the donation is anonymous. To link a couple to their donor, the most similar physical appearance is selected, considering race, colour and type of hair, eye colour, colour of skin, weight, height, blood group and Rh factor.

WHAT IS SHARED EGG DONATION?

A special case of egg donation is shared egg donation. In this case, the donor is a woman who comes to carry out an IVF cycle, and who decides to donate half of the obtained eggs to a receiver. This type of egg donation is very common in neighbouring countries, like for example in the UK.

In these cases, the safety and anonymity conditions that are required by law are maintained. The aim of this type of donation is lowering costs for both patients, so the final price of the process for both is much lower.

IS THIS NOT YOUR FIRST CYCLE?

Si ya te has sometido a un ciclo de donación de ovocitos pero no has conseguido el resultado deseado, no te desanimes. Ese primer ciclo nos puede dar mucha información sobre cómo es el funcionamiento y la respuesta de tu útero y sobre qué pasa cuando se juntan óvulos y espermatozoides. Todos esos datos nos pueden servir de muchísima ayuda para mejorar los procedimientos que llevemos a cabo en el siguiente ciclo y mejorar las probabilidades de embarazo.

Acude a una consulta gratuita en AMNIOS, donde valoraremos cómo mejorar tu tratamiento y sus probabilidades de éxito.

CAN WE HELP YOU?

If you have any questions about our clinic or any of our treatments, or if you are trying to get pregnant and you would like to inform yourself about the best option for you, tell us your case. Contact us or make an appointment for a free first consultation with our specialists.

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