Egg donation is anonymous and is recommended to two types of women:
- those who no longer produce eggs (ova)
- those who are able to produce eggs but for certain reasons are in need of egg donation
The first category includes women whose ovaries do not produce eggs due to specific problems, such as menopause, infertility because of chemotherapy, as well as absence, dysfunction or hypoplasia of ovaries.
The second category concerns women, who are in need of donor eggs, in spite of producing their own eggs. This is because they might have a low response to ovarian stimulation, they might have had several unsuccessful IVF cycles or miscarriages, or they are at high risk of passing on genetic disorders.
There is a standard procedure that has to be followed when a woman decides to donate her eggs. For starters, it should be noted that the donor has the right to cancel the cycle at any time prior to egg donation. After the donor is informed about all parameters of egg donation, she fills in the consent form and is then subjected to certain examinations: psychological profile, lower abdominal and transvaginal ultrasound, and blood draw to check hormone levels and to test for sexually transmitted diseases. Afterwards she is administered injectable medications for about 2-3 weeks to stimulate her ovaries and produce multiple ova.
Once follicles are mature, eggs are extracted from the donor’s ovaries by means of suction. After retrieval, the ova are fertilized by the sperm of the male partner and are kept in the laboratory for approximately 3 to 5 days. In the final stage, embryo transfer takes place. Embryos are carefully placed in the uterus of the recipient, in order to develop and result in the birth of a healthy neonate.