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Egg Donation Process

The Egg Donation Process

In assisted reproductive technology the infertile couple often needs sperm or egg donation from a third party. When the female partner’s eggs are not able to generate pregnancy, couples may seek solution in an egg donation process. There is an increasing demand for egg donors worldwide and the donation policies in some countries make egg donation procedure more smooth and simple than in others.  Donors can be related to the infertile woman or an unrelated person who donates eggs out of financial or altruistic consideration.

The success rate of egg donation procedure is high, it ranges between 60-80% in global terms.

Why Patients Need Egg Donation?

  • advanced age
  • damaged ovaries
  • early menopause
  • removed reproductive organs
  • genetic disorder
  • unexplained infertility
  • gay couples

The Egg Donation Process

  • The donation process usually takes 3-6 weeks.
  • Egg donor databases are kept at special agencies and clinics where patients can browse in the profile of anonymous or known-identity egg donors.
  • Before the egg extraction donors are required to undergo extensive psychological and physical examinations (hormonal check, infectious diseases, inherited illnesses, and health of reproductive organs).
  • The reasons why women decide to donate eggs vary:
    • Help reproduction of another person, often a friend or family member.
    • For financial compensation, especially college students.The donor and the recipient sign the legal egg donor contract to clarify the parties’ rights and responsibilities. The future relationship between donors and recipients is usually set in the contract; except for special cases the role of the donor is over after the egg extraction. The donor has to renounce her rights and custody of the child and all the responsibly is taken by the recipient couple.
  • Before the egg extraction the donor’s and the recipient’s cycle need to be synchronized. With hormonal injections egg production is stimulated to be able to extract several mature eggs (this procedure is very similar to the one in In vitro fertilization).
  • Two days before the egg extraction can take place, a final HCG or GnRH injection is given to the donor.
  • The first surgical step of the egg donation process is the egg extraction, which requires about 20-30 minutes.
  • A small needle is inserted through the vagina and the eggs are extracted from the follicles.
  • There are some risks the donor agrees to take when signing the contract:
    • hormonal imbalances because of the induced hyper ovulation
    • bleeding might occur during egg extraction

To minimize risks, the number of donation process a woman can take part in is limited in most countries, in the U.S. for instance it is set in 6 donation cycles.

As for the recipient, multiple and twin pregnancies are very frequent, so no more than 2 eggs are recommended to be used at a time.

Egg Extraction Abroad

Besides financial issues, legal and religious limitations make many people seek donors for egg extraction abroad. In Germany and Austria for instance egg donation is totally illegal or in France it is only allowed without financial compensation.

In Spain and in the U.K. egg donation for financial compensation is legal, but in most countries recipients will pay the same amount regardless of the number of eggs extracted, as the payment usually compensates for the inconveniences of the procedure and not for their eggs.

Many nations set the upper limit of the amount the donor can be paid. Donors in the U.S receive thousands of dollars (between $5.000 -$8.000) for an egg and adding the cost of the medication, the doctor’s fees, and pre-checks of the donor’s physical and mental state, the egg donation process expenses can be astronomical, much more expensive than in other countries.

A total egg donation process in the U.S. can range between $30.000-$40.000, which lead many couples look for egg donors abroad, especially in low-cost countries where there is a possibility of knowing the characteristic features of donors and they are given donor options to choose from (e.g.: skin and eye color, artistic or sports talent of the donor).

Who are the most eligible candidates for egg extraction abroad?

  • Healthy, good medical history and without inherited diseases.
  • Good-looking, attractive young women.
  • Women who have already donated and produced successful pregnancies and have proven their reliability.
  • Women with good academic background and high IQ.