What is egg donation?
The procedure of using another woman’s eggs for conception by a recipient couple.
I am interested in donating my eggs, where should I start?
You should be between ages 21-35 and in excellent health. You should read as much as possible about the process and, if possible, ask women who participated in the process about their experience. You should then contact Bennett Fertility Institute (BFI) at 405-949-6060 and ask for information. At present, BFI is changing from evaluating and working with live donors to utilizing donor egg banks. You may e-mail me (Click to Email Me) and I will have our Nurse Coordinator contact you for more information.
We are interested in finding an egg donor, where should we start?
Call BFI at 405-949-6060 or e-mail me (Click to Email Me). The female partner’s age must be under 49 and she must be in excellent health.
Is the egg donation process legal?
Yes. In the State of Oklahoma, the recipient couple is considered the legitimate father and mother. The donor has no rights or responsibilities to the child so born, and the child can not claim the donor as parent.
What are the indications for egg donation?
If a woman is unable to produce viable eggs ( due to early menopause, absence of ovaries, poor ovarian function, poor quality eggs) or may transmit serious or fatal abnormalities to her children due to a genetic abnormality, she may be a candidate to recieve another woman’s eggs.
How do you recruit potential egg donors?
At present, BFI is not actively recruiting egg donors and primarily utilizes donor egg banks (frozen eggs) for egg donation. Interested donors, however, may still contact us by phone or via the BFI Web site (see above). We do not actively recruit donors by advertising. Most of our donors hear about our program from friends or by checking our Web site. We do not use egg donor outside agencies.
What are your selection criteria for an egg donor?
Women who wish to serve as donors must be between ages 21-35 and in excellent physical and mental health. . They must exhibit full understanding of the process. Their family history must be free of inherited diseases such as alcohol abuse, mental illnesses, hereditary cancers, and severe cardiovascular disease. If they donated elsewhere before, they must have had less than 6 prior donation cycles. They must pass rigorous screening consisting of a physical examination, psychological screening, and screening for infectious diseases (including HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia) and cystic fibrosis. Though most of our egg donation cycles are done anonymously (i.e. the donor and the recipient couple do not know each other’s identity), we allow donation between family members (e.g. between sisters).
What are the risks to the egg donor?
There are no known major long-term risks to the donor. The procedure is not associated with earlier onset of menopause, reduction in future fertility, or cancer. Immediate short-term complications are extremely rare but may include ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, bleeding, infection, injury during egg retrieval, or anesthesia complications.
How many times can a person donate eggs?
The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the Society for Assisted Reproduction (SART) recommend that no more than 6 egg donation cycle be performed per individual. We prefer to perform only 3 procedures per donor but on occasion may allow more (but always less than 6).
What are the costs of an egg donation cycle? Is there any financial compensation to the donor?
Currently (though price periodically changes), the recipient couple is expected to pay approximately $20,000-22,000 per cycle, depending on how many eggs are requested from the egg bank.
Would you allow disclosure of the donor’s identity to the recipient couple and vice versa if both or either request it?
Absolutely not. Anonymous egg donation is exactly that- anonymous. If all parties sign up initially for an anonymous donation, we will not allow disclosure later on. Medical information, however, may be given to the recipient couple at any time, as long as the donor’s identity is protected. We will not notify the donor whether pregnancy has resulted from their donation procedure.
AN EGG DONATION CYCLE
Preparation of recipient:
Interview with Dr. Reshef
Interview with nurse coordinator at BFI
Blood work for infectious diseases (HIV, hepatitis, syphilis, GC, chlamydia)- on both husband and wife.
Semen analysis for IVF screen (husband)
X-ray of the uterus (HSG) or ultrasound or hysteroscopy
“Mock cycle”- estrogen skin patches for several weeks, followed by an ultrasound to assess the lining of the uterus, followed by progesterone cream or suppositories or injections for 7-10 days, followed by an endometrial biopsy (small sample from the uterine cavity to assess the readiness of the lining for implantation). the mock cycle lasts approximately 4 weeks.
Preparation of donor:
Interview with nurse coordinator after filling questionnaire
Interview and physical examination (including an ultrasound) by Dr. Reshef
Blood work for infectious diseases (see above)
Interview with a psychologist
Actual egg donation cycle:
Recipient: estrogen skin patches for several weeks, followed by an ultrasound to assess the uterine lining. When the donor is ready for egg retrieval, progesterone will be taken by recipient in addition to estrogen patches. Recipient’s husband will give a sperm sample on the day of egg retrieval from donor. Embryo trasfer (usually no more than 2 embryos) will be performed 5 days after retrieval. Pregnancy test will be performed 12-14 days after embryo transfer.
Donor: The process usually lasts a total of 7 weeks. The egg bank determines the ovarian stimulation protocol. In many cycles, birth control pills are taken for 2-3 weeks following the menstrual period. Then daily Lupron injections for 10-14 days are taken by the donor. Ultrasound to ascertain that the ovaries are suppressed by the medications above (“suppression check“) will be performed at week 4 or 5. In the first 5 weeks, the donor is seen only twice. The donor continues Lupron daily while starting one week of injections to stimulate the ovaries to produce several eggs (week 6). During week 6, she is seen every other day for 4-5 times. Egg retrieval is performed under IV sedation on week 7. The donor may start light duty the next day and possibly may return to normal activities in 1-2 days. Stimulation of the donor’s ovaries and egg retrieval are usually performed elsewhere. Frozen eggs are shipped to BFI from the egg bank, thawed, and then fertilized with the receipient’s husband’s sperm or with donor sperm.