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Couples or individuals who’d like to start a family have several options for achieving that goal. Sometimes, however, circumstances require a little out-of-the-box thinking. That’s when in vitro fertilization (IVF) using a third-party egg donor becomes a valuable option. We’ve broken down the steps in IVF using egg donation to show that the process is achievable and practical for couples or singles.
Who Uses Donated Eggs?
Many prospective parents use IVF with egg donation because there are extenuating circumstances that limit their success with natural conception. They may be older, they may be same-sex couples or they might be worried about passing on genetic diseases.
How Successful Is This Method?
Many couples using the IVF method for conception already use donated eggs. There is a 70 percent chance of success on the first attempt, and the odds of success resulting in a live birth climb from there with multiple attempts. After three attempts, the success rate is nearly 100 percent. Women age 30 and younger have the best chance at a positive result.
Choosing a Donor
Egg donors provide a great deal of personal information that helps prospective parents choose which eggs they want to use for IVF. Parents can screen donors for age, physical attributes, education history, genetic information on several other characteristics. They can even select a donor for a certain part of the world.
Moving Through the Process
Once a selection has been made, the egg donation journey moves forward toward pregnancy. Here are the next steps:
- The selected donor undergoes a psychological review. A doctor checks the donor’s medical history and does a physical exam before starting the egg retrieval process.
- The prospective parents meet with a geneticist to review the donor’s genetic screening.
- If all goes well to this point, both parties sign legal agreements protecting each appropriately.
- During egg retrieval, which may be done at the same time as implantation or months earlier, the donor takes fertility drugs to stimulation the release of mature eggs. The doctor uses transvaginal aspiration to retrieve 10-20 eggs. Downtime is minimal, and the donor can return to work the day after the in-office procedure.
- The eggs are fertilized with sperm, then implanted in the carrier’s uterus. After about 10 days, her blood will be tested for signs of pregnancy.
After a pregnancy is confirmed, the rest of the process proceeds the same as a traditional pregnancy would be. The mother or surrogate continues to get regular checkups and medical care until the child is born.
The egg donation journey is fairly straightforward and presents a truly viable option for prospective parents who choose to go that route. The procedure is increasingly common and can be a rewarding experience for both the new parents and the egg donor.