Once you have decided to use donor eggs, the first step involves consultation with a physician or an organisation providing the donors.
This helps in identifying your needs better and also answers any queries you might have regarding the procedure. The consultant also tries to find out your physical characteristics, likes, and dislikes to best match you with a donor.
After the selection of the donor comes the evaluation cycle phase.
When the process of pregnancy takes place naturally, the uterus of the mother prepares itself by thickening the lining of the inner wall, while the body automatically produces an increase of hormones, like estrogen and progesterone, for the conception.
But in the case of pregnancy with donor eggs, a mother's body is not prepared for pregnancy and therefore the hormones have to be artificially induced.
A prospective mother will undergo an evaluation cycle to determine the correct amount of estrogen and other hormonal supplements to be administered prior to transferring a fertilised donor egg.
This is done by measuring your blood estrogen level and through ultrasound check ups to observe the uterine lining. The doctor may also give oral or estrogen injections to raise your hormone levels, which you may continue to take for a period of 10 to 14 days.
In approximately three to four weeks, the evaluation cycle is complete.
Egg Donation Cycle
This cycle is also known as the coordination cycle as the donor and the mother's cycle are synchronized with the help of birth control pills.
Once this has been done, the donor is given fertility drugs to promote a greater number of eggs being matured during her cycle. Meanwhile, you are given the appropriate dose of estrogen determined during the evaluation cycle to prepare your uterus for the embryo.
A day before your donor under goes egg retrieval, you are given progestrone vaginally or with an injection. When the donors egg are retrieved, your partner will provide a semen sample that day so that his sperm can be combined that day with the freshly retrieved eggs.
After 3 to 5 days, once the embryos have formed, two to three embryos will be transferred to your uterus as it normally would during an IVF procedure.
You will continue to receive estrogen and progestrone doses to help encourage a pregnancy. 10 to 11 days after the embryo transfer, a pregnancy test is carried out to check the success of the procedure.
There are a number of benefits to using donor eggs:
- A donor egg from a younger woman increases the chances of conception to 50% as compared to 15% to 18% with your own eggs. This is because donor eggs are of better quality and there are more numbers of eggs available for fertilisation.
- As the donor egg provides a better chance of fertilisation, you may not have to undergo as many IVF cycles thereby saving yourself from the physical, mental, and financial anxieties associated with each cycle.
- Donor eggs provide an opportunity to conceive a child whose genetic make up resembles one of the parents.
- You are able to experience the process of giving birth when the fertilised egg is placed inside your uterus, which is not possible with an adopted child.