Using donor eggs with IVF at a glance
- Some women cannot get pregnant using their own eggs, even with in vitro fertilization (IVF), and require eggs donated by another woman to have a child, as do many LGBTQ+ individuals and couples.
- The donated eggs are fertilized via IVF using sperm of the recipient’s partner (or donated sperm), with the resulting embryo implanted in the receiving woman’s womb to establish pregnancy.
- Egg donation is a complex procedure, involving testing, psychological counseling, and medications and ultrasound to monitor and synchronize both donor and recipient cycles.
- RSC has one of the country’s most experienced and successful egg donor programs, with clinical pregnancies greater than 70%.
- We carefully guide potential egg recipients through the decision-making process and continue this detailed guidance through the medical procedures.
Guide to using donor eggs with IVF
Why egg donation IVF recipients choose RSC
Basics of using donor eggs
Egg donation has brought new hope and joy to thousands of couples, single women and LGBTQ+ families who might be unable to have a child of their own. Egg donation is a sophisticated and carefully coordinated procedure. Medications and ultrasound monitoring are used to synchronize both donor and recipient cycles.
In an egg donation cycle, eggs retrieved from a young woman are donated for use with in vitro fertilization (IVF). The eggs are fertilized with the recipient’s partner’s sperm or with donor sperm. The resulting embryos are transferred to the recipient’s uterus. The recipient will be the birth mother on record, or may be a gestational carrier (surrogate) who carries a pregnancy for another.
Our success rates represent our high standards of excellence, which give egg recipients a better chance of successfully conceiving and delivering a baby.
RSC’s pregnancy implantation rate is above 70%, one of the reasons that patients travel internationally to participate in RSC’s egg donation program. See 2017 success rates:
2017 final egg donation with IVF success rates
Our donor egg IVF pregnancy rates are above national averages for live births per transfer. The statistics below represent the most up-to-date information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART), which collect and report statistics for United States fertility clinics.
Fresh Donor Egg IVF Cycles
Frozen Donor Egg IVF Cycles
|eSETs (elective single embryo transfers)
|Pregnancy implantation rate
RSC is a pioneer in serving the reproductive needs of LGBTQ+ individuals and couples, who may require using donated eggs to have a family.
Another benefit of RSC’s Egg Donor Program for recipients is our affordable financial aid offerings. Everyone should have a chance at family, and our financial aid options make that possible.
Who should consider using egg donation?
As women enter their late 30s and early 40s, there is a natural decline in egg quality and quantity, which leads to lower pregnancy rates. This and additional factors can negatively impact a woman’s egg quality.
Women who meet any of the following criteria should consider egg donation.
- Age greater than 40.
- High FSH level or low AMH level.
- Low ovarian response in prior IVF cycles.
- Poor embryo development in prior IVF cycles.
- Inability to achieve a pregnancy after multiple IVF cycles.
- Premature ovarian failure.
- History of radiation and/or chemotherapy.
- Surgical removal of both ovaries.
Related Fertile Edge Podcast: IVF Using Donor Eggs
Decision-making process prior to selecting egg donation
Before proceeding with a cycle, all recipients at RSC attend a consultation with a psychologist. This is a great chance for patients to ask any questions they may have. Most recipients describe this as a very valuable appointment. The consultation session provides an opportunity to explore a variety of issues including:
- Questions about parenting a child not genetically related to you.
- Discussing your decision with friends and family.
- How and when to tell your child about the assisted conception.
Potential egg donation recipients face many concerns and questions. Deciding whether this service is right for them involves addressing these issues beforehand.
Related Reading: Five Steps in Making the Decision to Use Donated Eggs for IVF
Ready to proceed?
The first step is a consultation with one of our physicians to help you determine whether this is a good option for you. Discussion includes selecting an egg donor, details of the treatment plan, necessary evaluation and testing, success rates, and costs. Our experienced Third Party Team will walk you through every step of the process.Request appointment
IVF donor egg recipient process
Selecting an egg donor
Choosing a donor is a very serious process. We will help you find a donor who is right for you. Your egg donor can be someone you know, such as a sister, friend or relative, or it can be someone you choose anonymously from a donor registry.
Reputable donors are screened for or undergo:
- Age of 20-31.
- Comprehensive medical history and physical exam to rule out any possible medical conditions that would prevent them from being able to donate.
- Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) blood test to evaluate ovarian reserve (FSH/E2).
- Blood type, blood count.
- Drug use.
- Consultation with genetic counselor.
- Psychological assessment.
- Infectious diseases.
- Genetic testing for over 100 diseases.
- Additional genetic testing as indicated.
The cost of using an egg donor can vary depending on how and where you find your donor. Our financial counselors can provide you with information about cycle costs and financing options.
Donor egg recipient testing
We require recipients (individuals and couples) to complete a series of pre-screening tests.
Male testing includes
- Infectious disease screening.
- Semen analysis.
- Blood count and hemoglobin testing for certain blood disorders such as thalassemia.
Female testing includes
- Blood type.
- Blood count.
- Other screening blood tests as ordered by your physician.
- Infectious disease screening.
- Test cycle.
- Saline sonogram.
- Uterine sounding.
- Pap smear.
- MD clearance note (over 45 years old).
- Cardiac stress test (over 45 years old).
Both partners are required to attend a session with a psychologist. RSC will provide you with a list of counselors to choose from and then ask that you schedule an appointment session with that counselor.
Coordinating egg donor & recipient cycles, retrieval and embryo transfer
Once you have chosen a donor and your pre-cycle testing is complete, you and your donor will start birth control pills to coordinate your cycles.
Your nurse case manager will provide you and your donor with a schedule containing your appointments and medication and cycle instructions. Recipients have approximately three appointments for blood tests and/or ultrasounds, and donors will have six or more. As your cycle progresses, your medication dose may be adjusted. You will receive instructions after each appointment informing you how to proceed.
Cycles take approximately five weeks to complete from start to embryo transfer.
Your donor will be instructed to take her “trigger-shot” 36 hours prior to the egg retrieval. You will receive additional medication instructions, and your partner will be given a time to come in to provide a semen sample on the day of the retrieval, unless a sample has previously been cryopreserved or donor sperm is being used.
The day of the donor’s retrieval the recipient will be informed how many eggs were retrieved. The day after the fertilization process you will be informed how many eggs successfully fertilized and the number of embryos. The embryo transfer will take place three or five days after the retrieval. This is decided by your physician.
A blood pregnancy test is done 14 days after the retrieval. If your result is positive, you will come in approximately two weeks later for an ultrasound. If the pregnancy is progressing normally after six-eight weeks, you will be released to begin obstetric care with your OB physician but will remain on medications for approximately eight-nine weeks post-transfer. If pregnancy does not occur, you will be asked to schedule a consultation with your RSC physician.
Risks of using egg donation for IVF
In addition to the usual risks of IVF, approximately 10%-15% of pregnancies resulting from donor egg IVF will miscarry. Additionally, the risk of multiples (twins) is high if two blastocyst embryos are transferred. As a result, your RSC physician will strongly encourage you to consider a single embryo transfer (eSET). This provides very high pregnancy rates with lower risk.