Egg donation is a treatment involving the use of donated eggs and is one of the assisted reproduction techniques with the highest probability of success. Women’s eggs naturally start losing their ability to be fertilised until it becomes necessary to resort to those of another woman in order to achieve pregnancy.
- Egg donation and partner sperm
- The limits of the ovarian reserve
- Who needs egg donation?
- What is the procedure?
- Treatment with donor eggs
Egg donation and partner sperm
The limits of the ovarian reserve
From puberty, women produce a mature egg approximately every 28 days. If a spermatozoon fertilises it, it will become a pre-embryo. If the egg is not fertilised, it will be lost with the menstrual bleeding.
Eggs, the female sex cells, carry the genetic load. From birth, a healthy woman has about 400,000 oocytes in her ovaries; this is her ovarian reserve. Oocytes are the immature forms of the eggs and their quantity and quality decreases with the passage of time, particularly from the age of 35. In fact, throughout the woman’s whole fertile period, only one oocyte in a thousand (in other words, no more than 400) mature and are therefore suitable for fertilisation.
Donor eggs come from that natural reserve stored within the ovaries. For the donor there is no loss at all, since egg donation takes advantage of a few eggs that would never have been used.
Who needs egg donation?
Women who turn to egg donation cannot have children with their own genetic material. The cases in which no medical or surgical treatment can reverse the situation are mainly due to three reasons:
- When the woman presents with early menopause, that is to say, she has exhausted her ovarian reserve years before what would be natural
- When the woman has had her ovaries removed because of a tumour or the eggs are not usable for fertilisation.
- When the woman’s own eggs have lost all quality, due to the passing of the years. This is a process that begins at the age of 35, but each case must be assessed by the doctor in a personalised way.
What is the procedure?
Any healthy woman who complies with the conditions established by the legislation can donate her eggs. Donors are always women between the ages of 18 and 35 who undergo a complete set of psychological, medical and genetic tests. At Eugin Clinic, of all the women requesting to be donors, only 47% of them will meet the necessary requirements to be able to finally undergo the treatment.
According to Law 14/2006 on Assisted Reproductive Techniques in Spain, the medical team must ensure that there is maximum phenotypic and immunological similarity between the donor and the recipient and/or their partner. Matching between donor and recipient allows the greatest degree of similarity in physical characteristics such as skin tone, height or hair colour. Thus, the integration of the future baby into the family is facilitated.
Only leading clinics like EUGIN are able to perform a precise matching, taking into account your physical characteristics as well as a compatible blood group. In addition, if you so wish, EUGIN also offers the possibility of carrying out a genetic compatibility study with your partner.
Treatment with donor eggs
The standard assisted reproduction technique with donor eggs is in vitro fertilisation (IVF). It consists of fertilising an egg with sperm outside the uterus and has a certified pregnancy probability of up to 94%.
After the first visit with the doctor, the next meeting takes place between two weeks and 45 days after the start of treatment. It is then when the embryo or embryos resulting from IVF are transferred to the woman’s uterus. Following the correct implantation of the embryo, the pregnancy will run its course exactly as in a natural pregnancy.
Last Updated: February 2018