In vitro fertilisation with donor eggs and donor sperm is a laboratory technique consisting in placing previously harvested donor eggs with donor sperm; both donors remain anonymous.
When is it recommended?
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In Vitro Fertilisation with donor eggs and donor sperm is a laboratory technique consisting in fertilising previously harvested donor eggs with donor sperm; both donors remain anonymous. The fertilised egg becomes a pre-embryo and is transferred to the previously prepared uterus to continue developing.
This technique is used if you have problems with your uterus, either because of your age or for unknown reasons, and semen from the sperm bank is used either because you want to be a single mother, or because your partner is another woman or because your male partner has azoospermia (no measurable level of sperm in the semen) or some other sperm abnormality.
Donors are selected based on an extremely strict medical criteria test and undergo a series of tests to rule out any major diseases and conditions that may have repercussions on the baby’s health.
One of the distinctive features of our donation programme is that we attempt to match the physical characteristics (phenotypes) of the donor and the recipient as closely as possible. This is what we call good phenotype matching. The results are closely examined by a doctor, who also checks for the absence of currently known genetic diseases in the donor’s personal or family history, and a psychologist who assesses the donor’s mental health.
Finally, the donor signs a consent form drawn up according to Spanish law, in which she states that she is donating her eggs to a couple wanting a child and that she will never try to find out who they are.
2. Donor treatment
Donors have to undergo a course of treatment for about two weeks to stimulate their ovaries; this consists of administering subcutaneous (under the skin) hormone injections and they are monitored with ultrasound scans plus blood tests if necessary. The eggs are removed by inserting a fine needle into the ovary while the woman is under sedation.
3. Obtaining the semen sample
The semen sample is obtained from a donor who has undergone a full medical check (semen analysis, blood and urine tests, general examination, tests for sexually transmitted diseases and psychological examination) to ensure the quality of their sperm and rule out any kind of abnormality. All donors are adults and sign a consent form that also guarantees their anonymity. The semen is frozen before being used.
4. Egg harvesting and in vitro fertilisation
Harvesting the eggs is done by inserting a needle into an ovarian follicle and aspirating them. Once they have been harvested, the eggs are placed in a culture dish for a few hours while the semen is being prepared to separate motile sperm.
If the technique that will be used is ICSI (injecting a sperm into each mature egg) the eggs are denuded, which means that the cells on the surface are removed, and a sperm is injected into each one. At our Clinic, we carry out ICSI in 99% of cases, unless requested not to do so.
If not, the sperm (between 50,000 and 100,000) are placed in the culture dish with the eggs and the next day they are checked to see how many have been fertilised. Obviously, the more eggs we have the greater chance there is of obtaining a pregnancy.
The day after extraction and ICSI or fertilisation of the eggs we will know how many have fertilised. In the next 2 or 3 days these fertilised eggs become pre-embryos ready for transfer to the uterus.
On the day of transfer, between day 2 and day 5 after fertilization, as the case may be, the pre-embryos with the best developmental characteristics are selected. According to the law, we can transfer up to 3 pre-embryos, but on average, the most common number is between 1 and 2, depending on the day of transfer and the medical and personal characteristics of each patient.
The pre-embryos are inserted into a thin catheter and are placed inside the uterus, namely, in the endometrium, by the gynaecologist. No anaesthesia is required. Of the pre-embryos transferred, usually only one of them is implanted, but it should be borne in mind that in some cases more than one can be implanted, which would lead to a multiple pregnancy. This is why the number of transferred embryos must be adapted to each patient case.
The pre-embryos that have not been transferred are frozen in liquid nitrogen (this type of cryopreservation is known as Vitrification) and they are then carefully labelled and stored in the embryo bank. These pre-embryos can be used in subsequent cycles if a pregnancy is not achieved on the first attempt. Evidently, the treatment for preparing the uterus for the transfer of frozen embryos is much simpler as there is no need to stimulate the follicles and harvest the eggs.
Cost of treatment
Get your free 360º Fertility Assessment during your first visit if you request it before March 31.
This amount includes all medical procedures necessary for its performance, from your first visit to completion
Medical treatments in Spain are exempt from VAT.
This amount does NOT include:
- The previous medical tests required, since they are different for each person depending on their medical history.
- The medication, as during the first visit your doctor will indicate the dose you need, depending on your case.
- The blastocyst culture, due to the fact that up until a few hours after fertilisation we will not be able to know whether the embryos have the potential to develop until this stage.
Travel and accommodation
At EUGIN, all the treatments are performed in Barcelona. You can get started right away, and from start to finish, the whole process tends to take around one month.
Be aware that travelling adds a significant cost, at EUGIN we do everything possible to reduce it to the minimum.
To do this we propose two methods:
Trips can be scheduled every day of the week (weekends included), to make it easier to fit them in to your schedule.
There is a possibility of scheduling a single trip to Barcelona to carry out the treatment. If you prefer this option, you can contact our patient care team, who will help you plan the whole trip. Depending on your case and the treatment you undergo, the stay may vary * from between 15 days to a month.
*If you require a visa, consider the possibility that your trip may be prolonged depending on your case and the treatment you undergo. Our patient care team will help you organize all the details of your stay.
Last Updated: February 2018