Donor Eggs Pregnancy Procedure

In 2014 there were 9,815 donor egg recipient cycles conducted in different fertility clinics across the United States. Each cycle brings with it the hope of creating a new life. Amazing improvements in vitrified (frozen) egg procedures have helped make the donor egg pregnancy procedure much more efficient.

With regards to a donor egg pregnancy procedure, there are some things to consider.

The egg donor recipient

The first and possibly the most important thing to consider is to decide, who will carry the pregnancy to term. Medical history and overall health are deciding factors, which is why testing is conducted early on to ensure that the egg donor recipient is healthy and likely to carry the pregnancy to term.

Fresh or frozen egg donor procedure

The next important consideration is choosing between fresh or vitrified (frozen) donor eggs. Studies have shown comparable success rates between the two.

  1. A fresh donor egg procedure is more complex than a frozen, as it requires that the egg donors cycle is synced to the recipient’s cycle. It may be hard to find the perfect donor as there is less availability.

  2. Frozen donor egg procedure allows you to search through databases of egg donors whose eggs are already available. You can buy the quantity you need and syncing your cycle with a donor is not necessary.

Once you have decided between fresh or frozen; the donor egg pregnancy procedure does not differ much, except for the thawing procedure required for frozen donor eggs.

Donor egg recipient preparation

Whichever option you choose the donor egg recipient's body will be prepared to accept the donor eggs; this involves taking hormones (estrogen & progesterone) to prepare the uterus so that it will accept the embryos.

There is a specific window of time in which the embryo can be implanted, and this will be dependent on when the hormone treatments begin.

Sperm for donor egg fertilization

The next step in the procedure involves the retrieval or collection of sperm in preparation for the fertilization process. Depending on your situation this will either be donor sperm or a partner's sperm. There are different methods of collection and storage that will depend greatly on your specific circumstances. You can browse our donor sperm database if you require donor sperm.

Fertilization of donor eggs

Fertilization of donor eggs is done outside the body in a procedure called in vitro fertilization (IVF). Different techniques may be used depending on the quality of the sperm.

The eggs and sperm may be placed in incubators and monitored to ensure that fertilization takes place; alternatively, a more advanced procedure such ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) may be used. ICSI involves the injection of a single sperm directly into the egg.

Donor eggs embryo development

Early embryo growth is monitored inside the lab under carefully controlled conditions conducive to the development of the embryo. This process generally takes 2 to 6 days with the most common timeframe for implantation being 5 days.

Embryo implantation

The egg donor recipient should be prepared in advance for the uterus to be ready to accept the embryo. A catheter is inserted into the uterus and once the catheter is in the correct place the embryo/s are transferred into the uterus. The embryos are suspended in a liquid; when squirted the embryos move towards the endometrial lining so they may implant. Ultrasound-guided embryo transfer is preferred to ensure the best results. The procedure is painless and does not require sedation.

Once successful implantation has taken place the embryo will continue to grow and be monitored accordingly.

Donor egg pregnancy monitoring

The donor egg recipient is monitored after the procedure; this includes bloodwork, ultrasound, and overall health checkup.