Egg donor IVF is a fertility treatment for those who cannot use their eggs due to any condition. When using an egg donor who is not a family member or friend, achieving pregnancy is high. It is more than the average IVF success rates for couples not using a donor egg.

Even though the intended mother will not be genetically linked to her child in egg donor IVF, the intended father is related. This makes it a more convincing idea than embryo donor IVF. In an embryo donor, IVF none of the intended parents is genetically related to the child.

When do you need an Egg Donor?

In a regular IVF treatment, you may intake fertility drugs to promote egg production in your ovaries. After your eggs reach maturity, your IVF specialist retrieves them through a tiny ultra-sound guided needle.

Your doctor keeps the eggs in a petri dish with sperm cells for fertilization. After fertilization, the embryo is transferred into the mother’s uterus. You can decide to freeze the embryos for more IVF cycles.

But what if your ovaries are not creating enough eggs for a regular IVF treatment? Or what if your ovaries are not there? In such cases, your IVF specialist may recommend an egg donor IVF. 

Some conditions in which egg donor IVF is beneficial:

  • For women age 40 or older, age-related infertility
  • Single male with a gestational carrier
  • Genetic disease condition on female partner’s side
  • Low ovarian reserves 
  • Primary ovarian insufficiency or premature ovarian failure
  • After-cancer treatment (if the ovaries or eggs were removed)
  • Continues canceled IVF treatment due to inadequate ovarian response
  • Unknown IVF failures
  • Born without ovaries due to a congenital disability

Where to Find an Egg Donor?

Your fertility specialist can talk to you in detail about your options for finding an egg donor. Here are several familiar sources:

  • A friend or family member
  • An infertile couple who is willing to share their retrieved eggs
  • Egg bank (frozen eggs)
  • Egg donor agencies
  • IVF clinic providing IVF treatment

Depending on your contract, you might get a chance to meet your egg donor. Or, you may never have any contact with them. Some donors agree on being contacted in the future by the donor’s offspring. 

So, before you decide, talk to a lawyer familiar with reproductive law. Also, an infertility psychologist or counselor is helpful as well.

Risks of Egg Donation

Egg donors suffer from the same risks as women going through regular IVF. The fertility medicines used to stimulate the ovaries have risks and side effects that the donor must be aware of.
The donor is at an increased risk for developing OHSS (Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome). It occurs because donors are young and very fertile. So, their risk of OHSS is more than an infertile woman opting for an IVF treatment.
The donor must know the symptoms and signs of OHSS so she can deal with any problems quickly. An untreated OHSS can risk her fertility and her life, in some cases.
For the intended mother, the most common risk of donor egg IVF is multiple pregnancies. To minimize your risk of multiple pregnancies, transfer as few embryos as possible. Consult your IVF doctor about a single embryo transfer and determine the right option for your situation.

Success Rates of Egg Donor IVF

The live birth rate for egg donor IVF is 55.9% for fresh embryo transfer and 40.2% for frozen embryo transfer. However, success rates depend on your IVF clinic, as well.
If you are going for egg sharing with another infertile couple, the success rate might be even lower. The same goes when using a friend or family member as a donor because they may not necessarily be ideal donors.
Consult your IVF specialist about your odds for success. Fortunately, if you are facing infertility, you can achieve pregnancy and childbirth. Using a donated egg fertilized by your partner’s sperm can help you achieve a healthy pregnancy.