Sep 24

IVF with Donor Eggs Can Provide a Pathway to Parenthood

Posted on September 24, 2019 — by Joseph E. Martin, M.D., FACOG

A sperm going into an eggIn vitro fertilization, or IVF, is an advanced fertility treatment that can help people who are having difficulty conceiving have children.

Many IVF patients use their own eggs, but there are some circumstances in which this may not be an option. At the Fertility Center of San Antonio, IVF with donor eggs has made it possible for many of our San Antonio, TX, patients to overcome fertility issues and grow their families.

What Is IVF with Donor Eggs?

IVF is a procedure in which eggs are harvested from a woman, fertilized outside of the body, and inserted into the uterus to increase the chances of conception.

IVF with donor eggs is essentially the same procedure with the exception of using another woman's eggs; in other words, the eggs of a woman who is not the intended parent.

When using donor eggs at our San Antonio fertility center, sperm may come from a sperm donor or from the intended father. In heterosexual couples, this means the intended mother will not be genetically related to the child, but the intended father will be if his sperm is used.

Where Do Donor Eggs Come From?

There are basically two options in finding an egg donor when choosing to undergo donor-egg IVF. Couples or individuals may receive eggs from a family member, friend, or someone they know. The other option is to find a donor through an agency.

Some people prefer to use an anonymous donor rather than a friend or family member. Or, patients may opt to use a family member's eggs to give the intended mother a genetic link to her child.

Ultimately, the right choice, using a donor from an agency or a known donor, is up to the intended parents and what they feel is best for them.

Securing Donor Eggs

The process for securing donor eggs can vary, especially when the donor is a friend or family member. But typically, when going through an agency, couples or individuals can expect the following:

  • Meet the donor if desired: Prospective parents are often given an opportunity to meet their egg donor before going forward with the egg donation. While some may want to meet, it's completely common and acceptable to choose not to.
  • Sign a contract: A contract is required between the donor and the intended parents. Generally, the contract will state that the donor relinquishes all rights to the embryos that may be created from her eggs.
  • Donor payment: Donor payment is generally required when going through an agency. The payment amount can vary by agency, but may be a single fee plus travel expenses if the donor needs to commute during the egg retrieval process.

Who Might Choose IVF with Donor Eggs?

IVF with donor eggs may be right for heterosexual couples, gay couples, single women, or single men. It is a good option for those who do not have their own eggs or are unable to use their own eggs. Our patients in San Antonio who may benefit from IVF with donor eggs include:

  • Women who have had their ovaries removed or damaged, generally as a result of cancer treatment
  • Women who have had repeated IVF failure
  • Women who were born without ovaries or have low ovarian reserves
  • Women over the age of 40 with age-related infertility
  • Women with premature ovarian failure
  • Women who have a genetic disease risk they do not want to pass on to their children
  • Single men using a surrogate
  • Gay male couples using a surrogate

Schedule a Consultation

IVF with donor eggs can help women and men realize their dreams of becoming parents. For answers to your questions about this or other fertility treatments, please call (210) 692-0577 to schedule a consultation.

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