If you are unable to conceive using you own eggs, you could consider the option of using donor eggs from a known donor (a friend or family member) or from an egg bank.
With donor eggs, the eggs are fertilized with sperm to create embryo(s). The embryo(s) are then put into the uterus.
The use of donor eggs has become much more common, particularly with women over 40. This procedure has a very high success rate and it gives many women the ability to carry and deliver a child when they otherwise would have been unable to do so.
Gay male couples and single males also use donated eggs to help them have children.
When to Consider Donor Eggs
One of the most common causes of infertility is low egg count or quality. You might consider donor eggs if you:
- Are in your 40’s
- Have a low egg number (also called a ovarian reserve)
- Are suffering with premature menopause
- Have severe endometriosis
- Have had cancer treatment that has damaged your ovaries
- Are a gay married couple or single male
What to Expect During Treatment
If you are using a known egg donor, she will take medication to grow multiple eggs. These eggs are removed from her ovaries, exactly like egg retrieval in an IVF cycle. The eggs are then fertilized with your partner’s sperm and the embryos are transferred into your uterus to achieve a pregnancy.
There are three ways that you can obtain donated eggs:
- Through a known egg donor. This is someone you know, like a friend or family member, who is under 35 years of age and is healthy.
- Anonymous frozen donor eggs that can be imported to Olive Fertility in Vancouver from the USA.
- Fresh anonymous donor eggs can be obtained by travelling to the USA or other countries.
When Information is Available on Anonymous Egg Donors?
Egg donors are extensively screened for infectious disease, medical problems, psychological problems, and over 200 diseases that can run in families (e.g. genetic disorders).
Egg banks provide information on the egg donor’s race, height, weight, personal history, academic performance, and many other demographic details. Also, depending on your preference, you may choose to see photos of the donor and read an essay they have written about themselves.
How Successful is it?
Donor egg treatment is very successful. Depending on the age of the donor, the success rate is within 50%-80%.
How to Get Started
Contact the Kelowna Regional Fertility Centre and the team can guide you through the options. If you have a known donor, we’ll start screening her right away. The entire process takes about three months.