Prospective Egg Donors
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As you have probably heard in the news lately, it is now possible to achieve pregnancy in some women who would otherwise never be able to get pregnant on their own. The technology is called oocyte donation or egg donation and it can benefit several groups of patients:
- Premature Ovarian Failure
- Occult Ovarian Failure
- Advanced Maternal Age
- Failure of Other Treatments
- Maternal Genetic Abnormalities
Premature Ovarian Failure – Premature menopause: Egg donation can be used successfully for this group of women. These are women who for a variety of reasons have entered menopause at an early age (under age 40, at times in early 20’s). Just as in the case of women who have gone through menopause, these women usually do not have functional eggs remaining in the ovaries. In some cases, they don’t have ovaries. Some women are born without ovaries and some may have had their ovaries surgically removed for various reasons.
Occult Ovarian Failure: These are women who still have monthly periods and evidence for ovulation but whose eggs are very unlikely to produce a pregnancy. This groups is said to have decreased ovarian reserve. They can only be diagnosed by ovarian reserve testing. This makes up the largest group of women needing egg donation. Women in this group have a harder time deciding to do egg donation since they still ovulate and have regular menstrual cycles.
Advanced Maternal Age: As a woman’s age increases, her ability to conceive a pregnancy decreases and her risk of miscarriage increases. This is due to a decreased number of eggs remaining in her ovaries and to a decreased potential of those eggs to produce a vable pregnancy. This is true even if they haven’t been shown to have abnormalities on ovarian reserve testing. From inspection of ptregnancy rate data, after about age 35, egg donation is more successful in producing a liveborn than In vitro Fertilization (IVF) with a woman’s own eggs.
Failure of Other Treatments Occasionally, a couple will choose to use egg donation if they have attempted multiple other treatments without success. Egg donation is most commonly used for patients who have failed in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles.
Maternal Genetic Abnormalities Rarely, women may have genetic or chromosomal abnormalities that they don’t want to pass on to a child. This is less common now since preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is available for this purpose. However, egg donation still may be used if a problem is known to be hereditary but the exact gene mutation or problem is not known and therefore impossible to test for.
Click here to learn more about egg donation.
Recent Egg donation Information
09/23/2005 Egg donors are not at increased risk for infertility themselves