Egg donation, or sometimes referred to as Donor Egg IVF treatment refers to receiving IVF treatment using donor eggs. This option is suited for women who are not able to get pregnant using their own eggs for a variety of reasons.
Who Needs Egg Donation Treatment?
Women who are not able to get pregnant using their own eggs can be categorized as follows:
1- Women with premature ovarian failure and/or premature menopause. Even though premature ovarian failure and premature menopause are sometimes used interchangeably, the two concepts are not exactly the same. Premature ovarian failure refers to ovaries losing their normal function before the age of 40. Women with premature ovarian failure may still have periods, even though they won’t be regular and can even get pregnant even though the chances of pregnancy will be very minimal. Premature menopause refers to entering menopause prematurely with no further menstrual periods.
2- Women who have been subjected to chemotherapy or radiation therapy. This could be due to cancer treatment or another medical treatment. Usually, women who have been subjected to chemotherapy or radiation therapy will lose their ovarian reserves.
3- Women whose ovaries have been damaged or removed. Some medical conditions require the removal of one or both ovaries. If ovaries have been damaged or completely removed during an operation, then the patient will no longer have ovulation which means she no longer has any viable eggs for pregnancy.
4- Women with hereditary genetic diseases who are at the risk of passing genetic diseases down to the new generation might opt for egg donation as a means of avoiding the genetic condition running in family.
5- Women who have entered menopause naturally and can no longer get pregnant with their own eggs due to older age.
At North Cyprus IVF Center, Egg donor IVF program requires a number of steps before proceeding with treatment. This is to make sure that this treatment option is right for you and also to make sure that you are fit for pregnancy and that there are no problems that might interfere with a successful pregnancy. The steps involved in treatment can be listed as follows:
Steps in Egg Donor IVF Treatment:
1- Making the initial contact: At this point, we will make first contact and based on information provided by you, we will make an initial assessment. The more details you provide, the more comprehensive our responses and recommendations can be. For this end, we ask that you provide us with as much detail as possible regarding your history of infertility, previous testing and/or previous history of infertility and IVF treatments. You can contact us using the contact form on our website, or simply fill out the “Patient application form” with as much detail as possible so that we can provide you with a more comprehensive response.
2- Initial Assessment and Preliminary Testing: At this point, based on your history of infertility and previous testing and treatment history, we will make an assessment of your treatment needs and requirements. Additional tests and diagnoses may be required depending on your specific case. Generally speaking, we will first want to make sure that you are fit for pregnancy and that there are no problems thatc an interfere with a successful pregnancy. These will necessitate the following tests:
– If you have regular menstrual cycles, then we will need a base line ultrasound scan (sonogram) on day 2 or day 3 of your menstrual period. If you do not have regular menstrual cycles, the scan can be done at any time. The purpose of the scan is to observe the ovaries and the uterus and make sure everything looks normal and as expected.
– If you have a history of failed IVF cycles and a case of unexplained infertility, then we will also ask that both you and your husband have a genetic karyotype analysis done to rule out any chromosomal abnormalities. A karyotype analysis does not cost too much and it can provide us with very important insights when explaining unexplained infertility.
– If you have a history of recurrent miscarriages or repeated IVF failures, then we will need you to undergo thrombophilia testing to see of there are any thrombophilia (blood clotting problems).
– It’s not necessary but it’s a good idea to have a hysterosalpingography (HSG) filming done before an IVF treatment. If you have had at least one failed treatment before, then HSG is a must.
– We will need your partner to have his semen analysis done to measure parameters such as count, volume, motility, morphology, pH and round cell count. We will need to make sure that his semen sample is suitable for ICSI treatment.
– Both you and your partner will need to undergo infectious disease screening.
3- Treatment Planning: Based on test results and all the information we have gathered up until this point, we will be able to formulate a treatment plan and a calendar to be followed. The initial preparations, including medication use and follow up scans, can be done locally in your own country with your own gynecologist or scan place, or if you do not have your own doctor, we can recommend a name or two in your area for the tests. Based on your treatment calendar, we will also be able to provide you with a prescription so that you can obtain your medication locally.
4- Actual Treatment: This is when you will need to travel to North Cyprus. Usually, if you are able to have your scans done locally, the length of stay in North Cyprus will be around 6 days. You will need to arrive here in time for your egg donor’s oocyte pick-up (OPU) procedure so that your partner can provide his fresh sample for a fresh round of ICSI with fresh eggs in order to give you the highest chance of success possible. Ideally, embryos are cultivated in an incubator for 3 to 5 days until they reach a suitable level of growth so that they can be transferred into the uterus. Depending on the number and quality of your embryos on day 1 check, you will have a chance to choose the stage at which the embryos are transferred. We are happy to offer day 5 blastocyst transfer to all our patients free of charge, however, it should be known that even though blastocyst embryos have higher quality grading and have better pregnancy rates, some of the embryos will not make it into day 5 blastocyst stage although they would have generated pregnancy should they have been transferred on day 3. So, there is a trade-off between the number of your embryos and the quality grading when it comes to deciding when to have the embryo transfer done. Our recommendation usually is to proceed with day 3 transfer unless there is a specific reason why your doctor might think day 5 embryo transfer will be a better option. Also, if you are having PGD screening done on your embryos, that will also necessitate a day 5 blastocyst transfer as testing and screening will take time.
Another important part of the egg donation program at North Cyprus IVF Centre is the choice of your egg donor. Even though North Cyprus laws require complete donor anonymity, we are still able to provide you with certain information regarding our donors. As a general rule, our donors should comply with the following standards:
– Must be aged between 19-29
– Must have her body mass index (BMI) in the normal range
– Must be mentally stable and must pass her psychological evaluation
– Must go through infectious disease screening
– Must go through hormone testing and fertility assessment
– If donor is from a certain geographic region with any genetic predispositions, she must go through additional testing.
Optionally, egg donors can undergo genetic karyotype analysis and additional screening per your request, but these will have associated additional costs.
Our donors are predominantly consisted of international university students studying at universities in North Cyprus. Most donors are aged between 19-25 and we prefer that donors we use in our egg donation program have a successful donation history. Each egg donor is allowed to donate up to 5 times in her lifetime and donors whose previous donations have created a positive outcome are called back in the upcoming months to donate again. That way, we can make sure that the eggs that we provide in your IVF program are pregnancy proven and that we can offer you a high chance of success with your treatment.