At The Centre for Reproductive Medicine, Dr. Janelle Dorsett and our team offer a comprehensive range of fertility services that increase our Lubbock, TX, patients’ chances of becoming parents. While many of our patients are able to be genetically involved in fertility treatment, others require an egg donor.
Egg donation allows a donor’s egg to be used for IVF treatment so that patients have a greater chance of a successful cycle. Egg donation is common among women over 39, or those with poor egg quality or premature ovarian failure. Here, candidates for donation can learn more about the egg donation process so they know what to expect during all stages of treatment.
Selecting an Egg Donor
The first step of the egg donation process is the selection of an egg donor. This is a highly personal decision, so it is important that prospective parents do not take this process lightly. Egg donors may be selected from eligible friends or family members, or they may be selected from an anonymous group of carefully screened egg donors.
Potential egg donors will submit to physical and psychological testing. They must also provide medical history that includes information pertaining to any hereditary diseases or birth defects.
Parents can work with a donor coordinator to view donor profiles. When choosing a donor, it is important to consider the health and medical history of the egg donor, but parents may also wish to consider physical traits such as eye color, hair color, and height.
When a donor has been selected, IVF treatment will begin with ovarian stimulation. The donor will take fertility medications to promote the growth and release of multiple mature eggs. The donor will be monitored during this time via ultrasound and blood tests. Consistent monitoring allows Dr. Dorsett and our team to properly time egg retrieval.
While the egg donor is being prepared for egg retrieval, the mother, or a surrogate will undergo hormone treatment. Medication is used to synchronize the donor and recipient’s cycles so that the recipient’s uterine lining will be prepared for embryo transfer. This gives our Lubbock patients the best chance of a successful IVF cycle.
When we have determined that mature eggs have developed, the egg donor will be given a “trigger shot,” which contains the hCG hormone. The trigger shot prepares the body for egg retrieval. Approximately two days after the trigger shot, egg retrieval is scheduled. During egg retrieval, ultrasound is used to guide a thin needle through the vaginal wall. The needle is attached to a catheter, and light suction is used to draw the eggs into the catheter.
Immediately following retrieval, collected eggs are inseminated with sperm from the male partner or from a sperm donor. These eggs are monitored by our embryologists over the next several days. When embryos have reached the proper stage, a healthy embryo or embryos will be selected for transfer. If desired, other embryos can be frozen for future IVF cycles.
Embryo transfer is the final stage of IVF and the final stage of the egg donation process. During this procedure, the mother, or a surrogate, will receive selected embryos. Embryos are placed in a thin catheter. Ultrasound guides the catheter through the vagina and cervix so that embryos can be deposited directly into the uterus. When embryo transfer is complete, it is simply a waiting game to determine if the embryo implants to the uterine wall, thus resulting in pregnancy for our Lubbock patients.
If you are struggling with infertility and would like to learn more about the egg donation process, we would be happy to answer any questions you may have. To hear more about our comprehensive range of fertility treatments, call (806) 788-1212 at your earliest convenience and schedule an appointment with Dr. Janelle Dorsett.