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Friday, 5 September 2014

Donor egg IVF

Donor egg IVF is the modality of fertility treatment where eggs are taken from a donor (through ovarian stimulation and egg collection); these are fertilised using the husband's sperms and transferred into the uterus of a recipient after 2-5 days of culture. 

Donor egg IVF can be opted for in a number of situations. The women in whom ovarian reserve is either very low or who have entered menopause can opt for a donor egg. This may be either because of prior surgeries, chemotherapy or radiotherapy (for cancer treatment). In situations where the embryos formed are poor quality or there is a persistent failure of fertilisation, donor egg can be used to achieve a pregnancy. Successful outcome from IVF declines with age, so this option can be taken by women who are older than 40-42 who are keen to increase their chances of conception. Last but not the least, if the women is the carrier of inheritable disease that can be passed on to the child, donor eggs can be used to prevent the disease transmission to the child. In the last scenario where facilities are available and where the gene defect can be tested, PGD can be used to screen embryos before transferring.

The cycles of the donor and the recipient are synchronised either with hormone pills. The donor undergoes ovarian stimulation while the recipient has estrogen tablets to help prepare the lining of the uterus. In addition, the recipient may also be given an an injection to prevent any ovarian activity as this could interfere with the cycle. Once the donor is ready for egg collection, the couple are informed. On the day of egg collection, the donor's eggs and the sperms from the male partner are used to form embryos. The recipient now starts taking progesterone hormone (most commonly in the form of pessaries) to enable the best chances of conception. Embryo transfer is done as usual after selection of embryos. Surplus embryos may be frozen for later use.

Donor egg opens the door to the possibility of conception in many couples and can be a very precious gift for the couple trying to conceive.

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