Dr Arik Kahane, one of Israel’s leading fertility and IVF specialists has recently participated in a Q & A regarding the legal and medical aspects of egg donation. We’ve summed up the key topics discussed during this session below.
After what age do you advise patients to seek age donations?
Current international medical standards recommend referring women for egg donation starting from age 42-43, as chances of a successful pregnancy and birth from their own oocytes significantly decrease by this stage.
Is egg donation only indicated for older patients?
No. There are circumstances under which younger patients might require donor oocytes. These include:
- Medical treatments that adversely affect egg production (i.e. chemotherapy)
- Genetic ovarian hypofunction
- Ovary resection surgery
- Idiopathic premature ovarian failure
- Certain genetic conditions
How do IVF specialists ensure the quality of the donor eggs?
The donors (who are usually under 35) undergo a thorough medical investigation, genetic testing and a psychological evaluation. Their family medical history is also reviewed. This is done to ensure that the embryos created from their eggs are healthy.
What kind of preparation do recipients go through?
Recipients also undergo extensive medical testing and their and their family’s medical history is evaluated. Additionally, to prevent genetic diseases and rule out donor egg and sperm incompatibility, the recipient’s partner undergoes testing as well.
What is done to ensure the donor produces a sufficient number of oocytes?
The donor is assigned a hormonal treatment regimen aimed at increasing the number off eggs she produces in a single cycle. During this period, specialists continuously monitor her follicle count by means of US scans and bloodwork. Treatment can be adjusted according to these tests’ results.
When are the embryos transferred?
There are two possibilities:
- Fresh embryo transfer – occurs shortly after their creation. This requires that the recipient’s endometrium and embryo age are synchronized. Usually, this is achieved through hormonal treatment.
- Frozen embryo transfer – can be performed at a later stage. This allows timing the transfer with the patient’s natural cycle (when the recipient’s menstrual cycles are regular). It is also possible to perform this type of transfer following endometrial preparation.
What happens after an embryo transfer?
Usually, the recipient will be given hormonal therapy aimed at increasing the odds of the embryos implanting and developing. This treatment lasts around 1 month.
What are the success rates?
Presently, upwards of 40% of treatment cycles using young women’s oocytes result in a pregnancy.