IVF and Fertility Specialists Clinic
Successful IVF with donor eggs at the Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago - egg donation clinic with proven egg donors
Page author Richard Sherbahn MD
How are the egg donation procedures performed and how is the timing of IVF with donor eggs done in donor egg IVF cycles?
Making a receptive uterine lining
Egg donation process
When the donor's follicles are mature, an egg aspiration procedure is performed to remove the eggs from her ovaries. The eggs are then fertilized in the laboratory with the sperm of the infertile woman's male partner.
The eggs are used fresh and are not frozen for later use. In the future, frozen donor eggs might be used routinely for egg donation. However, current egg freezing technology does not allow the same high success rates that are seen when using fresh eggs. However, freezing of leftover fertilized embryos is now routine, and success rates using frozen embryos are excellent.
The chart below shows data from all of our donor egg cycles in 2009 and the first half of 2010. Shown are the average number of eggs, mature eggs, fertilized eggs, 8 cell embryos on day 3 and blastocyst embryos on day 5. Also shown are the average number of embryos transferred, frozen, and number of babies born (from transfer of fresh embryos).
Even using donor eggs there is drop off as embryos develop in the lab. But there are still enough good ones to make lots of babies.
Timing of donor egg fertilization with the recipient's uterine receptivity
Getting the proper timing in IVF with donor eggs between the uterine lining in the recipient and the developing embryos is critical for a successful donor egg IVF cycle.
This is accomplished by carefully controlling the start time of the drug (hormone) progesterone (also called P4) in the recipient woman. Not all egg donation clinics start progesterone at exactly the same time. Our protocol starts P4 on the evening before the donor's egg retrieval procedure.
The embryos develop in the laboratory for 3 to 5 days. Then, an embryo transfer procedure is done which places the embryos carefully in the recipient woman's uterus where they will hopefully implant and develop on to a successful birth.
Availability of egg donors
We currently have ovum donors available that are interested in donating eggs to infertile couples. We do not currently have a waiting list for couples needing egg donors.
Success rates with donor eggs
Success rates for IVF using donor eggs varies considerably depending on several variables including the age of the donor, her egg quantity and quality, the number of embryos transferred, the quality of the recipient's uterine lining, and the particular IVF center handling the case. Pregnancy rates are generally as high, or higher than that seen with the use of eggs from very young (under 32) infertile women.
Thegraph below is from a recent ART Success Rates report published by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) - a US Government agency.
This chart illustrates the decline in live birth rates by female age beginning at about age 28. The rate of decline becomes somewhat greater starting at about age 38. In vitro fertilization with own eggs rarely results in a live birth beyond age 43.
An important point is that there is basically no decline in live birth rates by age of recipient when donor eggs are being used (top line doesn't drop with age).
The national summary (as well as clinic specific results) of IVF cycles done in the years 1997-2010 are posted on the CDC's website. Links to CDC and SART reports are on our site.
What is the history of IVF using donor eggs?
The process of human egg donation began in 1982 with the first live birth success. Currently, over 16,000 egg donation procedures are done annually in the US.
Being a recipient of donor eggs from out of town can be done with one trip to our clinic.