RMA of New York offers egg donation, also known as ovum or oocyte donation, as a fertility treatment option for women and couples interested in conceiving with the use of donor eggs. Egg donation is an option for women whose own eggs are unable to achieve a pregnancy due to advanced reproductive age, genetic abnormalities, previous surgeries and/or other conditions.
The Egg Donation Program at RMA of New York
RMA of New York’s highly respected and experienced Egg Donation Team is known for its focus and success in matching the highest quality donors with recipients, while providing stellar, compassionate care throughout the matching and treatment process. Thanks to RMA of New York's Egg Donation Program, hundreds of individuals and couples have built their families using donor eggs.
Selecting an Egg Donor (Anonymous, Known or Agency Donor)
- Anonymous Egg Donors
In an anonymous egg donation cycle, the Egg Donation Team at RMA of New York expertly matches the egg recipient with a donor chosen from RMA of New York’s own select egg donor pool. The identities of the donor and recipient are kept anonymous and no identifying information is shared between donor and recipient. Recipients may request to view donor baby photos when available.
- Known Egg Donors
A known egg donor can be a friend or relative who chooses to donate, or may be someone who was unknown prior to the donation process but chooses to participate as a known donor. When a recipient chooses to use a known donor, RMA of New York will provide all medical care to both the donor and recipient.
- Agency Egg Donors
RMA of New York works with only New York State licensed egg donor agencies. If a recipient chooses to use an agency egg donor, the Egg Donation Team will coordinate the donor’s care with the agency
Dr. Georgia Witkin Discusses Egg Donation
Egg donors experience a sense of reward and satisfaction knowing that their contribution has a profound effect on the life of another woman or couple. Many of our donors relay to us that the experience of helping a woman to conceive gives them a sense of fulfillment and contentment that they have never felt before.
Shared Cycle versus Non-Shared Cycle
A recipient can choose a non-shared cycle, in which all of the eggs retrieved from the donor will be given to a single recipient. An alternative option is a shared cycle, where eggs retrieved from a donor are shared between two recipients. This can lower the cost for both recipients’ cycles. RMA of New York follows specific guidelines to help maximize the opportunity for success for both recipients, which can be discussed in greater detail with the Egg Donation Team.
Preparing for the Donor and Recipient Cycles
- The Donor: The egg donation team rigorously screens egg donor candidates to ensure they are physically healthy and fully understand the donation process. The process begins with each donor applicant completing an extensive questionnaire, detailing individual and family health history, physical characteristics, as well as general interests. Upon review of the questionnaire, select donors are then called in for comprehensive medical testing and psychological evaluation. Those candidates deemed eligible to donate are then entered into RMA of New York's donor pool and will be contacted to commence a cycle upon match to a recipient. RMA of New York's medical team will ensure donor and recipient(s) menstrual cycles are timed to coincide. Upon start of the treatment cycle, the donor will take injectable fertility medications for about 8-10 days to increase egg production.
- The Recipient: During the time the donor is taking injectable medications, the recipient of the donated eggs will typically take hormones to synchronize her cycle with the donor's cycle and to prepare her uterus to receive the embryos and thus enhance the likelihood of implantation. These hormones include estrogen, which can be taken orally or administered in patches that attach to the skin, and progesterone administered by injections. Approximately 3-6 weeks after the recipient begins uterine preparation, the eggs will be retrieved from the donor and combined with the sperm from the partner or sperm donor in the embryology laboratory. 3-5 days after the egg retrieval, the resulting embryos are then transferred into the recipient's uterus using ultrasound guidance. The recipient will take a Beta blood test 10-14 days after the transfer to determine pregnancy.
Success Rates of Egg Donation
While egg quality deteriorates with age, a woman’s uterus and her ability to carry and deliver a child remains relatively constant. Therefore, egg donation offers a substantially higher chance for the delivery of a healthy baby, even in women of advanced maternal age. To view the success rates for RMA of New York, the national average and individual centers in detail, visit the website for The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) www.sart.org. Please note that a comparison of clinical success rates may not be meaningful because patient medical characteristics, treatment approaches and entrance criteria for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) may vary from clinic to clinic.
The Emotional Aspects of Using Donor Eggs
Experiencing infertility can be stressful; coming to grips with knowing conception may not be possible without the help of a donor can compound anxiety. Many potential egg recipients have similar questions, such as: Should the parent(s) ever tell their child? And if so, at what point in the child’s life will it be appropriate to reveal how he or she was conceived? And should the parent(s) keep the egg donation process a secret from their friends and family? Recipients in the Egg Donation Program can discuss the emotional aspects of using donor eggs with RMA of New York's licensed Psychologist Dr. Georgia Witkin. To further support potential recipients, RMA of New York’s Psychotherapist Lisa Schuman, LCSW, provides counseling and support sessions for individuals, couples and groups considering or pursuing Egg Donation. Information about these and additional support services can be found on our Complementary Care webpage.
To inquire about RMA of New York's egg donation services, please ask for the Egg Donation Team at 212-756-5777 or email Donor_Nurse@rmany.com.