Fresh Donor Eggs - How it Works!
An important contribution to a diagnosis of infertility is the quality of your eggs. As you get older, the quality and number of your eggs tend to decrease, making it more challenging to conceive. There may be a point in your reproductive journey where your chance of achieving a successful pregnancy may be higher using eggs from a donor.
To begin the process of finding an egg donor, you first meet with RMA of New York’s Third Party Team. The team is committed to helping you match with a suitable donor and providing compassionare care throughout your reproductive journey. Although patients are able to use frozen donor eggs through one of the 2 egg banks RMA of New York is partnered with, the focus of this blog is on fresh donor eggs. There are two ways to be matched with a donor who will provide fresh oocytes. The first is RMA of New York’s fresh oocyte donor program. Patients start by filling out a match form, indicating the importance of specific clinical characteristics, such as race, hair color, eye color, height and other desired traits. Once your profile is complete, the team will work diligently to find your perfect match. This can take about 1-3 months, depending on what you are looking for. While you cannot meet your donor or see adult photos of them (due to the anonymity of our program), the Third Party Team will share donor’s profile and baby photos with you. RMA of New York offers both non-shared and shared donor cycles. Non-shared means you are the only patient matched with the egg donor, so therefore, will receive all of the eggs that are retrieved. Shared means that you are matched to an egg donor, and there is another patient at RMA of New York matched to the same donor, and the eggs are shared at the time of retrieval.
The second option for matching with a donor for fresh oocytes is through an outside “agency.” Agencies are businesses that recruit young women who would like to become egg donors. They often provide adult photos of the donors, along with profiles. If you are looking for an open arrangement with the donor, some agencies can provide this. If you find a donor through an agency, the agency will arrange for the egg donor to be screened by RMA of NY, and as long as she passes the screening process, she would be eligible to donate to you.
The screening process to become an egg donor candidate at RMA of New York is quite thorough. Egg donors are 21-32 years old and are in good physical and psychological health. Each donor is required to have a comprehensive gynecologic exam as well as a psychological evaluation The donor takes medications to prepare her body for egg retrieval, and after approximately two weeks of monitoring, her eggs are retrieved and fertilized with your partner’s or donor sperm using in vitro fertilization (IVF). As the recipient of a donor egg, you have two options how to use the fertilized donor eggs:
* Fresh embryo transfer
The resulting embryos mature in the lab and one is transferred into your uterus after 5 days. This option requires you to synchronize your menstrual cycle with the donor’s using medications so that your body is prepared to accept the embryo for implantation and, hopefully, pregnancy soon after the eggs are retrieved.
* Biopsy and Freeze All Embryo Transfer
This option is similar to fresh embryo transfer, however, after the embryos mature in the lab, they are frozen and preserved until you are ready to undergo a frozen embryo transfer. This option allows for embryos to undergo Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT) – a form of genetic testing that looks for specific genetic disorders – prior to being transferred.
There are several advantages to choosing to use a fresh RMA donor. One of the greatest benefits is the personalized matching process. Because the team selects and gets to know your donor, they can act as a liaison between you and her. Choosing to use a fresh donor also offers more financing options. As mentioned above, a shared cycle would significantly reduce the total cost to you since you would be sharing in the cost with the other patient who is matched to the same donor. Additionally, the Third Party Team can work with your insurance agency to evaluate possible financing options that could reduce the price of using a fresh egg donor. Finally, PGT can be performed on the embryos to evaluate whether they are chromosomally normal. Being able to exclude any embryos that may be chromosomally abnormal can save you time and money in the long run.
Having a strong support system can be helpful as you go through the egg donation process. RMA of New York makes available our expert, Dr. Georgia Witkin, Director of Psychological Wellness Services as you begin the egg donor process. Dr. Witkin recognizes that your choice to use an egg donor is highly personal, and comes with its own set of concerns, questions, and emotions. Dr. Witkin’s goal is to help you understand the process and clarify questions you may have about donation, including when and how to talk to your future child about the egg donation process.
RMA of New York is dedicated to providing a diverse range of options to ensure that your family-building goals are fulfilled. If you have questions regarding egg donation, or think you might be a candidate to receive donor eggs, please contact RMA of New York at 212-756-5777.