The availability of donated egg cells (ovum or oocyte) now provides many couples a chance at pregnancy. Designated (from someone you know) and anonymous egg donation is available. Egg donors will undergo a standard in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure including ovulation stimulation and egg retrieval. Donated eggs are mixed with the male partner’s sperm to allow fertilization. Embryos are transferred into the mother’s uterus following standard IVF practice.
While the most common condition motivating couples to request ovum donation is premature ovarian failure, it also can be used to treat infertility as the result of:
- congenitally or surgically absent ovaries
- ovaries which have stopped functioning due to chemotherapy, X-ray therapy, aging, or for unknown reasons
- failure of other fertility treatments
Additionally, women who carry genetic abnormalities in their own eggs may also be able to become pregnant with eggs donated by women without genetic abnormalities.
If egg donation is an option for you, your infertility physician can help to navigate the process.