Dallas Donor Egg Program FAQs
The Donor Oocyte Program (DOP) was established to help women who are unable to use their own eggs (oocytes) achieve pregnancy. Oocyte donation is a form of in vitro fertilization (IVF) using eggs donated from another woman. These eggs are fertilized with the husband’s sperm in our Dallas Fertility Center’s laboratory. The embryo(s) produced are then transferred to the recipient’s uterus.
Indications that donor eggs may be necessary include premature ovarian failure, diminished ovarian reserve, advanced reproductive age, poor oocyte quality and genetic abnormalities. Poor oocyte quality is sometimes determined during an IVF attempt.
In Texas, oocyte and sperm donation are legislated, and as a matter of statutory (written) law the donor egg recipient/birth mother is recognized as the legal mother.
Here are the most frequently asked questions about donor eggs and the donor egg cycle. If you don’t see your question here please use our contact form, and ASK! We will be happy to help.
Donor Egg Frequently Asked Questions
How is a Donor Egg Cycle conducted?
Donor egg cycles use the same technology as standard in vitro fertilization (IVF). The egg donor undergoes ovulation induction with gonadotropins (FSH, Gonal-F, Follistim, Repronex, Bravelle, Menopur, etc.), and then the eggs are retrieved by ultrasound-guided aspiration and inseminated with the husband’s sperm in order to produce embryos.
The embryos are placed in incubators for approximately three to five days. Once mature, they are transferred to the recipient’s uterus. The recipient’s cycle must be synchronized with the donor’s cycle by using a combination of hormonal supplements. The endometrium must thicken and become more vascular to accept and support the embryo. Once pregnant, the recipient must remain on hormone supplements throughout the first trimester of the pregnancy.
How do I find an Egg Donor in Texas?
There are two types of egg donors: anonymous and known. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Known donors are typically relatives or close friends. While some couples prefer to know the egg donor, this relationship can sometimes complicate the process, especially if the donor will continue to have some future role in the child’s and the recipient couple’s lives. More commonly, couples use anonymous oocyte donors with whom they do not have an existing relationship. Anonymous donors are chosen from profiles provided by our office, or an agency that specializes in providing egg donors.
All donors participating in our donor egg program, both anonymous and known, will provide us with three generations of their medical and genetic history. They must also pass a comprehensive physical exam including a pelvic exam, sonogram, sexually transmitted disease testing, genetic screening, and a urine drug screen. All egg donors will also undergo psychological evaluation prior to acceptance.
Anonymous egg donors are screened by a multitude of parameters, but in general are: (a) 21-30 years old, (b) non-smokers, (c) involved in a monogamous relationship, (d) at least high school educated, and (e) not adopted. It is also preferred that egg donors have a successful prior pregnancy. Known donors should be between the ages of 21 and 35 with at least a high school education, and preferably a history of successful pregnancy.
What are the requirements for Donor Egg Recipients?
The wife must be 49 years of age or younger at the time she enters the program, have a normal uterine cavity, and be in good health. Women age 45 or greater will be required to meet with a perinatologist and undergo further testing to include an EKG, chest x-ray, mammogram and blood work. All recipient couples are encouraged to undergo psychological evaluation.
What are the expected pregnancy rates with Oocyte Donation?
The pregnancy success rates for IVF using donated eggs are typically higher than routine IVF because the donors are young women with healthy eggs. The age of the recipient is not a major determining factor for producing a pregnancy with oocyte donation, although obstetrical complications such as gestational diabetes and hypertension occur at a higher frequency compared with younger women. Pregnancy rates with oocyte donation are typically in the 70 to 80 percent range, with expected delivery rates in the 60 to 70 percent range, depending upon the incidence of miscarriage.
How do I enter the Texas Donor Egg Program?
Schedule an initial consultation with one of our physicians to review the procedures and information about the Oocyte Donor Program. The physician will determine what tests and/or studies are needed before beginning an actual treatment cycle.