The Donor Egg Program
Be a Part of the Texas Donor Egg Program at Dallas - Fort Worth Fertility Associates
Here at Dallas - Fort Worth Fertility Associates, we are committed to assisting our patients in achieving their dreams of parenthood. Our egg donation program has helped hundreds of couples in the Dallas - Fort Worth area find their path to parenthood and is recognized as one of the best and largest in Dallas, Texas.
Donor Oocyte Programs exist to help women who are unable to use their own eggs to achieve pregnancy. Oocyte donation (more commonly known as egg donation) is a form of in vitro fertilization (IVF) using eggs donated from another woman. These eggs are fertilized with sperm from the intended parent or donation in our laboratory. The embryo(s) produced are then transferred into the recipient’s uterus.
Donor eggs may be used for patients diagnosed with premature ovarian failure, diminished ovarian reserve , advanced reproductive age , poor oocyte quality, or genetic abnormalities. Patients who have been through chemotherapy or received radiation therapy, or have had surgical removal of the ovaries may also access donor eggs.
The Texas Donor Egg Program at Dallas - Fort Worth Fertility Associates is a de-identified egg donor program, meaning we don’t distribute donor’s personal information to intended parents or provide patient information to donors during the donation process. We take extensive measures to protect the confidentiality of both oocyte donors and the recipient couples while in our facility.
The Egg Donation Process
When a qualified donor and a screened recipient couple match and intend to undergo a fresh embryo transfer–meaning that the embryos are not frozen-thawed–the donor and recipient cycles are synchronized. To accomplish this, the recipient patient begins estrogen and progesterone supplementation to mimic a natural cycle. At the same time, the donor receives FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) injections, which stimulate the ovaries to develop multiple eggs. Those eggs are eventually retrieved and used in the IVF procedure. The donor’s cycle will then be monitored with vaginal ultrasounds and blood work to determine when the eggs are mature. Once the follicles are mature, the office schedules the egg retrieval. Egg retrievals from egg donors can yield an average of 18 to 19 eggs.
Once we retrieve the eggs from the donor, an embryologist examines them and combines them with the recipient’s partner’s sperm or donated sperm to form embryos.
Ideally, sperm is collected from the male patient on the morning of the retrieval if it is coming from an intended parent. Dallas - Fort Worth Fertility Associates provides a private collection room in the andrology department , separate from the center’s IVF lab and procedure rooms. We then prepare and inseminate the sperm with the eggs about 4-6 hours after the egg retrieval, or egg thawing frozen eggs are used. Insemination occurs using either conventional insemination or sperm injection into the egg(s) using ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) . Our lab then evaluates the embryos at 16, 40, and 64 hours following insemination to determine the fertilization of oocytes and to monitor their development. We select the embryos that have developed appropriately and incubate them until ready to transfer.
Five days following the egg retrieval procedure, the embryo transfer will occur. During this process, a very soft, flexible catheter is placed into the uterus through the cervix. The first pregnancy test occurs 9 days after a Day 5 embryo transfer, which is 14 days after the egg retrieval.For Parents
Donating Your Eggs at Dallas - Fort Worth Fertility Associates
Becoming an egg donor through the Texas Donor Egg Program allows you to give the incredible gift of parenthood. Along with this knowledge, egg donors will also receive compensation for their commitment to the process.
The Donor Screening Process
In order to become a qualified egg donor, we have an extensive screening process to protect both the woman donating and the recipient patient. From start to finish, the screening process takes approximately two to three months.
The ideal candidate to donate eggs at our facility is:
- Between the ages of 21 and 30
- In a monogamous relationship
- A non-smoker
- Has no history of substance abuse
- Is a healthy body weight (BMI<30)
- Has no significant history of chronic medical conditions or genetic diseases
- Participates in and passes a screening process, including a psychological examination
- Has regular/cyclic menstrual cycles when not taking hormonal birth control
- Lives within two hours of the Dallas - Fort Worth Area
We are also most interested in egg (oocyte) donors who are motivated by the sincere desire to help families become pregnant who may otherwise not be able to.
If you are interested in donating your eggs and meet these basic criteria, get started with our Pre-Screen Questionnaire . This initial screening is approximately 25 questions. The results of this survey are sent directly to our staff for review.
After the initial screening via Egg Donor Connect, those egg donors who qualify have to complete additional, in-depth screening.
The Medical Questionnaire
Qualified candidates receive a more in-depth questionnaire to complete that consists of over 200 questions. These questions cover medical history, reproductive history, family history, the candidate’s characteristics and personalities. This questionnaire gives our staff and patients the opportunity to learn about who the donor is and if they are appropriate candidates for donation.
The Medical Testing
After the questionnaire is approved, each egg donor moves on to ovarian reserve testing. This testing gives us a subjective amount of eggs remaining in a donor’s ovaries, as well as tests for FSH and estrogen levels. If the results are within acceptable ranges, then we invite the donor into our office for an ultrasound to examine their follicles. Genetic testing and a chromosome analysis are also performed during this visit. It takes about 3 to 5 weeks for these results to come in.
The Genetic Counseling
4 to 5 weeks after the testing and results are received, accepted donors meet with a genetic counselor to review these results. Occasionally, our genetic counselors may request that a donor goes through additional testing. Cleared donors will move on to the next phase of screening.
The Physical Exam
Donors also go through a standard physical exam at this point, as well as additional lab work to test for sexually transmitted diseases and to determine the donor’s blood type. During this exam, the staff also asks questions about where they have traveled, etc.
The Psychological Questionnaire & Interview
The final step before getting added to the donor pool is a questionnaire and interview with a psychological counselor. This interview covers the mental health aspect of donating oocytes and making sure that donors are completely comfortable with the final step.
Once the donor has completed all of these steps, they are cleared to donate and can be added to the donor pool or they can start coordinating their cycle for a frozen donation.
What Can I Expect During the Donation Process?
After a recipient couple and egg donor match, the donor completes blood work and has a baseline ultrasound. The donor then receives gonadotropin injections (such as FSH, follicle-stimulating hormone), which stimulate the ovaries to develop multiple eggs. These eggs are retrieved and used in the IVF procedure. While the donor will give themselves the injections at home, our donor nurse teaches donors the proper techniques for administering these medications. The syringes used have a small needle and are typically well-tolerated by egg donors.
Once the medications begin, the donor cycle will be monitored via vaginal ultrasound and blood work to measure when the eggs are mature. Once the follicles are mature, we can schedule the egg retrieval.
The egg retrieval is performed with anesthesia and takes about 30 minutes. Donors are monitored following the procedure for about an hour before being discharged. Following the egg retrieval, donors must have someone to drive them home and should plan on minimizing physical activity for the following few days. However, it is common for donors to return to work or school the next day.
The entire process, from initiating the cycle with the first medication until completion, takes approximately 28 days. In those 28 days, the donor can expect to make around 5-7 office visits. These visits are scheduled in the mornings between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
Our patients often ask what restrictions they have during the process. In addition to the basics of avoiding alcohol, drug use, smoking, and extra protection during sexual intercourse, it is important to be aware of your body and what it is telling you. If you are feeling uncomfortable doing exercise, etc., cease the activity and rest. During the process, your ovaries enlarge, so avoiding strenuous activities is important to avoid any injury.
There are a few side effects a donor can expect after stimulation begins. These include mood swings, bloating, nausea, weight gain, and headaches. While rare, there are more severe complications that can occur. If something doesn’t feel right, please contact your physician. Our program covers any complications that arise due to the donation process.
Make a Difference by Becoming an Egg Donor
Being an egg donor can be a life-changing experience for both the intended parents and the donor. While the process requires a time commitment, as well as mental and physical effort from the donor, the gift of parenthood is something that simply cannot be replaced.
Egg donors do receive financial compensation for the time, energy, physical effort, and sacrifice they put into donating their eggs. This payment can be used to help fund the dreams of our donors–whether it is paying for school or funding their own fertility journey. To learn the specifics of compensation, please contact our fertility specialists.
Egg Donor Questions and Concerns
Before making the decision to donate your eggs, it’s normal to have concerns about the process and what happens after you’ve finished your donation. Below, you will find a list of commonly asked questions. If your question isn’t answered, please feel free to contact us.
If your application is denied for something such as BMI, but that has since changed, you may be able to reapply using a different email address and including your updated, accurate information.
No. Despite common thought, the medications used and the process to retrieve donated eggs will not affect your ability to conceive in the future provided that the process is uncomplicated by infection, which is extremely rare. With ovarian stimulation, we develop extra eggs that would otherwise go unused, meaning the normal pool of ovarian follicles is not depleted.
No. Despite common thought, the medications used and the process to retrieve donated eggs will not cause early menopause.
Scheduling screenings and examinations are done around your schedule. However, once stimulation begins, we will have to see the donor everyday or every other day for monitoring. We ask that you take the day of the egg retrieval off from work, school, or other commitments.
Egg donors do not pay for the screening, testing, medications, or procedures that occur before or during the cycle. If complications should arise during or after the procedure, those costs would also be covered.
Yes, with a few stipulations. If you use Depo-Provera as your primary form of birth control, six months must have passed since your last injection. We do not need to remove IUDs to donate, but an addition of luteinizing hormone (LH) will be a part of your individual process.
You can still donate eggs if your tubes are tied.
In Texas, once a woman donates her eggs, she has no legal property rights to those eggs, nor any offspring that may result from the donation process. Though not biological, the state recognizes the egg recipient/birth mother as the legal mother.
No. Dallas - Fort Worth Fertility Associates does not inform the donor of the outcome of the procedure cycle. However, donors will know the number of eggs retrieved after the procedure.
Our egg donation program is completely private. We take extensive measures to ensure the confidentiality of both donors and recipient couples during the process. At this time, there is no mechanism for a recipient couple to learn the identity of their donor or vice versa.
Before a donor can donate a second time, the outcome of the first donation must be received. If you wish to donate more than once, we require that you wait at least two months in-between donations. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) sets standards and guidelines for egg donation programs–their guidelines encourage limiting the number of egg donation cycles to 6.
Building Your Family with Donor Eggs at Dallas - Fort Worth Fertility Associates
At Dallas - Fort Worth Fertility Associates, we are committed to assisting our patients in achieving their dreams of parenthood. If egg donation is the path that you choose to build your family, you will have access to our in-house database of donors, as well as access to frozen donor eggs from one of our partner egg banks.
If you decide to use donor eggs, you and your partner will have the opportunity to review our egg donor database to find the right donor. Patients usually evaluate donors on criteria such as appearance, age, health, and educational background. After a candidate is selected, we begin the process of syncing your cycle with the donor’s cycle to prepare for transfer.
Emily and Kenny's Story
Patients Emily and Kenny used the DFWFA donor program to build the family of their dreams.
Should I Use a Donor Egg?
Recipients of donor eggs must be under 49 years of age at the time she enters the program, has a normal uterine cavity, and be in good health. Women over the age of 45 may be required to meet with a perinatologist and undergo further testing to include an echocardiogram, chest x-ray, mammogram, and blood work.
Pregnancy success rates using donated eggs are typically higher than routine IVF because the eggs are from young, healthy women who our team screens extensively. The age of the recipient is not a major determining factor for success; however, certain obstetrical complications occur at a higher rate compared with younger patients.
To see if you choose to receive a donor egg, schedule an initial consultation with one of our physicians, or consult with your current Dallas - Fort Worth Fertility Associates doctor. Your physician will determine what tests and/or studies you need before beginning the process.
How do I find an Egg Donor in Texas?
There are two types of donors: unknown and known. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, but an unknown donor is more often used. Couples select these donors from profiles provided by our office or a third-party agency. A known donor is typically a friend or family member.
Our in-house egg donation program consists of donors within a two hour radius of the Dallas - Fort Worth area. These donors have gone through extensive screening of their medical and genetic history, as well as a comprehensive physical exam and psychological evaluations. Patients can review approved donors to select the candidate they wish to use based on their histories, physical attributes, and personality characteristic, but all personal information will be kept private.
All donors must complete a medical and genetic history form, a physical exam, and extensive testing. This testing screens for significant medical and genetic problems, as well as checks blood type, Rh factor, HIV (AIDS), hepatitis, syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and illegal drugs.
Fresh vs. Frozen Egg Donations
Typically, a single-blastocyst transfer is what we recommend to most patients, regardless whether the eggs were fresh, or frozen-thawed.
With a frozen donation, patients receive a lot of six eggs to fertilize. Frozen donated eggs can be found either in-house or using one of our partner egg banks, such as MyEggBank.
Fresh donations typically yield a higher number of eggs–on average, 18-19. Embryos that are not used are frozen for future family-building if the patient chooses. Our in-house database of fresh donors includes well-screened donors that live within a two hour radius of the Dallas - Fort Worth area.
Financially speaking, there is a cost difference between the two routes. To learn more and discuss your options, please speak to one of our Business Office Counselors.
To determine which route is best for you, please consult your DFWFA physician or contact us to schedule your first appointment.
Our High-Quality Embryo Guarantee
After completing a uterine evaluation and semen analysis, you may qualify for a guarantee from Dallas - Fort Worth Fertility Associates when using a frozen donor egg. If you choose to use a frozen egg from our in-house selection, you are guaranteed to have one high-quality embryo from the lot.
To see if you qualify for this guarantee, please consult your physician.
What Can I Expect During the Donation Process?
All couples who choose to receive a donor egg are encouraged to undergo a psychological evaluation prior to initiating the donation process. Legal matters and the issue of disclosure to the child of the donor egg process are among the topics we discuss.
During the initial conversation with your physician at Dallas - Fort Worth Fertility Associates, your doctor will cover the specific procedures that are completed before, during, and after the cycle.
One of these visits includes a physical exam of the intended mother and blood tests for both intended parents. The intended father will also give a semen sample for analysis. Based on the results of the initial exam, additional evaluation might be required.
It might be necessary to document that the intended mother’s uterus is normally developed and free of polyps and fibroids. We do this using an x-ray of the uterus and fallopian tubes (called a hysterosalpingogram), a saline sonohysterogram (a unique kind of ultrasound), or an office hysteroscopy. Some patients may undergo a test cycle with hormones to determine if the uterine lining responds normally by thickening and becoming more vascular.
When we determine that the recipient is a viable candidate to receive a donor egg, intended parents begin the search for their ideal donor. Using our in-house donor egg database , you will be able to select your donor based on a variety of characteristics such as hair/eye color, height and weight, personality traits, educational background, and more. Frozen donor eggs from our partner egg bank, MyEggBank , may also be an option to find the right egg donor to start or complete your family.
In general, we try to arrange for recipients to have a fresh embryo transfer. In order to do this, the recipient’s cycle is manipulated to be in sync with the donor. After selecting a donor, we will identify a target date for the transfer. The donor receives information about medications, how to administer them, and when to start. Concurrently, uterine stimulation begins in the recipient. Timing of this is incredibly important as the recipient’s uterus must be ready to receive the embryo at the same time the donor’s oocytes are mature.
When normal development of the embryo(s) has occurred, we schedule the transfer. The transfer procedure is painless and no anesthetic is required. A very soft, flexible catheter is placed through the cervix into the uterus to transfer the embryo(s) into the uterine cavity. Patients will remain in a reclining position in the recovery room for 10 minutes post-transfer. You are welcome to bring food, books, headphones, etc. to remain occupied during this time. Following the transfer, activities should be minimal. Avoid spending time on your feet for the rest of the day.
Estrogen and progesterone supplementation continues after transfer until the first pregnancy test, which occurs 14 days after retrieval. Patients with positive results will continue hormone supplementation, and will then meet with their physician to discuss continuing prenatal care. If a negative result appears, the patient will meet with their physician for further testing and to discuss next steps in your fertility journey.
Intended Parent Questions and Concerns
After talking to your doctor about your options for family building, there may still be questions you have regarding the use of a donated egg. You can find answers to many commonly-asked questions below. If your question isn’t answered, please contact your doctor or contact us here.
To determine your insurance coverage, please speak to one of our Business Office Counselors. If your insurance covers IVF, our office will file appropriate claims for services provided. However, the recipient couple must pay for services provided to the egg donor. Our office will not file a claim for any test or procedure conducted on the egg donor, but we can provide documentation for the services provided. All expenses incurred on behalf of the donor, such as the anesthesiologist, will be billed to our office, but will be the responsibility of the intended parents. This policy ensures the egg donor has proper confidentiality measures in place.
While it is not mandatory, it is highly encouraged that recipient couples meet with one of our counselors.