Donor Eggs can be from an anonymous egg donor or from a known egg donor.
Anonymous Donor Eggs
At Olive we work with Donor Egg Bank USA, Pacific Northwest Fertility and Elite IVF, which have eggs from healthy donors throughout the USA and abroad. These programs will either ship us frozen eggs, which are fertilized at Olive, or we will ship sperm to their clinic for fertilization and have the resultant embryo(s) shipped to us at Olive. In all cases, the embryo transfer happens at Olive Fertility.
Choosing a Frozen Egg Donor
Egg donors are selected by reviewing an on-line bank of donors. Many different ethnic groups are represented in the egg bank, and donors undergo a rigorous medical, genetic, and psychological screening process. When you review an egg donor profile, you learn about the donor's education, medical history, and personal interests. You can also see pictures of donors to choose one that bears a close physical resemblance to your own family.
After an Egg Donor is Chosen
Once you have selected an egg donor from the bank, we make sure your uterus is healthy and your hormones are balanced before doing an embryo transfer. There is a straightforward administrative process to take care of, and then the embryos are created.
You then take estrogen tablets for about 2 weeks. We check the lining of the uterus with an ultrasound, and if the uterus looks ready, we add progesterone (injections or vaginal tablets). The embryo(s) is then transferred into your uterus a few days later. Two weeks after the embryo(s) is transferred, we find out if the cycle was successful.
For those concerned about the viability of using fresh vs. frozen donor eggs, know that our pregnancy success rate with frozen donor eggs is about the same as with fresh egg cycles.
The live birth rate is about 50% per embryo transfer and most women get more than one embryo transfer from a single “lot" or group of eggs. The donor egg programs we work with have programs where you can buy individual "lots" of eggs (6-7 eggs), or you can pay a higher fee and get up to 6 lots, with your money back if a successful pregnancy does not occur. These programs are called Assured Refund programs. If you choose the Assured Refund Program, there is a greater than 90% chance you will have a baby.
Known Donor Egg Program
Another option for women who were unable to achieve a pregnancy with her own eggs is to use eggs from a known donor. The fresh egg donation process has worked for many families. It could very well be the right choice for you if you are able to secure the right donor (e.g. a sister or close friend). However, not everyone has a friend or family member who is willing or able to participate in all that is involved in a fresh egg donation.
The known egg donor comes to Olive for screening to ensure she is a good candidate to donate her eggs, and she undergoes medical, genetic, and psychological screening. The known egg donor then undergoes injections to stimulate her ovaries to produce multiple eggs. The eggs are retrieved, then fertilized with sperm from either the intended parent(s) or from donor sperm. The resulting embryos are grown in the lab for 5-7 days until they reach the blastocyst stage.
The blastocysts are then either frozen for a future transfer into your uterus, or biopsied for PGT-A (chromosome) testing, and then frozen.
In Canada, known egg donation must be altruistic (payment of a known donor is prohibited beyond reasonable expenses related to treatment).
In order to become a known egg donor at Olive, the egg donor must:
- Be a non-smoker under 36 years of age
- Have a BMI under 40
- Have an adequate ovarian reserve as determined by an Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) blood test, and an antral follicle count (AFC) ultrasound