Egg donation is the process in which fertile women at their reproductive age donate their viable egg to another woman who has infertility issues due to egg crisis (the female gamete) necessary for creating an embryo through fertilization with sperm.
Since 1984, after the first birth had attained through the egg donation process, over 50,000 live births have already been obtained from donor eggs. In 2002, the Uniform-Parentage Act was updated in the United States. According to this act, the intended parents have complete parental accountability of the child who was conceived through egg donation. After the egg donation process became popular in the USA, other countries came forward and passed favorable laws. However, in the USA, compensation is prohibited for egg donation.
Egg donation is considered as a third party involved in fertility treatment for assisted reproductive technology (ART). In many cases, egg donation becomes an integral part of IVF treatment. The advancement of reproductive science provides a higher success rate in IVF through the egg donation process that is approximately 60% in the USA. The egg donation process is preferred by women who have any of the following three types of reproductive problems:
- The absence of ovaries may be a congenital problem or surgical removal due to life-threatening disease treatment
- Repeated failure of IVF by using own eggs
- Presence of genetic disorders
However, the egg donation process involves step-by-step screening for physical and psychological health evaluation. The prospective egg donor must pass the entire screening test to become an eligible egg donor. The egg donor may be known or anonymous.
The demand for egg donation is increasing day by day because women have other priorities in their life and delay starting their families. With increasing age, the viability of eggs is decreasing and reduces the scope to become pregnant naturally. The combination of IVF and egg donation provides successful results in many such cases.
The egg donor needs to visit the clinic where she was first screened. Only eligible candidates can select for egg donation. During egg donation, the egg donor receives some medication to stimulate egg production. Receiving the stimulation medication, the egg donor produces more viable eggs in a single cycle to facilitate an efficient egg donation process.
Then the eggs are collected from the donor's womb by inserting a needle attached with an ultrasound probe through the vaginal wall. The whole egg donation process is conducted under medical supervision. Delicately collected eggs are then sent to the embryology department. An embryologist can evaluate the quality of each of the collected eggs. Every viable egg is then fertilized by introducing the male partner's sperm, or sperm donor to create embryos. This whole process is known as in vitro fertilization (IVF).
During this process, the recipient also needs to prepare for receiving an embryo. The synchronization of the recipient's uterus is very important for preparing the uterine environment to support embryo implantation. The recipient requires taking medications for synchronization of the menstrual cycle. Therefore, the recipient also needs to take a regular clinical consultation.
Egg donation is considered a noble job and becomes an effective treatment measure in assisted reproductive treatment over thirty years. The egg donation process gets popularity and many infertile women enjoy their motherly hood because of egg donation.
Egg banks also play a major role in the egg donation process. Egg recipients often take help from the egg bank for donor selection. Egg banks take the responsibility for the shipments on a case-to-case basis and also coordinate with clinics for sending and receiving the collected eggs.