The recipient chooses an egg donor, either known or anonymous, whose eggs are retrieved and then fertilized with the recipient’s partner’s sperm. The resultant embryos are then transferred to the recipient. As in any typical IVF cycle, an egg donor is given fertility medications to stimulate the production of multiple eggs. During this time, her progress is evaluated through blood hormone assays and ultrasounds to ensure the eggs are developing according to plan.
While the donor is going through the egg production process, the recipient is given hormones that prepare the uterus to receive the embryos and support a pregnancy. The readiness of your uterus is evaluated through blood tests and ultrasound.
Typically, we allow a mock cycle to take place prior to the actual recipient cycle to ensure the uterus is prepared to accept the embryo. This mock transfer process is necessary to ensure the actual embryo transfer goes smoothly, and embryo implantation is optimized.
Using a hollow, ultrasound-guided needle, the eggs are gently removed from the follicular sacs on the ovaries. This is called follicular aspiration. The egg donor receives light IV sedation during this procedure and should experience little or no discomfort.
Once retrieved, the eggs are immediately sent to the embryologist where they are prepared for fertilization. The eggs are then combined with your partner’s sperm and placed in an incubator where fertilization takes place. Once fertilized, the eggs become embryos.
The embryos are transferred to your uterus on day three or day five, once they’ve developed into blastocysts. They’re placed through the cervix into the uterine cavity using a small, soft catheter. At this time, you may choose cryopreservation (freezing) for any embryos not transferred during this donor cycle. These frozen embryos can be used for future frozen embryo transfer cycles.
You’ll have a pregnancy test two weeks after the embryo transfer. If the test is positive, you’ll return for a second confirmation within a couple of days and then return for ultrasound confirmation. We follow your progress with blood work and ultrasounds to monitor early pregnancy hormone levels before returning you to your OB/GYN.
Two recipient couples are matched with one egg donor for that IVF cycle. The menstrual cycles of all three women are synchronized, and the retrieved eggs are split between the recipients. This allows the recipients to split the donor costs which include testing, treatment, and compensation.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!