Oocyte (egg) donation is a feasible option for many couples to have a child. For some women, oocyte donation may offer their last and only hope to carry their partner’s biological child.
Egg donation allows the woman to experience pregnancy and delivery of a child that may have not been possible with her own genetic egg. Simply put, if an egg problem is found during in-vitro fertilization (IVF), replacing a poor-quality egg with a better-quality egg will fix the problem. A pregnancy rate of approximately 65% is generally expected if the proper egg donor is selected.
Oocyte donation may be an option in the case of:
- Premature ovarian failure (POF). POF can be secondary to:
- Unexplained infertility
- Previous chemo or radiation therapy
- Surgical procedures on the ovaries
- A genetic predisposition
- Advancing maternal age
- Poor response to fertility medications
- Demonstrated poor egg quality at previous IVF attempts
All couples considering this option require counselling to discuss the ramifications of using a donor egg. It is of paramount importance that the couple is ready to live with this decision throughout their future.
Oocyte donation also requires a considerable amount of time and effort on the egg donor’s behalf. These women are usually highly motivated and have a strong desire to help an infertile couple have a child.