Successful IVF with donor eggs at the Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago – egg donation clinic with proven egg donorsMarch 27th, 2013
Egg donation (oocyte donation or ovum donation) is an effective treatment for infertility except in women with a severe uterine problem, such as extensive intrauterine adhesions.
Success rates with egg donation are high, particularly compared to pregnancy rates in women with poor egg quality and quantity.
Donor egg IVF is generally used in women with significantly diminished egg quantity and quality (poor ovarian reserve). This includes women with:
- Premature ovarian failure (early menopause)
- Very poor egg quality
- Poor response to ovarian stimulation
- High day 3 follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) levels
- Very low antral follicle counts on ultrasound
- Advanced female age, such as over age 40
|Our 2011 success rate with donor eggs
Live birth ratePer embryo transfer
|2011 national average success rate with donor eggs||54.9%
Live birth ratePer embryo transfer
|A comparison of clinic success rates may not be meaningful because patient medical characteristics, treatment approaches and entrance criteria for ART may vary from clinic to clinic.|
- Know the success rates at your clinic before you do treatment anywhere with donor eggs
- See any clinic’s IVF and donor egg success rates by following links to SART or CDC
How are the egg donation procedures performed and how is the timing of IVF with donor eggs done in donor egg IVF cycles?
- An appropriate egg donor is chosen by the infertile couple and thoroughly screened for infectious diseases and genetically transmissible conditions. Donors are generally given money for going through the treatment. Donors can be known or anonymous to the recipient couple. Our clinic does most cases using one of our anonymous donors.
- Consents are signed by all parties.
- The donor is stimulated with injected medications to develop multiple egg development. This allows us to perform in vitro fertilization with her eggs and the sperm of the infertile woman’s male partner.
- Details about the subcutaneous injectable medications that are used for IVF
- Sample calendar of a “typical” egg donation cycle that shows the days of medications, procedures, etc.
- The infertile woman (recipient) is placed on medications:
- Lupron suppresses her own menstrual cycle
- Estrogen patches or pills to stimulate development of a receptive uterine lining
Making a receptive uterine lining
With egg donation, a lining thickness of 8mm or more is desired to maximize success rates. Usually it is not difficult to get a good lining thickness for egg donation, but sometimes we need a modified estrogen protocol to get sufficient thickness.
Ultrasound images of a uterus with a normal endometrial lining that is 11.2 mm thick
The endometrium is the landing pad - embryo implantation zone
Same image showing outer contour of uterus outlined red and “triple stripe” lining in green
Egg donation process
When the donor’s follicles are mature, an egg aspiration procedure is performed to remove the eggs from her ovaries. The eggs are then fertilized in the laboratory with the sperm of the infertile woman’s male partner.
The eggs are used fresh and are not frozen for later use. In the future, frozen donor eggs might be used routinely for egg donation. However, current egg freezing technology does not allow the same high success rates that are seen when using fresh eggs. However, freezing of leftover fertilized embryos is now routine, and success rates using frozen embryos are excellent.
The chart below shows data from all of our donor egg cycles in 2009 and the first half of 2010. Shown are the average number of eggs, mature eggs, fertilized eggs, 8 cell embryos on day 3 and blastocyst embryos on day 5. Also shown are the average number of embryos transferred, frozen, and number of babies born (from transfer of fresh embryos).
Even using donor eggs there is drop off as embryos develop in the lab. But there are still enough good ones to make lots of babies.
Timing of donor egg fertilization with the recipient’s uterine receptivity
Getting the proper timing in IVF with donor eggs between the uterine lining in the recipient and the developing embryos is critical for a successful donor egg IVF cycle.
This is accomplished by carefully controlling the start time of the drug (hormone) progesterone (also called P4) in the recipient woman. Not all egg donation clinics start progesterone at exactly the same time. Our protocol starts P4 on the evening before the donor’s egg retrieval procedure.
The embryos develop in the laboratory for 3 to 5 days. Then, an embryo transfer procedure is done which places the embryos carefully in the recipient woman’s uterus where they will hopefully implant and develop on to a successful birth.
Sample calendar for a donor egg treatment cycle
Availability of egg donors
We currently have ovum donors available that are interested in donating eggs to infertile couples. We do not currently have a waiting list for couples needing egg donors.
Success rates with donor eggs
Success rates for IVF using donor eggs varies considerably depending on several variables including the age of the donor, her egg quantity and quality, the number of embryos transferred, the quality of the recipient’s uterine lining, and the particular IVF center handling the case. Pregnancy rates are generally as high, or higher than that seen with the use of eggs from very young (under 32) infertile women.
Thegraph below is from a recent ART Success Rates report published by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) – a US Government agency.
- This report was generated from national data from hundreds of clinics and over 100,000 IVF cycles
- It is not data from our center (although we are included in it)
- It shows the rate of live births per embryo transfer procedure by the age of the recipient of the embryos
- The green line shows data using the infertile woman’s own eggs, while the dark blue line shows data from donor egg cycles
This chart illustrates the decline in live birth rates by female age beginning at about age 28. The rate of decline becomes somewhat greater starting at about age 38. In vitro fertilization with own eggs rarely results in a live birth beyond age 43.
An important point is that there is basically no decline in live birth rates by age of recipient when donor eggs are being used (top line doesn’t drop with age).
- The age of the eggs is very important, but the age of the uterus is not important
The national summary (as well as clinic specific results) of IVF cycles done in the years 1997-2010 are posted on the CDC’s website. Links to CDC and SART reports are on our site.
- Some programs, including ours, have delivery rates averaging over 70% per embryo transfer procedure for egg donation cases
- The national donor egg success rate is currently about 56% per transfer procedure
What is the history of IVF using donor eggs?
The process of human egg donation began in 1982 with the first live birth success. Currently, over 16,000 egg donation procedures are done annually in the US