The process of egg donation for In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

The process of egg donation for In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

The process of egg donation via IVF motherhooddiaries

Getting pregnant is not always as simple as some couples make it out to be. Some can conceive at the drop of a hat, whilst for others it takes months, even years to get that big fat positive. And for thousands, the only chance of getting their baby is through medical intervention, such as In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). However, even some couples may not find this option very practical, as their medical history proves egg fertilisation to be a challenge. IVF costs a lot of money and if you are trying everything in your power to get pregnant and sadly it is not happening for you, you may feel that it is risky to put all your eggs in one basket. Of course, there are always lots of natural pathways to follow to increase your chances of getting pregnant, like a healthy diet or even a restful holiday to calm the mind and soul. But if, medically, you are still struggling to conceive then following the egg donor route may provide you with increased chances of getting pregnant via IVF, using viable eggs from a third-party source.

Growing Generations, a company dedicated to supporting families through egg donation, gestational surrogacy and parental education, have created a helpful infographic that lists out the process of egg donation and its effect on IVF success rates and other aspects of pregnancy. The process may seem difficult to understand at first, but it is quite straightforward as you will see below.

All About The Journey Through Egg Donation | Growing Generations

Presented by Growing Generations/a>

What is egg donation?

What is egg donation- motherhooddiaries

Egg donation is a common fertility treatment option offered for couples following the IVF route who find themselves unable to fertilise the sperm with their own eggs. So, an egg is donated from either a known or unknown third-party source, to help with fertilisation during IVF. Egg donation is intended for parents who have the following characteristics or conditions:

  • Over 40+
  • Premature ovarian failure
  • Poor egg quality
  • history of genetic disorder
  • Family type needing an egg donor such as single males and gay couples

The success rates are quite high with eggs that are 30 years old or younger, with 70% of pregnant parents having a live birth on their first attempt, 88% on their second attempt and 98% on their third attempt.

Finding your egg donor

Egg donor's profile growing generations- motherhooddiaries

(Image from

The journey starts with parents selecting their egg donor where they can search for their donor online, using search filters including physical appearance, blood type, ethnicity and state/region. Recipient parents can browse the egg donor’s profile which includes photos, a personal bio and video, health history, education history, family and genetic history, genetic screening and fertility testing. Once the parents have made their choice, the donor is contacted to make sure that both parties are comfortable to proceed with the journey.

Psychological and Genetic Screening

Psychological and genetic screening growing generations- motherhooddiaries

Within two weeks of selecting a donor a psychologist is called up to meet with the donor and evaluate whether she is psychologically suited to being an egg donor. The evaluation also includes an interview with personality testing. The parents can then review the genetic report and request a Geneticist to go through any of the questions.

Medical Screening

Within three to four weeks, a physician then examines the donor’s complete medical and medication history as well as any prior surgeries or donations. Blood tests will be taken to check hormone levels and screening tests will be conducted to check for any infectious diseases. A pelvic ultrasound will also be administered to gather information about the viability of the donor’s ovaries to ensure a less risky and safer egg donation process for the parents.

Legal Contracts

Within four to six weeks, depending on the parties’ response time, legal contracts will be drawn up to protect the rights of both the egg donor and the recipient parents.

Medical Protocol and Egg Retrieval

Parents can opt for a ‘fresh’ cycle, which means that the egg donor and the intended mother (or gestational carrier) will sync their menstrual cycles. The egg donor will then go through her medical protocol while the intended mother’s uterine lining is prepared and monitored for optimal embryo implantation.

Another option, which is quite common today, is to go ahead with the egg donor’s retrieval of her eggs, where embryos will be created and frozen ready for implantation.

To retrieve the eggs the egg donor administers hormone fertility medication to stimulate the ovaries to produce, ideally, 10 to 20 mature eggs. Typically, one to two eggs are produced per menstrual cycle. The donor is put under twilight anaesthesia and a Transvaginal Ultrasound Aspiration is conducted, where the physician guides a thin, suctioning needle into the ovary to retrieve the mature eggs. The donor returns home 1 – 2 hours following the procedure.


Once the donor’s eggs have been retrieved, the frozen sperm is thawed and used to fertilise the eggs in a lab. Five to six days afterwards the embryo is implanted into the intended mother’s uterus. Ten days later a blood test is performed to determine whether the mother is pregnant.


Pregnancy growing generations - motherhooddiaries

The mother or gestational carrier then follows the normal maternity procedures under personal obstetric care.

The process of egg donation needn’t be a taboo or complex subject when you’re struggling to conceive. If you think that egg donation sounds like a viable option to help you get pregnant, then visit Growing Generations’ website here and find out how you can increase your chances of conceiving now.

If you’re interested in reading more articles about how to increase your chances of getting pregnant, check out our preconception articles here.

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Leyla Preston (520 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 5, and Aidan, 4. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked! You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another:

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