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Egg Donation

The process of egg donation can vary significantly depending on the clinic and country where the treatment is conducted. Therefore, it is challenging to establish a universal standard process. Nonetheless, the egg donation process usually involves five crucial steps, which can take anywhere from one to six months to complete. Factors such as donor availability, the clinic's location, and the country where the treatment is conducted can impact the timeline. The success rate of an egg donation cycle primarily depends on the donor's age and ovarian reserve. However, male factors can also play a vital role. On average, egg donation cycles have a success rate ranging from 50-70%. It is best to ask your doctor directly about how they calculate the success rate. The most common reasons to proceed to this treatment are failed previous treatment with own eggs, extremely low ovarian reserve AMH < 5.0 pmol/L, and maternal age. The following is a breakdown of the five steps involved in the egg donation process:

1. Assessment to determine suitability for treatment.

  • For the female recipient partner, blood tests such as FBC, TSH, and PRL are typically conducted alongside a transvaginal scan to assess the ovaries and uterus. This scan helps determine whether the uterus is fit for treatment, meaning that no structural issues such as polyps or fibroids are found, and if possible, the thickness and pattern of the uterus lining also should be checked. On the male side, it is essential to check semen analysis (SA) to know all the parameters and determine if IVF is the appropriate technique. If one or more parameters are altered, then intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) would be recommended. Some clinics may also require DNA fragmentation or hormonal profiles for the male partner as standard requirements.


2. Getting the male partner´s sperm sample frozen.

  • Most egg donation clinics use frozen sperm for the treatment. The sperm sample can either be produced and frozen at a satellite clinic before being sent to the main clinic, or the couple or male partner can go directly to the main clinic and have the sample frozen there. This is often the next step after suitability for treatment has been assessed.


3. Finding the donor and proceeding to IVF treatment.

  • During this stage, the clinic will search for a suitable donor. The matching process may vary from one clinic to another and from one country to another. It could be as quick as 3 to 4 weeks or as long as 6 to 12 months. Once a donor is found, they will undergo a process similar to an IVF cycle. The donor will be stimulated with gonadotropins for 10-12 days and then undergo the egg collection procedure in the theatre. On the same day as the egg collection, the partner's sperm sample will be thawed out and used to fertilize the donor's eggs. Once the embryos are created, they will be cultured for up to five days until they reach the blastocyst stage. In many clinics, the embryos will be frozen instead of being transferred fresh due to flexibility and similar success rates.


4. Preparation of the uterus & Embryo transfer procedure (ET)

  • In egg donation treatment the embryo transfer procedure is often performed under a medicated cycle. This is also known as Medicated FET. The recipient begins with estrogen (E2) medication on the first day of their menstrual period to prepare the lining of the uterus. Around two weeks after starting the preparation, a transvaginal scan is conducted to assess the thickness and pattern of the lining. If both parameters are good, then the patient is given progesterone administration (P4) to open the implantation window. The patient is then scheduled for an ET after five full days of progesterone. The procedure is conducted in a theatre that is close to the lab. Most of the time, sedation is not required, and the entire process takes only 10-15 minutes. During ET, a vaginal procedure is performed where doctors insert a gynae speculum and an embryo transfer catheter. The embryos are then carefully placed inside the cavity of the uterus. To ensure accurate placement, the majority of clinics perform the procedure under abdominal ultrasound guidance. Most clinics limit embryo transfers to one at a time.

5. Pregnancy test 

  • The pregnancy test should be conducted normally after 10-14 days following the embryo transfer on the blastocyst stage (day 5). It is recommended to have a determination of B-HCG level in the blood rather than a urine test, as it is more precise. If the result is positive, instructions will be given to return after 4-6 weeks to perform a transvaginal scan to check the viability of the embryo. If the result is negative, the medication intake will stop and a conversation with your doctor will occur in most cases.

Egg Donor Cycle



the process of donating eggs explained

Ovarian stimulation


Elective freeze all embryos created with male partner sperm sample at blastocyst stage

the embryo development process explained

Recipient (Female partner)

the medicated frozen embryo transfer explained

Endometrial prep with E2


Pregnancy test

Dr Alex has partnered with various clinics in different countries for egg donation treatment. In Ireland, he has partnered with Repromed Ireland If you are looking to do your treatment in London, UK, Dr Alex can refer you to CRGH Fertility Clinic. Other options are available in Spain, such as Fertilab Barcelona and Ovoclinic, which have a presence in Madrid, Sevilla, Marbella, and Ceuta.

The possibilities are endless!

If you are seeking a comprehensive assessment, along with a tailored strategy that includes the number of cycles required, possible side effects, and realistic expectations from a cycle. In that case, I recommend booking a consultation. You will receive personalized, unbiased advice and a treatment plan that is customized to your individual needs.

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