Embryo Donation or Embryo adoption is suitable for patients who are not able to conceive with their own eggs and sperm. IVF treatment is used to collect healthy eggs from a young donor and sperm from a healthy sperm donor and then transfer the viable embryo to the female candidate. This treatment is also an option for single females looking to have a child without a partner.

Who is Embryo Donation suitable for?

Female related:

  • Ovarian reserve is low, especially in older women;
  • Poor Egg quality (due to age or a genetic related problem);
  • Menopause at an early age (menopause before 40 years of age);
  • Ovaries have never worked because of congenital or genetic reasons (i.e. women who have never seen menstruation since puberty);
  • No healthy embryos have been produced after an IVF attempt or poor quality embryos and as a result no viable pregnancy has occurred;
  • Multiple failed IVF attempts because of poor egg quality;
  • Women of a mature age who desire a pregnancy (unfortunately women who are over 43 years of age are unlikely to conceive with their own eggs, the chance of pregnancy with their own eggs is less than 5%)

Male related:

  • No sperm production;
  • No non-sperm cells (Azoospermia) in semen after surgically removing cells from the patient (like TESE)
  • Decrease in sperm quality and no viable or healthy pregnancy has occurred;
  • Due to genetic problems, a viable or healthy pregnancy cannot be possible.

How do the Embryo Donation treatment process work?

When deciding if Embryo Donation is for you, it is important you have the right Doctor to guide you and carry out the right tests and evaluate your case a thoroughly as possible and also counselling support before beginning any kind of treatment.

When it is decided that Embryo Donation is the right treatment for you, preparation of the female is important with the right blood tests and scans just like the preparation for IVF treatment and also finding the right donors is important. That is why we would recommend 6-8 weeks to make sure all is fine before beginning treatment with the hormones and womb for a viable pregnancy.

Egg donors are aged between 20-27 years of age and they are screened for sexually transmitted disease and also to make sure they are not genetic carriers of Thalassemia, Cystic Fibrosis and Sickle Cell Anemia and also Karyotype to make sure this is normal. The donors undergo extensive psychological screening to make sure that they are prepared for the donation cycle.

Embryo Donation Treatment Steps

Once the necessary tests and examinations have taken place and the right donor has been chosen, a treatment protocol and plan with the medication is personally designed.
The treatment procedure is very straight forward, in that only the womb and endometrium lining needs to be prepared for a pregnancy. The chosen egg donor’s cycle is synced with the female with the aid of the birth control pill, this enables the bleed to begin on or around the same day. Other medication such as the Bueralin based Nasal spray or injections can also be used for down regulation.
The treatment process begins on day two or three of the menstrual cycle, medication will only begin after confirmation from a blood test to detect the Estradiol hormone is low or a scan to monitor the ovaries is quiet takes place.
Estradiol valerate based tablets (patches can be used in conjunction of the tablets or instead of) are begun in order to prepare and thicken the endometrial lining for pregnancy, they are only taken with aspirin and vitamins for the first 12-14 days alone. When the medication begins the chosen donor also begins the injections for stimulation in line with the treatment. During the first two weeks of the protocol, doctors will carry out the necessary scans to monitor the endometrium is thickening and also blood tests.

After 12-13 days of the medication protocol, the chosen donor will be ready for egg collection, since the donor is synced with the treatment there will be no interruption or delays with the treatment. The chosen sperm donor will also be selected to the characteristics desired, we work with the Sperm bank Cryos based in Denmark (https://dk.cryosinternational.com) and store Sperm samples on site from their database but patients wishing you use their own donor or a different sperm bank are able to. Sperm donors are checked thoroughly for sexually transmitted diseases and to make sure they are not carriers of Cystic Fibrosis and Thalassemia and that their Karyotype is normal.

On the day of the chosen egg donor collection, the female will require her final scan to monitor her endometrium thickness and also monitor certain blood hormones, medication protocol will be adjust and along with the Estradiol Valerate, Progesterone (pessaries, injection or gel) will be introduced. At the same time the chosen Sperm donor sample will be thawed and the Microinjection (ICSI) of the sperm into the eggs will take place. The day of the embryo transfer to the prepared endometrium will be dependent on the embryo quality but we aim for day 5 (Blastocyst) which is 5 days post egg collection for the transfer.

The transfer procedure does not require anaesthesia (except for patients who undergo severe pain or who are sensitive at the time of vaginal examination) as the transfer is very similar to a Cervical smear test. After the transfer, you can rest in your room for approximately minutes. You will be treated as an outpatient and will be discharged after your rest time is completed and also medication changes, do`s and don’ts are explained.

The result is determined by a blood test (beta HCG) that is performed after an average of 12 days post transfer.

What should be considered when donor matching?

The genetics of the embryo will be 50% egg and 50% sperm and this is why it is important that characteristics are matched as closely as possible to the female and her partner.
For the donor match, the donor co-ordinator will help and provide suitable donors, firstly they would look to match to blood group, hair colour, eye colour, height and weight and also if there is any special characteristics that is looked for in a donor then this will be discussed also. We also recommend a picture to help with the donor match as the egg donors are anonymous.
The chances of falling pregnant with Embryo donation carries an 80% chance of success.

Embryo donation, are embryos made up both from an egg donor and a sperm donor. Therefore, it is highly probable that embryos developed with donor sperm are good quality, who have had full genetic screening and the necessary blood tests. Embryos have been developed from fresh quality eggs from twenty-year-old donors, and these embryos are very likely to develop into a pregnancy to the recipient. The success rate in our center is 80-85% for Embryo Donation. The most important factor that will increase the success is the selection of the right donors and the preparation of the recipient to prepare the body for a pregnancy.