Donor eggs are used for in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles, but in this case the process is divided into two parts, each one carried out by a different woman:
- The egg donor: she undergoes controlled ovarian stimulation (COS) and follicular puncture (ovum pick-up).
- The recipient: she will be administered fertility medications to prepare her endometrium before the embryo transfer.
The Danish law has established various prerequisites both for donors and recipients, which are detailed hereunder.
Anonymous or known egg donor
Among the basic and fundamental requirements that all women willing to donate her eggs must meet, we highlight age and health status above all.
Eligible candidates must be young girls (aged 18 to 35), not suffering from any infectious disease, and free from family history of genetic diseases.
Since relatively recently, Danish regulations permit that patients choose between using an anonymous or known egg donor. However, at the beginning recipients were not allowed to know or meet the person who had donated her eggs for them. Now, different options as regards the egg donor can be found:
- Cross donation: In this case, the donor remains anonymous. Couple A contributes a woman willing to donate her eggs to another couple (couple B). In return, couple A receives the eggs of the donor used by couple B.
- Egg sharing: A woman undergoing a fertility treatment decides to donate a percentage of the eggs remaining after being retrieved but unused by the couple she was allocated to.
- Open donation: The couple is not given identifiable information about the donor, but the donor-conceived child is allowed to ask the fertility clinic for such information once s/he turns 18.
- Extended profile donor: The donor is a friend or an acquaintance of the couple who is about to be treated. By no means can the egg donor be the recipient’s mother or daughter.
It should be kept in mind that egg donation in Denmark stands for an altruistic act, and therefore egg donors cannot be paid in exchange for their eggs. However, they can be compensated economically for the potential expenses derived from the egg donation process, such as travel expenses or missed wages.
Using donated eggs
In order to undergo a fertility procedure aiming at achieving pregnancy, Danish policies establish that the intended mother is not older than 46 years old.
As for using donor eggs or oocytes, only heterosexual couples are allowed to seek pregnancy through this fertility option, since Danish law forbids the use of both donor eggs and donor sperm, i.e. double-donor IVF.
One of the main problems Danish patients used to found in the past were related to the sparse availability of donors in the country. Nevertheless, the options listed above have enabled Danish clinics to reduce hospital waiting lists for getting started with an egg donation process.
As for the treatment, the receiving woman only has to take those hormone medications prescribed by her physician, and make sure she has it monitored as many times as necessary throughout the entire process, so that the ideal moment for the embryo transfer to be carried out is scheduled.
When the endometrium reaches a triple line pattern appearance and its thickness is 7 to 10 mm, the embryos will be transferred to the maternal womb, waiting for them to attach and lead to a successful pregnancy.