Ovodonation is considered as the last option in assisted reproduction treatment to achieve pregnancy, since the hard decision must be made for the mother to give up passing on her own genes. Children born from ovodonation will possess the genetic endowment of the father, but not of the mother, since the egg comes from an anonymous donor.
Most couples accept egg donation after repeated failures of in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments with their own eggs. Finally, they can see their dream come true when they achieve pregnancy by ovodonation the first time round.
Provided below is an index with the 8 points we are going to expand on in this article.
When to resort to ovodonation?
Among the main reasons that lead a woman to undergo ovodonation treatment, we highlight:
- Own eggs with genetic alteration susceptible to be inherited by the offspring.
- Repeated failures in previous fertility treatments with own eggs.
- Poor oocyte quality.
- Loss of ovarian function due to oncological treatments.
- Premature ovarian failure.
- Absence of ovary
Some of these situations have a common cause and that is the reason why so many women today resort to ovodonation: age. The delay in childbearing in recent years has led to an increase in assisted reproduction treatments and egg donation. It is after 38 years of age when the probability of having to use donor eggs to achieve pregnancy increases.
Coping with egg donation
Coming to terms with the idea that your children born by ovodonation will have someone else's genetic makeup is not easy. However, egg donation is often the definitive solution for many couples to become parents.
Undergoing oocyte donation treatment is a complicated decision for prospective parents and must be firm and confident. Therefore, it is recommended to meditate patiently at home and not to make a hasty decision at the gynecological consultation. It is important to know in detail what the technique consists of and that both members of the couple agree and are able to assume it safely.
Assisted procreation, as any other medical treatment, requires that you rely on the professionalism of the doctors and staff of the clinic you choose. Obviously, each clinic is different. Get now your Fertility Report, which will select several clinics for you out of the pool of clinics that meet our strict quality criteria. Moreover, it will offer you a comparison between the fees and conditions each clinic offers in order for you to make a well informed choice.
To facilitate the decision, many couples ask for psychological counseling to help them understand what egg donation involves and allow them to be clear about the path they are going to choose to reach parenthood without future regrets or emotional consequences. They must understand the concept of mother and father as the person who raises and educates a child and not as the person who provides the genetic material.
Pregnancy with ovodonation
Couples who achieve pregnancy by ovodonation the first time, after a long time with, failed assisted reproduction treatments such as artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization (IVF), experience such happiness that leads them to the conviction of having made the right decision.
Pregnancy rates using donor eggs are higher than those obtained in an in vitro fertilization treatment with the patient's own eggs. This is because most women who come to an assisted reproduction clinic are of advanced maternal age, while donors are young women with good-quality eggs.
The pregnancy rate by ovodonation reaches 60% after a first embryo transfer. This can increase up to 90% in the following attempts. The birth rate after each transfer, is close to 40%.
If the donation is from frozen eggs, success rates are reduced due to the oocyte quality after the freezing process. However, the technique used today known as vitrification of eggs offers survival rates close to 99%.
As soon as the mother begins to notice the first signs of pregnancy, she feels the child is her own and the importance of genetics becomes much less important.
Although egg donors are young, healthy women who undergo a great deal of medical and psychological testing, pregnancy with egg donation is not free of possible risks or complications like any other pregnancy. It is important to perform the usual controls established by the health system, regardless of how gestation was achieved.
Similarly, the symptoms experienced by the woman month by month during pregnancy are the same in a pregnancy achieved by ovodonation as in a pregnancy achieved naturally.
Most women describe symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue, increased frequency of urination, increased olfactory sensitivity, etc. after a positive pregnancy test. You can find more information in the following article: Pregnancy symptoms.
An explanation from Dr Carolina Arboleya
In an interview with Dr Carolina, a gynecologist at Ovoclinic, she explains what pregnancy from IVF with egg donation is like.
Ovodonation treatment is a treatment very similar to in vitro fertilization. It is a treatment that allows patients who cannot have a child with their own egg cells to have a pregnancy and a baby at home thanks to eggs cells that come from a donor.
We usually turn to this treatment when there is a low ovarian reserve, or the eggs are of poor quality and can't be used for conventional IVF, for cases of early menopause, when previous IVF cycles do not result in implantation or in patients who have a genetic disease that could be passed on to the offspring.
It is important that the patients are well supported and informed, and to provide psychological counseling to help them. Furthermore, we take many factors into consideration when choosing the donor to make sure the baby will physically resemble the mother, and be of a close genetic match as possible, for example blood types.
FAQs from users
If my first ovodonation was negative, why can the second one be positive?
The average clinical gestation rate of all clinics in Spain published on the website of the Spanish Fertility Society is 55.1%.
This implies that some couples may have to make more attempts. Not all embryos that are transferred are euploid, studies show that if we do preimplantation genetic diagnosis, we can find aneuploid embryos (unhealthy) in approximately 48% of the embryos from an ovodonation.
How many times should I try IVF treatment before resorting to oocyte donation?
It is difficult to give an answer to this question, since fertility is an investment in physical, emotional and economic terms. Except in cases of menopause, it can never be said that the success rate with a woman's own eggs is 0%. However, as age advances, especially if the woman is 39 years old and, in addition, the results of an ovarian reserve test are unsatisfactory (very low AMH values and/or elevated FSH), the chances of success with IVF are slim.
Therefore, it is not possible to recommend a certain number of IVF cycles before resorting to egg donation. In any case, egg donation should be chosen if a previous IVF cycle has had to be cancelled because of low response or because the number of oocytes obtained is very low and the embryo development is inadequate despite the use of a high dose of medication.
What factors influence IVF with donor eggs?
The success of the ovodonation treatment depends mainly on an adequate synchronization between the embryo and the receptive endometrium, which will allow a correct nidation for the development of the pregnancy.
Ovodonation is an in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment in which eggs from a healthy and young woman (donor) are used for a different woman (recipient) to receive them, in order to generate embryos. These embryos are then transferred into the uterus of the recipient woman.
IVF with ovodonation is indicated in cases in which the patient cannot or it is not advisable to use her own eggs for various reasons, such as absence of ovaries, low ovarian reserve, poor oocyte quality, genetic alterations, absence of pregnancy after several IVF cycles, etc.
Is the baby at risk for donor diseases?
Since egg donors have been thoroughly studied, the fear that the baby may have a hereditary disease must disappear. It is also not necessary to have an amniocentesis to see if there are malformations, since this is an invasive test that can pose a risk to the baby's development. For the mother to be calmer, you can opt for non-invasive techniques such as triple screening.
Is the baby going to look like me in an ovodonation?
Those responsible for choosing the donor in a clinic first consider the blood group compatibility with the recipient. Next, phenotypic characteristics such as race, weight, height, hair and eye color are compared. Therefore, there are usually similarities between the mother and the future child.
In addition, although genetics is important in the development of the baby, education and environment also play a major role in the formation of personality and character.
What if the egg donor wants to meet my child?
Egg donation in Spain is anonymous, so it will not be possible for the donor to seek contact with the baby, nor should the donor question the possibility that the baby will want to meet her when she is older.
Should I tell my child that I am not his or her biological mother?
The decision whether or not to tell the future child that he or she was born thanks to the donation of an anonymous donor's egg is optional. Many couples prefer to hide this fact from their child, while others do not hide the fact that they needed this technique to achieve the happiness of having him/her at home.
From when is pregnancy counted with an ovodonation treatment?
A pregnancy through ovodonation is exactly the same as a pregnancy conceived naturally. The weeks of pregnancy are counted from the last menstrual period for the purpose of ultrasounds and medical tests, but it is clear that the exact moment in which pregnancy occurs is when the embryos are transferred to the mother's uterus.
Is it possible to have bleeding with a pregnancy achieved by ovodonation?
The symptoms and risks of an egg donation pregnancy are the same as in any other type of pregnancy. A small amount of bleeding within days of embryo transfer may be due to implantation bleeding, which is completely normal, while bleeding in a more advanced pregnancy may be indicative of a problem.
Is it possible to have a twin or multiple pregnancy by ovodonation?
If two embryos are transferred into the mother's uterus during the oocyte donation treatment, there is a high probability of twin pregnancy. This is the preferred option for many couples who only wish to go through the whole process once. However, there would be a risk of multiple pregnancy in case one embryo splits into two.
If you want to know what the whole ovodonation treatment consists of, step by step, you can continue reading in the following link: What is ovodonation?
We have talked about amniocentesis or triple screening as diagnostic tests for possible anomalies in the fetus. To learn more about them, see the following post: Invasive and non-invasive prenatal diagnostic techniques.
To know in detail the medical and psychological controls that egg donors undergo, you can read the following article: Donor controls.
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Braga DP, Setti AS, Figueira RC, Azevedo Mde C, Iaconelli A Jr, Lo Turco EG, Borges E Jr. Freeze-all, oocyte vitrification, or fresh embryo transfer? Lessons from an egg-sharing donation program. Fertil Steril. 2016 Sep 1;106(3):615-22.
Glujovsky D, Pesce R, Fiszbajn, G, Sueldo C, Hart RJ, Ciapponi A. Endometrial preparation for women undergoing embryo transfer with frozen embryos or embryos derived from donor oocytes. Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility Group 2010.
Roseboom, T.J., Vermeden, J.P.W., Schoute, E. et al. (1995) The probability of pregnancy after embryo transfer. Hum. Reprod., 10, 3035-3041.
Watters M1, Noble M2, Child T3, Nelson S4 Short versus extended progesterone supplementation for luteal phase support in fresh IVF cycles: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Reprod Biomed Online. 2019 Oct 24. pii: S1472-6483(19)30785-0. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2019.10.009.
FAQs from users: 'If my first ovodonation was negative, why can the second one be positive?', 'How many times should I try IVF treatment before resorting to oocyte donation?', 'What factors influence IVF with donor eggs?', 'Is the baby at risk for donor diseases?', 'Is the baby going to look like me in an ovodonation?', 'What is the cost of a donor-egg pregnancy?', 'What if the egg donor wants to meet my child?', 'Does the donor-egg baby have genes from the birth mother?', 'Should I tell my child that I am not his or her biological mother?', 'From when is pregnancy counted with an ovodonation treatment?', 'Is it possible to have bleeding with a pregnancy achieved by ovodonation?' and 'Is it possible to have a twin or multiple pregnancy by ovodonation?'.
Authors and contributors
More information about Cristina Algarra Goosman
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