After a short embryo culture period (from three to six days usually), those embryos with the highest implantation potential are transferred to the maternal womb, waiting for a pregnancy to take place.
When the intended parents’ eggs and sperms cannot be used for carrying out an in vitro fertilization process, the different combinations for donor conception can be:
- Donor eggs with the husband’s sperm
- Own eggs with donor sperm
- Double-donor IVF, i.e. both donor eggs and donor sperm
Depending on each case of infertility, one or another option may be the most adequate.
Cyprus is one European country in which gamete donation is allowed as a fertility treatment. As a matter of fact, many international patients choose it as their destination country for undergoing an IVF cycle with donor eggs and/or sperm.
The following shall provide you with information on how the IVF process is carried out when using donor eggs.
Anonymity and altruism in the egg donation process
In Cyprus, egg donation is regulated in accordance with the Law 69 (I)/2015. Among other aspects, this set of regulations puts special emphasis on the fact that egg donation should be based upon altruism and anonymity above all.
As required by the law, seeking financial gain or comparable advantage from egg selling is expressly forbidden. Fertility clinics and egg banks are allowed, however, to offer a financial compensation to the donor in recognition of:
- Travel expenses
- Time off work
As for the anonymity of egg donors, their personal data and contact details should be kept confidential. Intended parents do have the chance to choose the donor according to general information about her, but her identity will not ever be revealed.
When a woman is unable to use her own eggs and decides to use donor oocytes, an advantage is that she does not have to go through the most tedious processes required for IVF: ovulation induction and ovum pick-up from the ovary.
Thus, the process becomes an easier, more comfortable one. The main steps involved in the treatment are:
- Endometrial preparation: The patient or recipient should prepare her uterine cavity before receiving the embryos, so that they are capable of implanting to the endometrium (mucous membrane of the uterus). To that end, she has to self-administer hormone medications through oral, vaginal, or patch route. The aim is to get her endometrium to acquire a triple line pattern and a thickness of 7 to 10 mm.
- Embryo transfer: It will not be scheduled until the endometrium is prepared. The embryos (created using donor eggs and the husband’s sperm or from a sperm donor) with the highest quality will be transferred to the maternal womb, waiting for embryo implantation, and thus pregnancy, to occur.
In the case of international patients, some fertility clinics (occasionally) allow them to start with the endometrial preparation process in their home country, in which case traveling to Cyprus would be necessary just for the embryo transfer.