Since it was first introduced in the mid-1990’s, egg donation has become an increasingly common and successful treatment. Dr. Cardone has been instrumental in perfecting egg donation protocols, having headed the team that achieved the first egg donation pregnancy in New England.
According to the 2007 Center for Disease Control (CDC) Assisted Reproductive Technology Report, there were over 16,000 IVF cycles of both fresh and frozen embryos created from donated eggs. 55% of the embryo transfers with fresh donated eggs resulted in a live birth. At Cardone Reproductive Medicine and Infertility, we have seen a positive pregnancy rate of 65-80% with fresh egg donor embryos and of 35-40% with frozen embryos. The average age of an egg donor recipient is 46, with a range from 38 to 54 years of age. Donors range in age from 22 to 30, with an average age of 24. Approximately 21 eggs per cycle are retrieved.
Reasons for Using Donated Eggs
Though the success rates are impressive, the decision to use donated eggs usually is not an easy one. This is especially true for women who have longed to have a genetic connection with their baby. This choice is usually reached after a couple or individual has exhausted other efforts. Some of the reasons why people choose egg donation are:
- Poor quality eggs and diminished ovarian reserves because of age
- An inherited transmittable genetic problem
- Premature ovarian failure before age 40
- Being gay males who want to be biological parents
- Multiple failed IVF cycles where poor egg quality is suspected
- Premature ovarian failure
- Underwent chemotherapy or radiation to treat cancer
Finding an Egg Donor
Donors are recruited by specialized agencies well known to us. These agencies have an extensive list of women who possess a variety of specific physical, ethnic and educational characteristics, including hair and eye color, weight, height, higher education degree, and other qualities. These lists offer the recipients the option to choose a donor that has characteristics similar to their own heritage.
Donors will be evaluated psychologically and physically; they will meet with a mental health professional and take a psychological test. Either Dr. Cardone or Toni-Ann Rebelo, nurse practitioner, will perform their medical evaluation. Blood testing will take place during the evaluation cycle, as well as one month before the egg retrieval. They will be tested for HIV 1 and 2, Hep B, Hep C, RPR (screening for syphilis) and certain genetic diseases. Additionally the nurses will take vaginal cultures to screen for venereal diseases, as well as a pap smear. The donor’s husband or significant boyfriend also will be tested for HIV. We follow FDA policies; the FDA publishes strict guidelines regarding donations of organs or gametes.
Donors' and Recipients' Rights
The intentions of the donor and the recipient are clear and unambiguous from the beginning. When the donor signs her consent form, she agrees to waive any rights and relinquish any claim to the donated eggs, embryos or offspring that might result.
The recipient, in turn, releases the egg donor from any liability and accepts the responsibility for any problems occurring during the pregnancy, and for any mental or physical disabilities, financial support, care, custody, education and health of the child(ren) born from the donation. The recipient also is financially responsible for any frozen embryos, including their storage.
The agency fee is totally separate from the fee for the IVF cycle. For more information about the cost of IVF, please call the CRMI Billing Department at 781-438-9600.
The average success rate with an egg donor between the ages of 21 and 33 is 50 to 60%. Most of the time, there will be frozen embryos that can be used if the fresh cycle fails; the success rate with frozen embryos is around 30%.
For more information, please contact Daniele Cardone, BSN, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 781-438-9600.