Donor Gametes (Eggs and Sperm) - New Mexico

Egg And Sperm Donation Tucson, AZ

While most couples’ first choice is a pregnancy using their own gametes (eggs and sperm), this isn’t always an option for every couple. Genetic diseases in the family, aging, and poor sperm and/or egg quality can make it necessary, or more desirable, for a couple to use donor eggs and/or donor sperm to achieve a pregnancy. Patients coming to Reproductive Health Center from New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, California and Mexico may have questions about egg and sperm donation at our Tucson, AZ fertility clinic.

Egg Donation

In egg donation, eggs (oocytes) are provided to the recipient from another woman, this is typically from an anonymous egg donor, but also can be a friend, sister or other family member. The donated eggs are used in the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process and are typically fertilized by the husband or partner’s sperm. In some cases both egg donors and sperm donors are used to create embryos for the recipient parents.. This is an option for women who may have been unsuccessful with in vitro fertilization using their own eggs or for women who have gone through early menopause or chemotherapy.

If you are interested in becoming an egg donor and helping couples become parents, please contact our Egg Donor Coordinator, Dr. Randi Weinstein, at randi@ivftucson.com or call 520-733-0083 for more information.

Fresh Donor Eggs vs. Frozen Donor Eggs

Patients at Reproductive Health Center have the option to use fresh donor eggs or frozen donor eggs. Patients should consult with their donor egg coordinator to assess which option is better for them.

Fresh Donor Eggs

Each egg donor undergoes comprehensive physical, psychological, and genetic screening prior to begin the egg donation process. Both the donor and the recipient are prepared for the procedure using hormone replacement medication to suppress the menstrual cycle. Then, the donor begins ovarian stimulation medication to increase the number of eggs that will develop. The donor is effectively a “stand in” for the recipient mother.

Ovarian Stimulation

These fertility drugs enable your donor’s ovaries to produce many eggs. Doctors monitor the development of the eggs using ultrasound and keep track of hormone levels through blood samples. While the egg donor is being stimulated to produce eggs, the recipient is undergoing hormonal stimulation of the uterine lining to be receptive to the embryos produced with the egg donor’s eggs.

Oocyte Aspiration

The eggs are removed from the egg donor through follicular aspiration. Typically, this is after  10 to 12 days of hormone injections to develop the eggs. The procedure is performed under monitored anesthesia care with a board-certified anesthesiologist. The follicles are aspirated and the eggs retrieved are sent to the embryology lab. The eggs from the donor are then fertilized with the partner’s or donor sperm and the embryos are cultured to the blastocyst stage.

Frozen Donor Eggs

Reproductive Health Center partners with Fairfax EggBank, a frozen donor egg bank, to give patients the option to use frozen donor eggs. Frozen donor eggs have seen significant improvements as rapid freezing and thawing techniques have advanced, and is an increasingly popular option for patients to use.

Unlike fresh donor egg cycles that involve the necessary step of synchronizing the egg donor and recipient’s menstrual cycles, frozen donor egg cycles give you the ability to start your cycle when you’re ready. The simplified treatment plan allows you to schedule your IVF treatment without having to factor in another woman’s menstrual cycle or her personal schedule.

All egg donors at Fairfax EggBank are pre-screened and FDA-compliant, and have undergone comprehensive physical, psychological, and genetic screening. If you select a donor at Fairfax EggBank, your donor egg coordinator at Reproductive Health Center will coordinate the shipment of eggs from Fairfax EggBank’s facility to Reproductive Health Center’s lab.

Embryo Transfer

One good quality blastocyst (day 5 embryo) is transferred to the recipient mother’s prepared uterus. Additional embryos that develop are cryopreserved and stored for future use by the recipient parents.

Sperm Donation

Donor sperm can be used in IVF (much as described above, using the female partner’s own eggs or donor eggs). Alternatively, donor sperm can be used in an IUI (intrauterine insemination), in which fertilization of the female partner’s egg will take place within her body. This is an option for couples in which infertility is solely due to factors within the male partner, and the female partner is expected to be able to get pregnant with the minimal assistance provided by an IUI. Lesbian couples may also choose to use donor sperm in an IUI.

To obtain donor sperm, you’ll need to contact one of several sperm banks around the country. If you’re one of the patients coming to our fertility clinic from New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, or other areas, we’ll help you contact a sperm bank to start this process. You and your partner will select a sperm donor that matches your criteria, and sperm sample will be shipped to our clinic for your procedure (IUI or IVF). Because obtaining donor sperm is a much simpler process than obtaining donor eggs, the cost is generally lower.

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