What is Egg Donation and How Does It Work?

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Pregnant woman holding belly with image of question markEgg Donation Cyprus is the process in which one woman (egg donor) donates her eggs to another woman (recipient) to help her conceive as part of an assisted reproductive treatment. 

Egg Donation embraces modern technology and advanced knowledge of biology, genetics and fertility to help infertile individual and couples start a family. 

As a form of assisted reproduction, egg donation is steadily growing in popularity. This fertility treatment offers an alternative path to parenthood for patients who cannot have a baby otherwise. 

Egg donation Cyprus is a viable option for women with hereditary diseases, women who have had multiple failed cycles of IVF, women with ovarian failure, and women with an advanced stage of endometriosis. Another reason for using an egg donor is diminished ovarian reserve (number of eggs in the ovaries) in older women.

How Does Egg Donation Cyprus Work?

All potential donors and recipients must undergo a thorough screening process to ensure that they are good candidates for the procedure. Once an egg donor and recipient have been accepted and matched, the egg donation process can begin.

This is an overview of the egg donation process:

Egg Donor Application & Screening

All potential egg donors are first required to fill out a medical form. Candidates are interviewed and provided with further information regarding the egg donation process. At this stage, candidates will have the opportunity to discuss any questions or concerns with our team that they may have related to the donation.

Candidates undergo a psychological and physical evaluation before moving to the next step. The psychological assessment makes sure that egg donors are completely aware of their role in the process. The physical evaluation help determine the ovarian reserve and the level of fertility. 

Up to 10% of potential egg donors move to the second stage of the process. Only 1-4% of all applicants make it to the top. Some of the common reasons for being diqualified for donation are: egg donor’s age, BMI, genetic disease, other medical conditions that might affect fertility, etc. Other disqualifying criterium for the egg donation program is having a history of infectious diseases including: HIV, hepatitis, syphilis, active gonorrhea, chlamydia, etc.

Egg Donor – Recipient Matching

When a couple decides to use an egg donor in Cyprus, they can select a donor from our database. Anonymity between the egg donor and the recipient is guaranteed. The match is made based on the medical evaluation and physical attributes of both egg donors and recipients. For most patients, it is very important that the egg donor has similar physical attributes like the ones of the recipient.

After the match is done, the egg donor can start ovulation stimulation and the reipient can begin hormone support to prepare for the embryo transfer.

Ovulation Stimulation

Once all tests are done and a legal contract has been signed, the egg donor starts to take medication to prepare her ovaries for egg retrieval. During this stage, regular blood tests and ultrasound scans are carried out to monitor the growth and development of the eggs. If needed, an adjustment to the egg donor’s medication protocol may be made.

Uterine Lining Preparation

In the meantime, the recipient will start preparing her womb for the embryo transfer. Creating a favorable uterine environment is crucial for the success of the egg donor recipient cycle. For this purpose, the recipient will take medication to help her prepare her uterine lining for implantation. The uterine lining should be thick of at least 7 mm. In rare cases, some patients encounter difficulties in reaching the optimal uterine thickness, for which they may require special therapy.

Egg Retrieval

When the ultrasound test shows that the donor’s eggs have sufficiently grown, an egg retrieval will be scheduled at our North Cyprus IVF clinic. Shortly before the retrieval, the donor will receive a final injection that will trigger ovulation in the donor. Two days later, the mature eggs will be collected from donor’s ovaries using transvaginal ovarian aspiration. This process takes about 15 minutes.

Egg Fertilization

The retrieved eggs are fertilized with the partner’s or donor’s sperm via ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection). ICSI is an advanced method for fertilization that uses micromanipulation devices to inject a single sperm cell into each egg. If you are using fresh sperm, the partner needs to provide a sperm sample on the same day when the egg retrieval is performed. The fertilized eggs (embryos) are incubated in our lab and graded for quality in the next three to five days.

Embryo transfer

Embryos are transferred into the recipient’s uterus on day 3 or day 5 after fertilization. Embryo transfer on day 5 is known as blastocyst transfer. Some IVF centers prefer blastocyst transfer as this can increase the pregnancy rates and minimizes the risk of multiple pregnancies. 

Post-Transfer Follow Up

The egg donor will be required to have a post-retrieval follow-up to make sure that she is recovering from both the ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval. In most cases, egg donors return to their normal lives in a day or two after the egg retrieval. Egg donation takes 3-5 weeks for most of the egg donors.

About two weeks after the embryo transfer, the recipient will need to carry out a pregnancy test. If the test results are positive, the recipient will be referred to an obstetrician for prenatal care.

Egg Donation Risks

Egg donation is a safe procedure. The only risk of egg donation is ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). OHSS occurs when the ovaries of the donor produce too many eggs. Some of the symptoms of OHSS include difficulty breathing, rapid weight gain, stomach pain, and vomiting. All donors are monitored on a regular basis to avoid any complications associated with ovarian stimulation.

Legal Implications for Egg Donors

Egg donors in Cyprus are obliged to sign a contract with the recipient before the egg donation process starts. The contract ensures the donors have no legal rights or responsibilities over the resulting children. The woman who gives birth to the child is recorded as the legal mother. Egg donors in Cyprus are not allowed to donate more than 5 times in a lifetime. The maximum age of a donor is 28 years.

Conclusion

Egg donation in Cyprus allows infertile women and women with reduced ovarian reserve to become biological mothers. This program can also help single women, heterosexual and same-sex couples to start their own families. IVF improves the prospects of women with hereditary diseases to have healthy, biological children. Ultimately, prospect patients should weigh up all the information and their personal circumstances, seeking advice from IVF specialists to help them make an informed decision.

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