Blog post written in collaboration with our partners IVF-Spain.
The number of fertility treatments with egg donation has been increasing. According to HFEA, in 1991 there were only 134 IVF cycles with donor eggs and partner sperm, but by 2019, this number increased 22-fold to 3,058 cycles.
Because of waiting lists for egg donation treatment in the UK, patients are used to travel abroad for treatment. Spain is a common destination for egg donation, so we spoke with IVF-Life to learn about what this treatment entails, step by step.
Let’s look at the data
The number of women using egg donation as their route to motherhood is increasing every year. And it is interesting to mention that live birth rates using donor eggs are higher better than those with own eggs, especially for women over 35.
Egg donation: step by step
Fertility treatments with egg donation have helped many people be able to start their families, even at a later time. In Spain, this treatment has been regulated since 1988 and doctors are very experienced in the procedure. At IVF-Life, many of the pregnancies are a result of egg donation.
1. Initial consultation
The initial consultation can be done either remotely through video call or face to face at the clinic. During the consultation the doctor will ask you and your partner questions about your health, menstrual cycle, fertility and history with other treatments. Certain tests may be required, like blood tests to check hormones, ultrasound scans and a spermogram to be able to get a complete overview of your health and check if you egg donation is suitable option for you.
2. Choosing a donor
There is no waiting list for egg donation at IVF-Life. It is important to know, that this treatment is anonymous in Spain. You can get some information about the donor but never about her identity. The information the patient is allowed to know include age, race, blood group, complexity, skin colour, eye colour, hair colour and hair type. The experienced team of doctors will be able to choose the perfect donor for you.
3. Obtaining the donor eggs
To be able to obtain the oocytes, your egg donor will start stimulation injections in order to produce multiple eggs. The clinic will monitor the egg development with scans and blood tests. When the follicles are big enough, the donor will take a trigger injection and undergo follicular puncture.
4. Fertilising the eggs
The embryologist will now prepare the eggs with your partner’s sperm, so they can fertilise and develop into an embryo. The sperm used can either be from a frozen or fresh sample. The embryos will remain in the lab for 5 days (blastocyst stage) until they grow and are ready to be transferred to the uterus. IVF-Life offers a guarantee of 3 blastocysts within their egg donor programmes.
5. Endometrium preparation
Before embryo transfer, the uterus needs to be prepared and ready to receive the embryo. This involves taking medication to build up the endometrium lining. Ultrasound scans are perfomed to make sure the lining is responding appropriately.
6. Embryo Transfer
When the endometrium is ready, the embryos are transferred. This is an easy and painless procedure. Usually, the experts at IVF-Life transfer 1 embryo at a time. The remaining embryos are frozen and can be transferred at a different time if the first transfer wasn’t successful or if you choose to have another baby. Either way, your embryos are kept safe.
7. Two Week Wait
The two-week wait is the most challenging time after embryo transfer, in which you will need to wait to see if the embryo implanted in the uterus. After this two week wait, you will do a pregnancy blood test to check if the procedure was successful. A consultation with the doctor will then help you plan next steps.
If you would like more information about how start youe Egg Donation treatment, do not doubt to contact IVF-Life team.