Does anyone have concerns they would like to address regarding egg donation? Post here to start a discussion with fellow patients.

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Hello, I just finished a Donor Egg cycle at a large clinic and unfortunately we did not get pregnant. We were the third couple in line to share one donor, and we chose this route because it was less expensive. We were assured that most donors make 15 to 20 eggs, and sharing was more ethical because it didn't result in a lot of frozen embryos that may need to be discarded. My husband and I feel strongly against discarding excess embryos, however, given our recent cycle that resulted in only one 5 cell embryo being transferred, we are open to other options. In reviewing statistics I found your clinic to have one of the highest success rates, but I did not find a suitable donor in your current bank. Do you have more donors than listed?
Arlene R
Hi Arlene

DrD here. We frown upon shared egg donation exactly for the reason that it did not work for you. Our ova donor pregnancy rates are higher than most clinics because we do not share eggs and all of our donors are in their 20's. This maximizes your chances for pregnancy and our statistics bear this out. The assumption that all eggs are of the same quality is false. Thus, we dedicate all eggs to one individual patient so that she gets the good eggs with the bad ones. This way, we are able to establish a few very strong embryos and usually only transfer one or at most 2 embryos and achieve a pregnancy for most patients on their very first attempt.

Shared eggs means shared expenses but unshared success rates. Dedicating all of the eggs to each recipient optimizes the pregnancy rates for that individual. We can usually get the desired donor for every couple and our donor pool changes every month as new donors enter and others exit. I regret that you were unsuccessful but I would not give up and stop there. DrD



Arlene Goldberg said:
Hello, I just finished a Donor Egg cycle at a large clinic and unfortunately we did not get pregnant. We were the third couple in line to share one donor, and we chose this route because it was less expensive. We were assured that most donors make 15 to 20 eggs, and sharing was more ethical because it didn't result in a lot of frozen embryos that may need to be discarded. My husband and I feel strongly against discarding excess embryos, however, given our recent cycle that resulted in only one 5 cell embryo being transferred, we are open to other options. In reviewing statistics I found your clinic to have one of the highest success rates, but I did not find a suitable donor in your current bank. Do you have more donors than listed?
Arlene R
Thank you for your quick response! I'm still concerned about the issue of excess embryos. What are the options for these? If we did have to cryopreserve some, assuming we transfer 2 and I have one healthy baby, what are our options for future use of these embryos? Can we donate them to another couple? What is the success rate for transferring just one frozen embryo if I want a second child but I want to avoid any risk of having twins. I'm 43 and I've never been pregnant so I'm unsure how pregnancy will go for me.
Thanks again for your prompt attention to my questions.
Arlene
Hi. When it comes to egg sharing it seems that the lure of saving money upfront often comes with heartache in the end. I had a friend at a large local clinic go through egg sharing and it took her five IVF cycles to achieve a pregnancy and had to change donors three times! Also, who decides which couple gets the best quality eggs? What if there is an uneven number of eggs? One thing that worries me also is the ramifications of half siblings close in proximity and close in age unbeknownst to one another. It truly can be a "small world" and egg sharing makes it even smaller. Best of luck to you...
At 7:26am on July 20, 2009, Michael DiMattina M.D. said…
Hi Again Arlene!

With respect to any extra embryos following ova donor IVF, many options exist for you. Assuming you get pregnant following your first and fresh embryo transfer (about 75-80% do at DF), you could at a later time use your frozen-stored embryos for a second pregnancy. We "vitrify" our frozen embryos and thus our pregnancy rates with frozen thawed embryos are about the same as with fresh embryos.

If you choose not to use the embryos yourself, then you can anonymously donate them to another infertile couple who would adopt the embryos. Lastly, you could donate the embryos for research or we can expose the embryos to air and let them naturally stop growing in vitro over 2 or 3 days.

These choices are up to you to make with, of course, the assistance of your RE. DrD


Arlene Goldberg said:
Thank you for your quick response! I'm still concerned about the issue of excess embryos. What are the options for these? If we did have to cryopreserve some, assuming we transfer 2 and I have one healthy baby, what are our options for future use of these embryos? Can we donate them to another couple? What is the success rate for transferring just one frozen embryo if I want a second child but I want to avoid any risk of having twins. I'm 43 and I've never been pregnant so I'm unsure how pregnancy will go for me.
Thanks again for your prompt attention to my questions.
Arlene
Are there any patients on this site that have been through egg donation at Dominion? I would love to hear some stories.
Hi Arlene, Dr. D and Dr. G, I was looking over your website and found this new forum. I'm a former patient, DE recipient (DD is almost 2), and I'll be returning soon for a FET of ONE of our frozen embryos. I understand that transferring two embryos increases your chances of pregnancy, but now that I know what it's like to take care of one active toddler, a twin pregnancy is not an option for me. Also, is it possible for me to do NC FET so I don't have to take Lupron? I'm still having regular cycles.
Hi Stephanie! DrD here.

Great to hear from you and a very good question for any infertility patient who is undergoing a frozen embryo transfer(FET).

First, with respect to natural cycle FET, we almost never do a medicated FET in our patients who have a regular menstrual cycle as we have found natural cycle FET to be as effective or perhaps more effective than a medicated FET using Lupron injections and estrogen replacement. Our patients find NC-FET to be much easier and less expensive since no Lupron injections are necessary. We simply monitor the patient's normal natural cycle and give her only one shot (hCG) once her follicle and endometrium are mature and then perform the embryo transfer (ET) 7 days later. At DF, we have been doing natural cycle FET for many years and our data shows no advantages doing a medicated cycle with Lupron. Of course, the patient must have fairly normal regular cycles for a NC-FET but most patients do. Patients with PCOS will usually require a medicated FET.

With respect to the number of embryos for your FET, I don't see any reason to transfer more than one embryo. Transferring 2 embryos results in twins in about 25-30% of patients, so why risk it?

It is shocking to me that most IVF centers do not offer NC-IVF as this is clearly simpler, less expensive and easier for the patient. Large centers may require their patients to do a medicated FET as one can "program" the exact date and time for the FET. With NC-FET, one must be flexible and understand that the day of the FET cannot be "programmed" to the exact day in advance. Thanks again for your question. Many should be able to benefit from this important issue. DrD
My friend just had an unsuccessful attempt at IVF through a donor egg sharing program at a different IVF center. She only had one good embryo and was given no information on the other couple who was also sharing eggs with the donor. It made me wonder....is there any type of agency that governs or oversees egg sharing? Can one obtain information about possible half siblings down the road if they want access to that information?? Just curious. Thanks.
Amanda,

Some countries have mandated donor registries for siblings but this is not the case in the US. THere is a great deal of FDA oversight of egg donation but this mainly concerns the screening of donors to avoid disease transmission. Some agencies provide donors that are interested in knowing /sharing the outcomes but the majority do not. As per DrD's comments above there are some tricky issues with egg sharing of donors and we have chosen to stick with dedicated recipients for all donors.

DrG
Thank you for your response. I wonder if it will become more regulated in the future. I would imagine that you could possibly get two "tries" with a dedicated donor : one being a fresh IVF cycle and then if there are enough embryos created a "frozen" cycle if the first one is not successful. Or if it is successful, and you want a sibling down the road.....that would be perfect! Then your siblings could be from the same donor. Thanks again for the helpful insight into egg donation. Amanda.
Good luck,

DrG

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