Donor Egg refers to using the eggs of another woman to become pregnant. The egg donor must meet certain medical and ovarian reserve criteria and should be under age 35. The egg donor is screened for medical, infectious, and psychological disorders. The egg donor goes through the same in-vitro fertilization process up to the egg retrieval.
- Poor egg quality in the intended parent
- Lack of eggs (ovarian insufficiency) in the intended parent:
- Premature ovarian failure, early menopause, or primary ovarian insufficiency
- Same-sex male couple who require both and egg donor and gestational carrier
Sources for egg donors include:
- Known donor in Canada: In Canada, it is not legal to pay/ compensate egg donors, and therefore the egg donor must be a person who donates for altruistic reasons. The egg donor is most often a friend or relative of the intended mother. The egg donor must still be screened in accordance with Health Canada guidelines and also for medical, psychological, genetic or ovarian reserve issues.
- Anonymous or known egg donor from outside Canada: In the US it is legal to pay egg donors and egg donors may be known or anonymous. Both known and anonymous egg donors are mandatorily screened according to US Food and Drug Administration regulations. There are 3 legal ways to use egg donors from outside Canada:
- Fresh donor egg: The intended parents travel to the country where the identified egg donor is and go through a fresh IVF cycle with her. The embryo(s) are transferred into the recipient (intended mother)
- Frozen donor egg: The frozen eggs are stored in an EGG BANK for purchase and legally shipped to Canada.
- Frozen embryos using donor egg: Embryos are created, frozen, and shipped to Canada from donor eggs and intended father/ donor sperm at the clinic in the US.
Success rates are generally high but depend upon many factors including the age and history of the egg donor and success rates of the Egg Bank and receiving clinic if applicable. Typically, IVF success rates from egg donors can range from 60-80%.