Egg (Oocyte) Donation



Once it is established that a couple’s infertility is due to the female’s lack of eggs, there is an option for couples to use a donor egg.


In Oocyte (egg) donation, the baby that is born carries half of the genetic make-up of the family. Also, the parents experience the psychosocial changes resulting from sharing the pregnancy and delivery. The source of the donor egg is usually at an age where chances of chromosomal anomalies are very low. However, the age of the donor does not protect the mother from complications during her pregnancy. The age of the woman carrying the baby and her overall health affects how the pregnancy will progress.


The first baby born due to oocyte donation was done three years after the first IVF baby was born. Initially, oocyte donation was intended for women who experience premature menopause; gradually, the procedure became a solution for older women. Even if ovaries stop egg production, the uterus retains its capability to carry a baby to term. The uterus can be reprogrammed with oral or injectable drugs to prepare the organ for implantation and pregnancy. Chances of pregnancy are similar to a younger woman using her eggs. Sometimes pregnancy rates can even be higher for these women.


Oocyte (egg) donation provides women with the chance of bearing their children. The egg donor and recipient must be appropriately informed, and their family medical history must be thoroughly evaluated. The legal and moral aspects of the donation process should be discussed with the couples who are considering this procedure.

There are four main reasons people choose oocyte (egg) donation as a means of having a baby:

  • Premature menopause or other factors are causing cessation of egg production, such as hereditary diseases, endometriosis, surgery done on the ovaries resulting in significant loss of ovarian tissue.
  • Several failed attempts at IVF or recurrent miscarriages caused by poor egg quality or poor embryo development.
  • Infertile couples where the woman is not permitted to use drugs necessary to induce oocyte production.
  • Older women who have entered menopause. Arguments against oocyte donation usually focus on these types of patients. A 65-year-old Romanian woman is the oldest woman recorded to have a baby through this method.

Donors will be selected according to the criteria listed below and will be strictly confidential. Before a woman is accepted in the donor oocyte program, she will be examined by the clinic gynaecologist, a genetic and, if necessary, a thorough psychological evaluation will be done on the prospective donor. The recipient will be privy to the donor’s age, physical health and education status. Any information revealing the donor’s identity will be confidential under a code name that only the hospital administrators can access. Five copies are made of each patient’s file, and in case of fire, two of these copies are stored in another building.