Deciding to Use Egg Donation: CHR's Approach
Donor egg IVF is a form of fertility treatment where a young, healthy woman's eggs are used to produce embryos that are transferred to a recipient woman's uterus to establish a pregnancy. The recipient carries the pregnancy to term and gives birth to the baby. CHR offers two distinctive egg donor program: the standard egg donor program that utilizes fresh donor eggs, and Eco Donor Egg Program (EcoDEP), a unique program offering frozen donor eggs.
Because CHR has developed a reputation as the "fertility center of last resort" for women with severely diminished ovarian reserve (also called low functional ovarian reserve, LFOR) and other difficult cases of infertility, a large majority of our patients come to CHR with a history of failed fertility treatments elsewhere and a recommendation for donor egg IVF. While our specialized clinical expertise in treating women with diminished ovarian reserve (either due to premature ovarian aging or advanced maternal age) has helped about a third of these women conceive with their own eggs, for two-thirds of these patients, donor egg IVF remains the treatment option with the highest chance of having a baby.
CHR considers egg donation as a treatment of last recourse. Our physicians believe in explaining all reasonable treatment options to women and couples, and helping them make their own informed decisions regarding which treatment to pursue. Too many women, in our opinion, are pushed into egg donation prematurely. We want to make sure that everyone entering a donor egg IVF cycle is fully convinced that this is the option they truly want to pursue, and if the patient decides to give IVF with their own eggs at least one chance before she considers egg donation, we respect that decision and apply our innovative and individualized treatment approaches to help them get pregnant with their own eggs.
Donor Egg IVF Offers the Best Pregnancy Chances
No fertility treatment offers higher pregnancy chances than egg donation (oocyteoocyte donation). The reason is obvious: Egg donors are usually young (CHR's egg donor pool rarely includes women above age 30 years).
"No fertility treatment offers higher pregnancy chances than egg donation."Dr. Norbert Gleicher
An egg donor's young age means that the recipient's pregnancy chances and miscarriage risks become those of the young egg donor. Pregnancy chances decline and miscarriage rates rise with advancing female age.
Consequently, no fertility treatment can beat 20-year-old eggs in a 40-year-old infertility patient, who, now, has the pregnancy chance and miscarriage risk of a 20-year-old. Since the egg contributes approximately 95% (and sperm only 5%) to the ultimate "quality" of the embryo, the male's age is of much less importance.
Many geneticists agree that the time spent in the womb is the most critical period for determining how the child’s genes will function for the rest of its life -- so in many ways, you are just as important as your egg donor in determining how your baby’s genes work. Learn more about your biological connection to your donor egg baby in our video.
Norbert Gleicher, MD, leads CHR’s clinical and research efforts as Medical Director and Chief Scientist. A world-renowned specialist in reproductive endocrinology, Dr. Gleicher has published hundreds of peer-reviewed papers and lectured globally while keeping an active clinical career focused on ovarian aging, immunological issues and other difficult cases of infertility.
Last Updated: January 3, 2020