Donor Egg Program Overview for Recipients

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Dr. Gleicher Explains CHR's Egg Donor Program

Donor Eggs as a Last Resort

Conceiving with Your Own Eggs - After Being Told Donor Egg Is Your Only Chance.

CHR is known worldwide for its special expertise with "older" ovaries. Having pioneered the use of DHEA in infertility, CHR has been serving an increasingly "more difficult" patient population. Here are some statistical data: the average age of the female patients who come to CHR now exceeds 39.5 years. This, however, does not even reflect the average "ovarian" age of our patients. Since a majority of the younger CHR patients suffer from premature ovarian aging (POA; i.e., their ovaries "behave older" than their physiological age), combined, over 90% of all CHR patients suffer from diminished ovarian reserve (DOR).

Over 80% of newly presenting patients come to CHR after previous failed treatment attempts at other centers. Close to half of all new patients come from outside the local New York Tristate area, about evenly split between the U.S./Canada and overseas. Many were told that their only chance of pregnancy was with use of donor eggs. In a majority of cases, even with our center's proactive treatment approach, this, indeed, will be the correct advice. Approximately one-third of these patients will, however, still conceive with use of their own eggs at CHR. Moreover, as CHR physicians reported in the medical literature, following DHEA supplementation, their miscarriage rates will be surprisingly low.

Those less lucky, and indeed in need of donor eggs, will find at CHR one of the most remarkable egg donation programs anywhere in the world. Here is more information:

Highlights of CHR's Unique Egg Donor Program

  • Pregnancy chances with donor eggs (egg donation) are independent of your age, since they reflect age of the egg donor. Since our center's egg donors are all very young, their eggs will give you much higher pregnancy and delivery chances than your own eggs.
  • Donor eggs will give you much lower miscarriage rates.
  • CHR's donor egg program likely offers the largest and most ethnically, religiously and physically diverse pool of carefully selected egg donors anywhere in the world. This means that YOU choose your egg donors from amongst a large number of excellent candidates, based on what YOU are looking for the characteristics of YOUR egg donor to be.
  • Since we do not split a donor's eggs between different recipients (as many other programs do), we can really "match" you with your donor in physical appearance and other criteria.
  • CHR's donor cycle pregnancy rates are amongst the highest reported. Cumulative pregnancy chances with donor eggs at CHR, including all embryos produced in a given donor egg cycle, range from high 80% to low 90% range. Yet, CHR considers egg donation only a treatment of absolute last resort.
  • Approximately one third of women who come to CHR who were previously told they needed donor egg IVF, end up conceiving with use of their own eggs at CHR .

egg donor database

Donor Egg IVF Offers the Best Pregnancy Chances

No fertility treatment offers higher pregnancy chances than egg donation. The reason is obvious: Since egg donors are usually young (CHR's egg donor pool only rarely includes women above age 30 years), the recipient's pregnancy chances and miscarriage risks statistically become those of the young egg donor. Pregnancy chances, of course, decline with advancing female age and miscarriage rates rise. Consequently, nothing 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.

Register to view the egg donor database or contact us with any questions.

What Makes CHR's Donor Egg Program Unique

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We already noted above the wide choice of donors in CHR's Egg Donation Program. You can take a look at our exceptionally diverse donor pool by logging in, or registering, if you don't have a login yet.

CHR's NY-based egg donor pool is, likely, the largest and physically, ethnically and religiously most diverse anywhere in the world: Our egg donor pool contains egg donors of rare European and Asian ethnicities, mixed ethnicities, practically all races and all religions. This diversity is partially thanks to our egg donation program's New York, NY location. However, to match the amazing diversity of our international patient population and meet the rising demand, we have recently started recruiting exceptional donors even outside of the immediate NYC metropolitan area. (These "long-distance donors" (LDDs) receive exactly the same compensation as local donors, but recipients working with a long-distance donor will be charged for the donor's local monitoring expenses, travel, hotel and sustenance during her trip to New York City.) These donors are identified with LDD in our egg donor database.

CHR also reports amongst the highest pregnancy and delivery rates: Over the last few years clinical pregnancy rates in fresh transfer cycles with donor eggs were steadily around approximately 65% (with transfer of at most 2 embryos). Since most donor egg cycles produce more than 2 embryos, most recipients end up with frozen embryos, which, of course, reflect additional pregnancy chances. Cumulative pregnancy chances, including all embryos produced in a given donor egg cycle, therefore, uniformly end up in the high 80s to low 90s. A small number of CHR donor recipients have, indeed, had up to 3 consecutive pregnancies from a single donor egg cycle.

Experience with Long-Distance Patients

A significant portion of CHR's patients are long-distance patients. Some come from overseas for our large and diverse donor egg program, while others seek our physicians' expertise in treating women with diminished ovarian reserve. Whichever group you fall into, you will certainly benefit from CHR's accumulated experience in helping out-of-state patients with fertility treatment logistics. We have developed a number of strategies to minimize our patients' need to travel to New York City, while keeping the level of clinical care absolutely up to the CHR standards. You can read the basic fertility treatment logistics here.

Have more questions about egg donation and becoming a donor egg recipient? Click here to go to our FAQ for donor egg recipients.

A Very Detailed Egg Donor Pre-Screening Process

CHR receives every week approximately 50 applications from egg donor candidates. To initiate their application they have to complete a very detailed questionnaire. Amongst those who submit a completed questionnaire, less than 10% make it through the initial screening process, and are invited for a first interview with a staff person. This stage, of course, also leads to disqualifications and, therefore, even fewer candidates make it to the next stage of the candidate screening process, when a staff person interviews the candidate face to face. Those who pass this stage successfully undergo another face-to-face interview, this time with a physician.

After further disqualifications, only a very small number of remaining donor candidates make it into the first medical testing stage, where the candidate undergoes ultrasound and blood testing. Only once this testing stage confirms the candidates' medical fitness does she join CHR's egg donor pool, becomes eligible for tentative matching with a recipient and becomes visible as a candidate for matching on CHR's website. On average, only approximately 3% of original applicants ultimately make it into CHR's donor pool.

Dr. Norbert Gleicher explains CHR's instant-match donor egg program.

By that time the donor candidate has been thoroughly evaluated, which includes:

  • Repeated reviews of her and her family's overall health and medical history;
  • Special emphasis on infectious diseases, mental health and substance abuse;
  • Repeated detailed genetic histories for the whole family;
  • Thorough ovarian function assessments, including FMR1 testing;
  • Repeated detailed social evaluations, including personality, talents, hobbies and motivation for donation.

This, however, does not yet end the egg donor screening process at CHR: Once you chose one of our egg donors as a potential match, the donor, once more, undergoes a round of detailed medical testing. This round of testing is called the "FDA-testing stage," since it is mandated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the federal agency charged with overseeing egg donation in the U.S. This testing round has to utilize FDA-approved laboratories at preset time intervals from the donor's egg retrieval. Only once all lab results from this FDA-testing round have returned normal, is the donor really, ultimately, considered "matched" with her recipient.

CHR takes great pride in its very detailed and highly selective egg donor selection process. By having a large number of donor applications, we have the unusual luxury of being highly discriminating, and still having a large egg donor pool.

egg donor database

But the large number of applicants is not the only reason why CHR is able to maintain such a large and diverse donor pool: CHR, a long time ago, decided to make a significant financial commitment to the center's donor egg program: Maintaining a large egg donor database is costly because it means investing in investigations of potential donors who may never be matched. Most IVF programs, therefore, consider maintenance of large egg donor databases not cost-effective. Consequently, increasingly, IVF programs contract egg donor selection out to agencies or, at best, maintain only small egg donor pools of their own.

CHR, consciously, chose not to follow this trend. Considering good egg donor selection to be crucial for the quality of our egg donation program, we are not willing to delegate this responsibility to an agency or any other third party. We also feel strongly that recipients should not have to accept as a donor "whatever is available," but should have wide choices. Only by having multiple choices can a recipient truly physically and in whatever other parameters she chooses to, "match" a donor to herself.

We also want to point out that CHR restricts its egg donor pool to young women from the New York City area. CHR does NOT accept donors from elsewhere in the U.S. and, most importantly, CHR does NOT, as other IVF centers increasingly do, "import" egg donors and/or cryopreserved eggs from overseas! WE INSIST ON KNOWING OUR DONORS INSIDE AND OUT!

Great Diversity of Egg Donors

CHR, of course, takes full advantage of the diverse population of New York City, as well as the United States as a whole. CHR's reputation as a high quality IVF center, very sensitive to the needs of its egg donors, and our perfect location on the East Side of Manhattan, close to Hunter College, helps in attracting a highly diverse egg donor population.

Your choice is not just hair color and eye color, or just "Caucasian." You can drill down to specific national/ethnic ancestry if that is important to you. In our constantly changing pool of egg donors, you may find:

  • A wide range of donor choices in rare ethnicities, such as Arabic egg donors, Chinese egg donors, Indian egg donors or Eastern European egg donors;
  • A good range of egg donor choices in specific religions, such as Hindu egg donors, Muslim egg donors or Jewish egg donors;
  • A wide array of physical characteristics, ranging from eye color, hair color, skin tone, height, weight, build, freckles, etc.
  • A choice of talents, like in music, dance, acting, writing or the visual arts;

In addition, our coordinators are happy to help you find a donor with something specific - a shared personal interest or similar life ambitions, for example. We really have very detailed knowledge about our donors, and are only too happy to share the information with recipient couples.

Have more questions about egg donation and becoming a donor egg recipient? Click here to go to our FAQ for donor egg recipients.

Getting Started on the Egg Donor Search at CHR

The first step is to register, if you haven't done so already. By simply creating a login and password on your own, you can gain access to our donor pool, and custom-build your donor wishlist.

If you prefer to have us search the egg donor database for a candidate, please contact us.

Returning wishlist members, please log in here:


Not a member yet? Register here!

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Last Updated: January 10, 2014