Since the mid-70s, the proportion of infertile women above the age of 35, has been rising for multifactorial reasons. Advances in reproductive medicine have enabled these women to become mothers. Southern Cross Fertility Centre offers this service to eligible recipient women, who are unable to produce their own eggs for various causes, for which there is no specific curative treatment.
Egg donation with IVF (In Vitro Fertilization & Embryo transfer) was first performed in 1983, and since then it has resulted in > 50,000 births in the U.S. alone. Today it accounts for more than 10% of all IVF cycles performed yearly in the U.S. With successful application of this technology, it was revealed that women of any age could theoretically become mothers.
Today, donated eggs are being used to treat a number of clinical situations including ovarian failure, depleted ovarian function, various genetic abnormalities where one might face the risk of passing inheritable disorder to a child. Thus acceptance of donated egg by the recipient has become ethically and socially acceptable.
Egg donors, once identified are usually advised to undergo blood tests and sonography at various stages of the process. The donor is also advised to take daily injections by the doctor for 10 – 12 days. The donor is then taken up for recovery of eggs under anesthesia. The eggs recovered are then fertilized by the sperm of the recipient’s husband. The embryo thus developed is then transferred to the recipient’s uterus to produce a viable pregnancy. It is important to remember that the identity of the donor and the recipient is never disclosed.