Sunshine Egg Donor program is a labour of love by of two proudly South African mothers with years of experience in the field and many success stories to share. Our belief is that every person who feels the draw of parenthood should have the chance to experience the joy that having a child brings.
The process of egg donation is used today in many situations, including:
- perimenopausal women with diminished egg reserve
- postmenopausal women
- women who are infertile due to poor egg/embryo quality
- women who are carriers for specific genetic illnesses
- Same sex couples
All the clinics we work with have the resources to perform every step of the egg donation, fertilization, and implantation processes. If you and your partner are considering using donor eggs to conceive, the information provided here will allow you to more fully understand the different steps of the process.
Medical evaluation of the recipient
To determine whether you are a good candidate to receive donor eggs, you will need to provide the clinic with a set of updated tests. A thorough infertility and medical history will be completed.
A complete physical exam will be performed (should you live outside of SA, these tests can be performed by your personal doctor and the results will be sent to the clinic). The examination of your uterus will begin with a detailed pelvic ultrasound and may require a hysterosalpingogram (x-ray of the uterus), or hysteroscopy (viewing of the uterus with a tiny camera). You will be tested for infectious diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, and syphilis. Recent Pap smear results should also be available for review by your doctor. Additional tests and screening may be required, depending on your age, ethnicity, and medical history.
Donor Selection and Screening
Your first step is to choose an anonymous donor from our egg donor database. When you choose a Sunshine donor, you can rest assured that she has completed an in-depth questionnaire about her medical, personal, and obstetrical histories. We also meet with and interview all our donors to get a real gut feel for them, and what type of person they are. She will further undergo a medical and psychological screening with the clinic before she is able to donate.
Synchronizing the Donor and Recipient
In preparation to receive donor eggs, hormones are given to both the donor and the recipient to synchronize the ovarian stimulation of the donor and uterine receptivity of the infertile woman. To synchronize your menstrual cycle with that of the donor, typically a hormone known as a gonadotropin releasing hormone agonist, or GnRH agonist will be administered to suppress your normal ovulatory timing.
Donor Stimulation and Recipient Hormone Replacement
Once the donor and recipient are synchronized, further medication is needed to continue the egg donation process. The intended parent is placed on an estrogen replacement program to prepare her uterus to receive a fertilized embryo.
Shortly after the recipient hormone therapy begins, the egg donor starts preparation for egg donation. She is given daily injections of follicle stimulating hormones (FSH) to stimulate her ovaries. These hormones will cause the ovaries to produce a greater number of mature eggs than would naturally occur.
The fertility specialist will carefully monitor the effects of hormones given to both the donor and the recipient to ensure that responses remain synchronized. The donor usually has around 3 scans during this time of stimulation. The recipient typically has one or two visits during the last week of donor stimulation.
Retrieving Donor Eggs
After the donor has been placed under sedation, one of our physicians will remove the donor eggs using a thin needle inserted through the vagina and guided by ultrasound. The donor receives anesthesia via intravenous sedation to minimize any discomfort. This is administered by a physician who specializes in anesthesia. We maintain close contact with the donor over the next few days to ensure she recovers 100%
Fertilization of the Eggs and Embryo Transfer
On the same day that the donor eggs are harvested from the donor, the recipient's partner will provide a semen sample that is processed and used to fertilize the donor eggs. Once an egg has been fertilized with sperm, it becomes an embryo that is cared for in the laboratory for three to five days before it is transferred to the recipient.
The transfer involves up to two embryos (derived from donated eggs) to increase the chances of success. Excess embryos of good quality and which are suitable transfer may be cryopreserved for future use.
Copyright 2012 Sunshine Egg Donors