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How do egg donation treatments work? The steps for women and men


Why do women turn to donor eggs to start a family?

Women who are interested in starting a family, or perhaps in their future fertility, are often told that “Women are born with all the eggs they will ever have”, around 1 million at birth, reducing to around 400,000 at puberty when the ovaries start to release one every month. Although (usually) only 1 egg is ovulated every month, several follicles actually begin the maturation process every month, and unfortunately, as the years tick by the ovarian reserve, or number of eggs you have, gets lower and of poorer quality.

But, what if your eggs don’t “work properly”, you have premature ovarian failure or have waited until you are near or in menopause to start a family? Perhaps you have no ovaries, no eggs or a genetic disease that prevents you from passing on your genes. All these factors make it difficult or impossible for you to get pregnant naturally, but hope is still there if you look at using eggs donated by another woman as a possibility to start your family.


The obvious answer to this question is when a single man wishes to become a father, or a same sex male couple want to have children. In these cases both donor eggs and a gestational surrogate are required.


There are two options open to source the donor eggs:

  1. A fresh donation cycle, where the donor undergoes ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval in the same location as the fertilization and embryo transfer: This requires both the donor and the recipient to have their cycles synchronized. This is generally the more expensive and time consuming process.
  2. Using frozen donor eggs, from an egg bank such as OvobankID. These are eggs that are in storage and ready for shipment and use when required: so there is less waiting and more economical. You can read about the advantages of using frozen eggs in egg donation treatments in this article.


Step 1. Use a good assisted reproduction clinic, with experience in third party reproduction. If you haven´t yet found your ideal fertility center then you can contact us directly and we can put you in touch with an experienced provider in your area.

Step 2. Register on our website, you can sign up here, and by entering your country and collaborating center (fertility clinic) you can access the donor database.

Step 3. Choose your donor. Depending on the laws in your country, you can access detailed information about the donor, including photos, medical history, likes, education, medical and genetic screening results and if provided, a personal message from the donor herself.  Our OvobankID coordinators are on always hand to answer any questions and help you.

Step 4. Place your order online and our team will organize the shipment of your chosen batch to your registered fertility clinic. Using our unique Ovotracker system you can monitor details such as the GPS location, temperature, humidity etc, to give you peace of mind that your frozen eggs will arrive in optimum condition for thawing and fertilization.

Step 5. Fertilization and embryo transfer. After fertilization, the resulting embryos will be grown in the laboratory until ready for transfer. During this time, the patient, or the gestational carrier, will undergo endometrial preparation so that the embryo has the best chances of implanting into the uterus.

Step 6. The Two Week Wait (TWW) and the beta-hCG pregnancy test. The beta -hCG will be performed at your fertility clinic via a blood test to see if the treatment has worked and there is a positive pregnancy.

Unfortunately, not all embryo transfers are successful, whether it be with your own or donated eggs. If this happens then you should keep a positive frame of mind that you will get there in the end, and try again with another embryo transfer.

Depending on your location, you could take advantage of our clinical pregnancy program, in which we will send you further batches of ooctyes, depending on the guarantee program you have chosen, to further increase your chances of a successful pregnancy. Please contact one of our OvobankID country specific coordinators for more details.

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