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Starting a family with donor eggs when you have primary ovarian insufficiency


Sometimes referred to as premature ovarian failure, primary ovarian insufficiency (POI),is a condition in which the ovaries stop working normally before the age of 40. It affects approximately 1% of the female population and it can occur in younger women in their 20s, although the incidence of POI is greater for women between the age of 35 – 40.

There can be numerous causes of POI, but it is not fully understood and is the subject of much current research. Any factor that reduces the number of eggs in the ovaries can be a cause. It can also result when there are a normal number of eggs, but the ovaries don’t make enough estrogen. Some of the known causes and risk factors include:

  • Autoimmune diseases, for example hypothyroidism.
  • Chromosomal conditions such as Turner syndrome or Fragile X syndrome.
  • Exposure to toxins such as those used in chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
  • Infections that affect the ovaries such as mumps, chicken pox or cytomegalovirus.
  • Surgery on the ovaries.
  • Hormonal imbalance affecting hormones that control the ovaries.

What are the symptoms of primary ovarian insufficiency?

Many of the symptoms are the same experienced by women in menopause and perimenopause, and can include:

  • Irregular periods, or a lack of menstruation (amenorrhea)
  • Night sweats and hot flashes
  • Decreased libido
  • Vaginal dryness, that can lead to painful sex
  • Irritability and difficulty concentrating
  • Fertility problems.

How can I get pregnant with POI?

As this condition affects the ovaries and egg release, it is not surprising that most women with POI have problems with infertility and turn to assisted reproduction. For some women, who have a normal quantity of eggs but do not release them correctly, in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be a possibility to achieve a successful pregnancy.

If there are no eggs, or IVF with own eggs does not produce the desired result, then using donor eggs is the next step. In egg donor IVF (deIVF) the eggs are provided by a young healthy donor, fertilized in the laboratory using the male partner’s sperm (or donor sperm if required) and the embryos grown and nurtured in a laboratory incubator. When the embryo(s) reach the blastocyst stage, usually about 5 days after fertilization, the best embryo(s) will be selected and transferred to the patients uterus with the aim of a achieving a successful pregnancy.

Donor eggs can come from a fresh donor cycle, which needs both the donor and patients cycles to be coordinated. Alternatively, it is becoming more popular to use frozen donor eggs from an egg bank such as OvobankID. Frozen donor eggs have the advantage of being much more convenient and do not require synchronization of the patients cycle with the donor. They are also usually a more economical option.

With OvobankID, you can choose the batch size to fit your needs, and our batches of donor eggs come with a survival guarantee as standard: if less than 50% of your donor egg batch (6 eggs) does not survive the thawing process we will send a mini-batch of 3 eggs free of charge, or a further batch of 6 eggs at half price.

To talk to one of our coordinators about using frozen donor eggs, or to register and see our extensive range of donor profiles, you can contact us in your preferred manner:

📞EUROPE: +44 1613941303

📞NORTH AMERICA: (213) 221-0080


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