Receive Donor Eggs

Pregnancy Initiation with Donated Eggs (PRIDE)

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The donor egg program is a natural outgrowth of our comprehensive fertility and assisted reproductive technology program and represents a significant advance in treatment.  PRIDE has turned out to be the most effective assisted reproductive technology to date and its high success rate is largely independent of the recipient’s age.  The program was developed to help women who otherwise have little chance of achieving a successful birth because of one or more of the following:

  1. Non-functioning ovaries
  2. Advanced age (above 42 years)
  3. Genetic abnormality
  4. Repetitive failure to conceive with other fertility treatments, including IVF and GIFT, using their own eggs.
Who are the egg donors?

Our program is actively recruiting and screening young, healthy, fertile women under the age of 32 years. The candidates go through a rigorous screening process before they are accepted as appropriate for our program. Although egg donors are compensated financially, we have found that the majority of women who become egg donors are young women who are motivated by a strong altruistic desire to help infertile women. The screening includes medical, genetic, and psychological screening with a consulting psychologist where appropriate. Routine laboratory tests include: Cystic Fibrosis, Blood type and Rh factor, antibody, complete blood count, ALT (liver function test), and AMH (Anti Mullerian Hormone). All donors must test negative for the AIDS virus (HIV-1, HIV-2,) HTLV-I/II, Hepatitis B and C, Syphilis, and cultures for gonorrhea and chlamydia.  We offer screening for a variety of genetic conditions: Gaucher disease, Canavan disease, Familial Dysautonomia, Spinal Muscular Atrophy ,Bloom Syndrome, Fanconi Anemia Type C, , Mucolipidosis IV, Niemann Pick Disease,Hexosaminidase A deficiency, HB beta chain related, and Fragile X. If you would like your donor screened for these disorders an additional charge of $349 would be incurred by you. Donors are selected and screened according to the regulations of the New York State Department of Health, the FDA, and guidelines of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

Our program primarily follows the anonymous model, which has been standard for sperm donation for decades.  While no identifying information about their donor is revealed, detailed personal, medical and family profiles are provided to recipients in the process of selecting a donor.  Our donors are committed to the concept of anonymous donation and many of them would not be interested in participating in the program on other terms.  In most cases, anonymity best protects the privacy and interests of both parties.  While the donors have no wish to meet the recipients, some of them are open to future contact with the child, should he or she desire it upon reaching maturity.  If the donor is married, full support and consent of her partner is also obtained.

At times, young infertility patients undergoing IVF are willing to donate some of the extra eggs produced during the ovarian stimulation for a reduction in their own expense.  If a satisfactory match can be made between such a donor and a recipient, this arrangement can be highly mutually rewarding.  Whereas such patient-donors are available less frequently, the cost of these arrangements is less than that of compensated donors.

Some couples strongly prefer to pursue conception with eggs donated altruistically by a young and fertile family member or a close friend who then becomes their designated non-anonymous donor.  We are open to this type of arrangement provided that the prospective donors meet our standard screening criteria and provided that thorough psychological counseling and evaluation are completed on the recipient couple as well as the designated donor and her partner.  In-family donation can be a satisfactory solution for some couples, but it may also have profound effects on long-term family dynamics.  Therefore, assessment by an experienced mental health professional is required for optimal outcome.  Follow-up with a counselor after both successful and failed egg donation procedure with a designated donor is strongly recommended.

How to become a recipient?

If you are interested in pursuing donor oocyte IVF, you would need to schedule a consult to go over how our donor egg program works & detailing requirements, as well as being assigned a recipient coordinator. If you would like to schedule a complementary recipient consult (either by phone or in-person), please call our call center at 800-539-9870 x3274.

How is the right egg donor for us selected?

We make every effort to find a donor that the recipient couple will feel entirely comfortable with and we guide you through this difficult and unique process.  Using the information provided by you about your preferences, priorities, and exclusions, we try to identify donors who meet those requirements in a general way and who are available within your time frame.  We then provide you with detailed personal, family, educational, and medical information about a few donors and the final selection is made jointly.  We give you as much information as we can without compromising confidentiality.

What is the treatment plan for the recipient?

The minimum pre-treatment evaluation of the recipient couple includes a current semen analysis and either and HSG (dye study of the uterus) or hysteroscopy for evaluation of the uterine cavity within 2 years.  Blood tests for both partners may include: Blood type, rubella, gonorrhea and chlamydia.  If there is any doubt about the male partner’s ability to be present on the day of the egg retrieval (which can be a few days earlier or later than expected), then a back-up specimen of his frozen sperm should be sent to our program well in advance of the scheduled treatment.

Preparation of the uterine lining for implantation (attachment of the fertilized dividing egg to the womb) is key to the success of PRIDE.  If the recipient has no periods and no ovarian function, she is placed on a protocol of estrogen replacement with either daily oral estrogen (Estrace) pills or estrogen skin patches in order to build up the uterine lining.  One or two blood tests and ultrasounds are done in our office to assess the response to medications and adjust the medication as needed.  An individualized schedule of medications will be provided for your convenience.  Once the date of egg retrieval is set, the recipient adds twice-per-day injections of progesterone-in-oil, vaginal progesterone and/or oral progesterone.  It is most important that you do not start progesterone until specifically told by our office to do so even though your preliminary schedule estimates the start day.  If the recipient has periods, and therefore ovarian function, her own hormone production first needs to be suppressed, so that it does not interfere with the above hormone replacement protocol.  Therefore, women with ovarian function receive either Lupron or Synarel, which transiently suppress their own ovarian function, before starting estrogen and progesterone.

The hormone preparations, estradiol and progesterone, are identical to the hormones, which your body would naturally produce during spontaneous pregnancy.  Consequently, you need not worry about their possible adverse effects on the developing fetus because these hormones are exactly the same as the ones produced in all human (and for that matter all mammalian) pregnancies.  Unfortunately, the FDA requires that an insert warning you about the use of any hormones in pregnancy in the package, but this policy does not distinguish between artificial hormones (such as those found in birth control pills) and natural hormones necessary to prepare your uterus for embryo implantation and pregnancy.

How do I know how much medication to take?

In advance of the treatment cycle you will receive a preliminary schedule of medications.  In most cases, this schedule will need to be modified somewhat during the actual treatment cycle to achieve perfect synchronization with the egg donor’s cycle.  Occasionally, we perform a trial cycle to test whether the standard protocol results in good uterine lining in your individual case.  In these cases, an endometrial biopsy (an office procedure to sample the inside of the uterus while on the medications) may also be done.  In most cases, however, the standard protocol prepares the uterine lining well, so that a trial cycle and biopsy are not necessary.

What is the treatment for the egg donor?

The donors undergo the first two phases of in vitro fertilization:  controlled ovarian hyperstimulation and egg retrieval.  They receive a series of daily injections of gonadotropins to stimulate their ovaries to produce multiple eggs over a period of 10-12 days as well as either Ganarelix, Cetrotide, or Lupron.  During that time, they are closely monitored with frequent blood tests and ultrasounds to determine what is the right day to collect the eggs.  Egg retrieval is performed in the office procedure room and involves passing a long needle into the ovaries and removing the fluid containing the eggs from the ovarian follicles under light sedation for anesthesia.

Out-of-town recipients

Since the treatment of the donors is more time-consuming than preparation of the recipients, PRIDE lends itself singularly well to patients coming from Central New York.  With a worldwide shortage of qualified egg donors, many recipients travel from out of state or abroad.  We have developed a system of evaluating potential recipients through review of past medical records and telephone interviews with them and their local gynecologists.  This system allows most of them to travel to Syracuse for only 5 to 7 days during the actual treatment cycle.  Accommodations close to CNY Fertility Center are available for your convenience.

What is the cost of PRIDE?
To view cost related information click here.

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