Using donor eggs involves a similar process as in vitro fertilization (IVF). However, the process is more complex due to factors like the availability of a desirable donor, and coordinating the menstrual cycles of the recipient and the donor. Using donor eggs in an IVF cycle includes the following steps:
Two or three hormonal medications are administered to align the women’s menstrual cycles. If the embryo recipient is still having menstrual cycles, Lupron® is taken to suppress the cycle’s natural course. Then an estrogen patch is administered shortly after the period starts and changed daily until both women’s cycles are in sync. Hormonally coordinating the cycles gives the embryo recipient the best chance of achieving a pregnancy by preparing the uterus lining for embryo implantation in the correct implantation window.
A semen sample must be combined with the donor eggs for fertilization on the same day the eggs are retrieved. The fertilization takes place in a laboratory using IVF techniques.
The day after egg retrieval, the female recipient begins takings progesterone treatment and may also modify the estrogen patches she is placing. Two weeks after the egg retrieval, a blood test will determine if the embryos have successfully implanted and a pregnancy has occurred.