Infertility & Lifespan Medical Institute
Dr. Steven A. Brody, MD, PhD
Fertility Specialist & Reproductive Endocrinologist located in San Diego, CA
If you aren’t able to produce viable eggs, Dr. Steven Brody can help you to become pregnant with the help of egg donation. If you have not become pregnant after a year of trying, call or book an appointment online to talk to Dr. Brody about your fertility concerns at his San Diego, California-based practice, the Infertility & Lifespan Medical Institute
Egg Donation & Egg Freezing Q & A
What is egg donation?
Egg donation is a fertility treatment where a woman donates her viable eggs to another woman who is unable to produce healthy, viable eggs of her own. The donated eggs are fertilized with sperm from either the intended father or by a sperm donor. Then the fertilized eggs are implanted into the birth mother’s uterus.
Most people who receive this fertility treatment are women over the age of 40. The quality and quantity of your eggs decline as you age, and women over 40 often struggle to become pregnant naturally because their own eggs are no longer viable.
Who is an eligible egg donor?
Egg donors are women in their 20s who are in exceptional health with limited health issues in their family histories. Egg donors pass a rigorous screening process and physical exams to ensure they are healthy and fit to donate. Screenings for this procedure include physical compatibility as well as emotional and mental health. Some of the typical assessments involved in egg donor screening include:
- Complete medical history
- Physical exam including pelvic exam and pap smear
- STD testing
- Ovarian reserves measurement
- Psychological assessment
What happens during the egg donation process?
The egg donation process involves several steps. Once you complete initial donor screenings you will be matched with your donor. You both begin taking prescriptions to regulate and sync your menstrual cycles. There is a limited window of time for the donor eggs to be harvested, fertilized and implanted in your body. Syncing your cycles provides the greatest chance of implanted eggs to attach to your uterus and develop into a successful pregnancy.
The donor starts a series of injections to stimulate her ovaries into producing extra eggs. During this time, she is closely monitored so that when her ovaries are ready to release the eggs, they can be harvested for donation.
Once the eggs are collected, Dr. Brody and his team inseminate the eggs and inject them into your uterus. You take at least two days of bed-rest to give the embryos the highest chance of attaching to your body and developing into a viable pregnancy. You take a pregnancy test 10-12 days after the implantation process to see if you’ve become pregnant.
If you are concerned about fertility and are curious about egg donation and if it will help you to become pregnant, call or schedule a consultation online to talk to Dr. Brody today.
Why do women freeze their eggs?
You might choose to freeze your eggs for any number of reasons. For example, more women are delaying childbirth for professional or other lifestyle choices. As you age, the quantity and quality of your eggs decreases, which puts you and your pregnancy at risk. Other women may opt to freeze their eggs because the need for medical treatment like chemotherapy may prevent them from becoming pregnant later. Egg freezing is also common for women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) if more eggs than are needed are harvested.
Whatever your reason, egg freezing enables you to save and maintain your eggs when you are young and save them for the future when you are ready to bear children. When eggs are harvested from a younger woman, IVF and successful pregnancies are more likely.
How does egg freezing work?
If you opt to freeze your eggs, you’ll go through similar hormonal treatments as women going through other fertility treatments to stimulate your ovaries into producing many eggs. Your hormone levels will be monitored closely so that your eggs can be harvested just as your ovaries are able to release them.
Your eggs are the largest cells in your body and have a high water content. As a result, your eggs are quickly and safely dehydrated and frozen to -196C. If excess water wasn’t removed, ice crystals may form, which could damage your eggs.
How are frozen eggs stored?
Once your eggs are frozen, our laboratory staff stores them in a special facility that maintains the subzero temperatures to protect and preserve your eggs. Eggs have been successfully frozen for around 10 years.
What happens when I am ready to have a baby?
When you are ready to become pregnant, you can contact the office to start the IVF process. Our laboratory staff will unfreeze your eggs, which will be fertilized in the IVF process and inserted into your uterus. You’ll typically come back to our office for a pregnancy test 10-12 days after implantation to see if the embryos have successfully attached to your uterus.
Services We Offer
Polycystic Ovary Syndromemore info
Bioidentical Hormones & Estrogenmore info
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)more info
Aggressive IVF Protocolsmore info
Mini IVFmore info
Low Sperm Countmore info
Egg Donation & Egg Freezingmore info
Preventing Miscarriagesmore info
Anti-Aging Peptides & TRTmore info
Menopause & Memorymore info