Some couples are faced with the fact that either the man’s sperm is inadequate to fertilize an egg, or the woman’s eggs are unsuccessful in the ability to produce a viable pregnancy. When this arises, there is still hope. Donor eggs and donor sperm make it possible for patients in this situation to still achieve pregnancy.
One of the most common reasons for infertility is advanced reproductive age of the female patient. Additionally, some women may go through menopause at a much earlier age than usual. In these instances, the ovaries may no longer be producing normal eggs, and the chance of pregnancy becomes unlikely. One option for pregnancy may be the use of donor eggs. Donor eggs are typically obtained from an anonymous or known donor. An anonymous donor is an individual who is not known to the patient/couple. A known donor is a donor who is known to the patient/couple. The donors undergo infectious disease screening, psychological counseling, and medical screening. A donor egg cycle is very similar to a standard IVF cycle, with the exception that the donor receives the stimulation medications and undergoes the egg retrieval procedure. The embryos that develop from the donor eggs and the male partner’s sperm are then transferred into the recipient (female partner). Although the child will only be genetically related to the male partner, both partners are the parents, and the female partner carries the pregnancy. In Canada, compensation to the donor for egg donation is not allowed. Donation in Canada is performed for altruistic reasons. PCRM is happy to work with the following validated egg banks: