A GUIDE TO OUR
UK patients can now enjoy all of the benefits of the USA’s leading donor egg fertility program. In addition to donor egg choice and donor deidentification, SGF provides a simplified donor egg treatment process that only requires two trips to our centre located near Washington, DC.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT TRYING TO CONCEIVE
ABOUT OUR DONORS
The majority of egg donor cycles performed at Shady Grove Fertility are unidentified. Our unidentified donors come to us through various sources, mostly through word-of-mouth referrals from our current and past donors. Every potential donor undergoes an intensive medical and psychological screening process before she is accepted into our program. While they are reimbursed for their time and effort, most women’s decision to become a donor is born of a desire to help another woman and her partner achieve their dream of parenthood.
All Donor Candidates:
- Are between the ages of 21-32 who is healthy and has a healthy family history may be initially considered for egg donation.
- Must complete a medical history and genetic questionnaire that is reviewed by our staff.
- Go through an extensive and selective screening process. Of the 15,000+ women that apply annually, only 3% of the applicants are accepted as a qualified egg donor – meaning that our patients can be confident in the suitability of our donors.
As a Shady Grove patient, you will have access to your donors’ questionnaire and profile, but you will not know the woman’s identity or have an opportunity to meet her.
Shady Grove Fertility staff personally recruits, screens, and matches nearly all of the egg donors in our unidentified donor program. Hands on management of the egg donor recruitment is mutually beneficial to the donor and patient. The process allows us to:
- Manage egg donor compensation – a cost paid for by the recipient. Use local donors to eliminate out of pocket travel and related expenses.
- Eliminate miscommunication caused by 3rd party coordination.
- Offer donors and recipients confidence and peace of mind
SELECTING A DONOR
At Shady Grove Fertility, our goal is to make the selection process as smooth as possible for our patients by providing a diverse database of donors, and providing each recipient with the autonomy to select the donor that meets their requirements.
Our donor team deidentifies applicants but ensures transparency in the process, and the donor database provides patients with a wealth of information. One way in which we do this is that all of our donors have been through rigorous screening before they ever appear in our donor database. Women donating their eggs go through extensive medical, psychological, and genetic screening prior to being placed on the donor database and eligible for matching. As a result, recipients viewing the database know the results of the donors genetic screening, in addition to having the peace of mind that comes with knowing the donor has already completed extensive screening.
- Demographic characteristics (eye color, race, ethnicity, etc.)
- Childhood photos; 2/3 donors will also consent to provide current, adult pictures
- The donor’s individual and 2-3 generations of family health history
- Her likes and interests, and a personal composition about her motivation to donate.
Some patients do not always find the right donor in our database. These patients (and any of our donor patients) also have access to Donor Egg Bank USA’s frozen donor egg bank, a vast database of donors with the ability to ship eggs all over the country, without presenting any risk to the eggs themselves. This provides our patients with a multitude of options when making this important decision.
MULTIPLE WAYS TO ACCESS OUR DONORS
As a recipient, you have the choice of selecting a traditional, non-shared donor; shared donor, or eggs from the frozen egg bank.
Traditional, Non-shared, Egg Donors: Choosing a non-shared donor means all of the eggs the donor produces for that donation cycle will be assigned exclusively to you.
Shared Egg Donors: Shared egg donors can be chosen by either 2 or 3 recipients. This option not only gives each recipient an equal chance of success in achieving pregnancy, it also means sharing the financial responsibility with the other recipient couple, which significantly reduces the cost of treatment for all each recipient. Eighty-five percent of our couples elect to work with a shared egg donor.
Frozen Egg Bank Donors: These donors have already completed their donation and their resulting eggs were frozen and placed on the database. Patients choosing a donor from the Frozen Egg Bank can immediately begin treatment. This option provides significant flexibility for the recipient, as the process does not require synchronization with the donor and/or other recipients, which allows for easier planning of the embryo transfer.
Your choice of treatment will determine how quickly the cycle can commence. For non-shared and frozen eggs, recipients are generally able to have the embryo transfer within 8 weeks. For patients working with a shared donor, it will generally take closer to 12 weeks to have the embryo transfer; given it can take a few weeks for the shared match with the donor to become complete-with 2, or 3 recipients.
TREATMENT IN 4 EASY STEPS
STEP 1: INITIAL PHONE CONSULT
We understand that choosing Shady Grove Fertility is going to be a huge decision for you and your partner. To help you take the first step we offer a complimentary phone consultation with the physician, who will review your medical history and answer all questions about treatment at Shady Grove Fertility.
Our International Liaison, Amanda Segal, will contact you promptly (and is always available) to provide the details of your treatment process as well as answer all of your questions. She can also give you the opportunity to speak with our UK-based Patient Liaison, Sarah Esdaile. We will also offer you temporary access to our online donor database from the outset, so that you can take a look at our donor information and get a feel for how to find a suitable donor.
After the free initial consultation process, Amanda will help you to schedule your first visit to the SGF centre in the U.S. You will only need to be with us for one full day.
STEP 2: FIRST U.S. VISIT – PREPARING FOR TREATMENT
Your first visit to SGF will give you a comprehensive overview of the people and processes involved in your treatment cycle, and to have pre-cycle testing performed on you and your partner.
- You will meet your doctor for a personal consultation, along with other members of your personal care team who will take you through your cycle details and coordination.
- A semen analysis and sperm freeze will be done at this visit, allowing us to use the frozen sperm on the day of the egg donor’s egg retrieval. We will also perform a saline sonogram of the uterus (for heterosexual couples) to evaluate the cavity.
- You will meet with the recipient liaison to gain permanent access to view our donor profiles. SGF has one of the largest donor egg banks of fully screened, available donors. During this visit, we will teach you how to navigate the database online to find your perfect donor and make your reservation.
At the conclusion of your visit, you will review the medical consents for treatment and pick up medications from our local pharmacy. to find out more info about Shady Grove Fertility.
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STEP 3: CHOOSE YOUR DONOR AND START TREATMENT
Your care process can now continue back at home (in the UK or Ireland), with any remaining tests and screening to be completed at your local fertility centre. This may include a trial cycle of medications to test the response of your uterus when given estrogen.
CHOOSING YOUR DONOR EGG
Once you have completed the necessary screening and are ready to proceed, it’s time to choose your donor.
As a recipient, you can decide to match with a traditional non-shared donor, shared donor, or eggs from the frozen egg bank. This decision will affect how quickly the cycle can commence, and also the cost of treatment.
- For non-shared and frozen eggs, recipients are generally able to have the embryo transfer within 8 weeks.
- For patients working with a shared donor, it will generally take closer to 12 weeks to have the embryo transfer; given it can take a few weeks for the shared match with the donor and two or three recipients to be completed.
THE TREATMENT CYCLE BEGINS
When you have chosen your donor, payment is required before you can begin your treatment cycle. Your nurse at Shady Grove Fertility will work with you to discuss the treatment protocol and schedule.
For patients working directly with a donor, and not with previously frozen eggs, your treatment cycle will be synchronised with that of the donors.
- During this time you will be taking medications to prepare your uterus for embryo transfer. Specific direction will be explained to you in detail by your care team.
- Frequent updates on your donor’s progress will be communicated regularly.
For patients using frozen donor eggs, the process is simplified as cycles do not need to be synchronised, as done in a fresh cycle.
- You will be required to take medications to prepare your uterus for embryo transfer, as will all have been explained to you in detail by your care team.
- The recipient chooses a donor from Donor Egg Bank USA.
- Shady Grove Fertility receives the shipped frozen eggs, and the recipient’s uterus is prepared for an embryo transfer.
All couples, regardless of donor choice, have the donated eggs retrieved by a physician and fertilised with your previously frozen sperm via intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), before being placed in an incubator for development.
Of course, your clinical team will be there to support you throughout the whole process with direct contact and frequent progress updates. We pride ourselves on responsible communication, as we know how important this is to our patients.
STEP 4: RETURN FOR TRANSFER
Your return to SGF in America is timed to be shortly after the egg insemination, and will begin with your SGF Doctor discussing the developing embryo quality and the number to transfer and/or freeze before the embryo transfer itself on day 5 or 6 embryo development.
After the embryo transfer, you are free to return home to the UK where you will visit your local Doctor for a scheduled pregnancy test after two weeks.
We developed the UK Egg Donation Programme at Shady Grove Fertility Center to help make treatment as convenient and affordable as possible for patients. Our streamlined programme eliminates some of the biggest challenges couples face when travelling internationally for treatment. Many patients find Shady Grove Fertility’s unique combination of high success rates and 100 percent refund options a better investment of financial resources and worth the effort to travel for care. Given our close proximity to Washington, D.C.—a cultural hub for museums, restaurants, and entertainment—you’ll find lots to do while you are visiting with us for treatment.
For more information about our programme, please contact out International Patient Liaison, Amanda Segal.