UK DONOR EGG PROGRAMME FAQ

General:

How does a women qualify to become an egg donor?

Each year over 15,000 women apply to become an egg donor with SGF, and only 3 percent are accepted. Potential egg donors undergo extensive medical, genetic, and psychological screening before they are accepted into our program.

Are the egg donors genetically screened?

Yes, as part of each prospective egg donor’s screening, she will undergo genetic screening. This information will then be included on the egg donor’s profile, allowing you to know how many tests the egg donor was screened for, and if she is a carrier of a genetic disease. We estimate 30 percent of egg donors will be a carrier for a recessive genetic disease.

We highly encourage the male recipient to also have genetic screening, which will allow you to match with an egg donor who is not a carrier for the same genetic condition, should the male recipient be a carrier of a recessive genetic disease.

Recipients have access to a Genetic Counselor to review the egg donor’s genetic report to learn more and ask questions.

How do I know that my donor is being honest?

Women applying to be an egg donor do so with the intent of helping someone achieve their dreams of parenthood, and not with the intent of being deceptive. With that said, each donor undergoes multiple layers of screening, allowing for various staff members to interact with her, obtaining information as they go. In addition, the donor undergoes a psychological evaluation, which assists the team in determining the eligibility of the donor.

Is the donor’s medication included?

Yes.

Is the donor’s prescreening included in the fee?

Yes, the donor was fully prescreened in accordance with FDA guidelines prior to her cycle. You can have peace of mind knowing that all of the eggs in our Egg Bank meet FDA guidelines.

May I request additional pictures or additional profile information on a donor?

You may certainly ask the recipient liaisons to communicate with the donor to see if she would be willing to furnish additional pictures and information.

How often are donors updated on the website?

Donors are generally uploaded once to twice per week. As new donors are screened and deemed eligible, they are added to the registry, in addition to repeat donors being approved for a subsequent donation.

What is the difference between a repeat donor and a first-time donor?

First-time donors are women that have never undergone an egg donation, however they have undergone a thorough medical and psychological evaluation and been approved to donate.

Repeat donors are women who have undergone a prior egg donation and have an established record in which their eggs and/or the resulting embryo quality has had favorable results. The vast majority of repeat donors have been successful in achieving a pregnancy. However, it is important to remember that every successful repeat donor was at one time a first time donor. Approximately 61 percent of egg donors will go on to complete a repeat donation.

We encourage patients to match with a donor who meets their criteria, and not focus on the donor being a new or repeat donor.

Can you find out if a donor is a repeat donor?

Yes, you will see when a donor is a repeat donor, however, all donors go through the same prescreening whether you choose a first time donor or repeat donor.

Do you disclose if a donor has been successful previously?

While we do not disclose if a donor has been successful previously or will be successful with the other recipients in your donor match, you can assume if she’s a repeat donor, she was likely to have been successful in the past.

Do I need to disclose that I used donated eggs?

This is an individual choice and one only you can decide. When meeting with one of the mental health providers as part of your screening, the topic of disclosure will be discussed. We do highly recommend you discuss that an egg donor was used to your medical team, such as your OB/GYN, and pediatrician, as to ensure proper testing is done, and to have an accurate medical history for both you and your child(ren).

Is Shady Grove Fertility part of a sibling donor registry in the US?

We do not participate in this registry and our programme is anonymous. People utilizing this registry are recipients and children, conceived with donor egg or donor sperm, who are aware of who their donor is and are trying to find other people conceived using that same donor.

 

Financial:

Is there a cost to enroll or register to the donor registry?

No. There are no upfront costs to browse the donor registry.

What determines the cost of donor egg treatment?

Once the donor is selected the fee is payable in full. All cycle monitoring of the donor and recipient are included: the egg retrieval, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), transfer, and subsequent bloodwork and scans to determine pregnancy.

What is the payment time frame after selecting a donor?

Payment is required within 48 hours. Information on how to make payment will be sent to you via e-mail shortly after your donor selection has been received by us.

Are the donor’s prescreening and cycle medication included in the cost of your financial plans?

Yes, donors are fully screened in accordance with FDA guidelines prior to their donation. All aspects of their donation cycle, including stimulation medication, are included in the cost of the financial plans unless otherwise stated.

Are my medications included in the cost of your financial plans?

No. Medication for the recipient is not included in the cost, and if purchased in the US is between $800 – $1000 per transfer. In some cases, insurance is available to cover medications.

 

Shared Risk 100% Refund and Shared Donor:

 

In regards to the Shared Risk 100% Refund Programme, what constitutes approval?

Adequate uterine function.

Can I withdraw at any time?

Yes.

What is the age limit for the Shared Risk Donor Egg Programme? 

There is no age cut off for this programme, however, as a practice we will not do treatment over the age of 50 and 11 months.

Is there anything that would disqualify you?
There is very little that would disqualify someone from the shared donor programme, now that egg quality is not an issue. If patients have issues with their uterus (where is not recommended that they carry a pregnancy) or have issues creating a lining, there are factors that could disqualify them. For those patients looking to use donor egg and a gestational carrier, we do have a programme available.

Are there any exclusions for receiving a 100% refund?

Yes. If there are no frozen embryos remaining, a 100% refund will be given. If embryos remain but the patient wishes to withdraw, there are 2 options:

  1. Dispose of the remaining embryos and receive 100% refund.
  2. Keep the embryo’s frozen and receive a partial refund (the cost of one cycle fee will be deducted, the remainder will be refunded).

What if you miscarry in the Shared Risk Programme?

If you miscarry in the Shared Risk Programme, the contract is not considered complete, so you would be allowed back into the programme and continue with however many cycles you have left.

What is the time limit to complete all treatment in the Shared Risk Donor Egg Programme?

There is no time limit, we understand that patients may need to take breaks between cycles.

Are you using the same donor for all six cycles in the Shared Risk Donor Egg Programme?

No, you use one donor, fertilize those eggs, and use any frozen embryos before moving on and selecting a new donor. Most patients do not want to use the same donor if they have been unsuccessful in the past.

Does male factor disqualify you from the Shared Risk Donor Egg Programme?

Very rarely. In some cases when there is severe male factor, where the embryo quality could be impacted, one may not qualify for Shared Risk, but this does not happen often. We also have a reproductive urologist on staff at SGF who has helped many of our patients. Further, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) treatment is used standard with our Donor Egg Programme.

Does being a carrier for a genetic condition (discovered through the Counsyl testing) disqualify you from Shared Risk?

If the male is a carrier for a genetic condition (discovered through our Counsyl genetic testing), this does not disqualify you from Shared Risk, you would just not want to select a donor who was a carrier for the same genetic condition.

Is the embryoscope, ICSI, and assisted hatching included in the cost? 

The embryoscope is only used at one of our locations, and after doing some research we do not feel like it has increased the success rate of those patients utilizing it for their IVF cycles. ICSI and AH are included in the cost.

Medical Treatment and Egg Quality:

How many eggs will I receive?

The average number of eggs you receive will greatly be based upon which programme you opt to participate in; whether it be a shared or non-shared program or frozen banked eggs. Whether you do 1:1, 1:2, or 1:3, each recipient is guaranteed a minimum of 4 mature eggs.

  • Non-shared cycles – receive all of the eggs; average 15 eggs
  • Shared 1:2 Cycles (2 recipients sharing the same donor) – average 7-9 eggs per recipient
  • Shared 1:3 Cycles (3 recipients sharing the same donor) – average 5-7 eggs per recipient
  • Frozen, banked eggs average 6 to 8 eggs per recipient

Do you receive lower quality eggs as the 2nd or 3rd person in the match?

Eggs are not graded like embryos and are either mature or not—you need mature eggs to create embryos. The eggs are divided equally between all recipients, so you would not get lower quality eggs if you were the 2nd or 3rd recipient in a match.

If I get cancelled from the match—due to not enough eggs—do I have to wait for my donor to cycle again? 

No, you would not wait until the donor was available because there is no way for us to know that donor would donate again. Every donor is evaluated after each donation cycle, so you would be given access to the donor database to select another donor.

How long will it take to complete treatment?

There is no wait to match with an egg donor. As soon as you make the decision to proceed with donor egg treatment, you will be provided with an outcome of screening that’s needed, which will optimize your chance of success. On average, most patients are able to undergo the necessary screening within 2 months, and then select an egg donor.

When working with a shared donor, the process will begin once the shared match becomes completed—meaning two or three recipients match with the same donor, based on which shared program you are participating in. Most shared cycles are able to come together, and have the correct number of recipients, within 4 weeks.

Patients can expect the process to take 4 months, from the time they initiate donor egg treatment, to the embryo transfer.

Who do I call with questions about my treatment?

You will have a dedicated medical and financial team who is available by phone and email. The nature of your question will determine who best to contact:

  • Screening – questions related to your screening and work-up can be directed to your Clinical Coordinator
  • Medical – questions related to your medications, treatment cycle, or updates on your egg donor can be directed to your Nurse
  • Financial – financial questions can be directed to your Financial Counselor.

Can I still use Shady Grove Fertility if I need a donor sperm or a gestational carrier?

Yes, of course. We work with outside sperm banks to resource donor sperm and with numerous surrogacy agencies for gestational carriers.

Is blood type important?

Blood type plays no medical role when undergoing donor egg treatment. It is not necessary to match with a donor based on your blood type, or the blood type of your partner. The only time blood type plays a factor is when a patient does not plan to disclose an egg donor was used, and opts to match blood types.

Do you offer the option of gender selection?

You have the option to do preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) of the embryos, which can tell you the gender of the embryos tested, however we always recommend that patients transfer the best quality embryo vs. the desired gender.

Is there a difference in success rates between fresh and frozen embryo transfers?

There is no difference in success rates between fresh and frozen embryo transfers.

What is the difference between the MET and MEEP cycles?

A mock embryo transfer (MET) is a quick procedure where we insert a catheter to measure the depth and dimension of the uterus to make sure there are no polyps or adhesions. A MEEP cycle is a mock estrogen cycle—also known as a dummy cycle, or a mock cycle to check your lining, where you take medication as if you are doing an actual transfer, but instead go in for a lining check (ultrasound and bloodwork).

What needs to be completed before the first visit?

Typically the only thing that recipients need to do prior to coming to us for the initial visit is to update the male infectious disease bloodwork, so that the male can complete his sperm freeze at the first visit.

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