Donor Egg Treatment Success Rates FAQ

9th April 2018

The growth of Shady Grove Fertility’s International Donor Egg Programme is largely attributed to continuous innovation that is increasing success rates, as well as unique financial programs, including a treatment guarantee, that make treatment more affordable.


Depending on your age, the difference in success between in vitro fertilization (IVF) and donor egg treatment can be significant. In order to understand why the success rates are different it is important to understand how each treatment works.

IVF uses the intended mother’s own eggs, which are stimulated and matured through treatment. As a woman ages so do her eggs and, with age, we see decreased egg quality and quantity. A woman’s fertility potential decreases steadily from her mid-30s onward. In 2016, a woman over the age of 40 had a 17% live birth rate with IVF treatment at SGF using her own eggs.

Donor egg treatment however, relies on donated eggs from another woman between the ages of 21-32. Using the eggs from a younger woman eliminates the effect that a patient’s age has on her chances of pregnancy success. Last year, women of all ages achieved a 51% live birth rate when using donor egg treatment at SGF.

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What is the Shared Donor Egg Programme and how does it impact my chances of getting pregnant?

After reviewing traditional donor egg treatment cycles—one donor to one recipient—the data began to show donors developed more mature eggs than one recipient would ever be able to use. With donors producing 18 eggs on average, there was recognition that recipients could share the eggs from a single donor without reducing their chances of pregnancy.

One of the many questions patients considering the Shared Donor Egg Programme have is “If I share donated eggs with another couple, will it decrease my chances of taking home a baby?” Since the start of Shared Donor Egg Programme in 2007, the rate of ongoing pregnancy or delivery, whether or not you are sharing a donor’s eggs have remained very similar. However, because sharing eggs is more affordable, this option is increasing access to fertility treatment without compromising the chances of taking home a baby.

How does the Shared Donor Egg Programme make donor egg treatment more affordable?

With the Shared Donor Egg Programme recipients can either use all of the eggs a donor produces or share them—along with significant cost savings—between one or two other couples. Patients can also pair the Shared Donor Egg Programme with the Shared Risk 100% Refund Programme and rest assured with an affordable guarantee of either a taking home a baby or a full refund.

How many embryos should I transfer, and will transferring two or more increase my chances of taking home a baby?

Shady Grove Fertility’s Donor Egg Programme requires donors to be between the ages of 21-32. Many women using donated eggs will find their physician recommends only transferring one blastocyst-stage embryo at a time, to reduce the risk of a multiple gestation.

ESET is elective single embryo transfer, a process by which one good quality blastocyst (or day 5) embryo is transferred back to the patient. The embryos that survive to the blastocyst stage of development are more likely to be strong and healthy. Blastocyst embryos have a much higher chance of implanting than 4 cell (day 2) or 8 cell (day 3) embryos, therefore fewer embryos transferred back are necessary to achieve a pregnancy.

With eSET patients have the best possible chance for a safe pregnancy and healthy baby all without sacrificing chances of pregnancy in order to achieve that peace of mind.

However, it’s important to note, one size does not fit all for the number of embryos transferred. All treatment at Shady Grove Fertility is an individualized process designed to give the best outcome for each couple.

Will I have to wait for a donor?

The Donor Egg Treatment Programme at SGF continues to increase the availability of prescreened (medically, psychologically, and genetically) donors who are ready to donate, without a wait, and ease the logistics of having to travel to America for treatment. With local monitoring available at partner clinics in the UK, patients will only have to travel to the U.S. twice throughout their treatment cycle.

Where can I find more information about donor egg treatment at SGF?

Deciding to move to donor egg treatment is not usually an easy choice. However, being well informed will help you make the decision that is right for you.

To learn more about donor egg treatment, or to schedule a complimentary phone consult with one of our reproductive endocrinologists, please click here to complete this brief online form.


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