What is Shady Grove Fertility’s Shared Donor Egg Programme?

13th May 2016

Pioneered by Shady Grove Fertility co-founder and Programme Director, Michael J. Levy, M.D., the Shared Donor Egg Programme was developed to reduce the cost of donor egg treatment all while maintaining a donor egg recipient’s chances of success. By sharing donated eggs with one or two other recipients, patients can share the cost of the donor, the most expensive part of treatment. And after over 3,000 donor egg cycles, we are well versed in synchronizing each recipients’ treatment cycle with the donor, without compromising our patients’ chances of pregnancy.

The Reason for a Shared Donor Egg Programme

The reason for the programme is simple, “A single donor egg cycle can be extremely expensive. And then on top of the cost of treatment, in two-thirds of our donor cycles, more eggs were retrieved than necessary for an individual couple, which in turn meant that more excess frozen embryos were created,” explains Dr. Levy.

The Shared Donor Egg Programme allows for more access—and less waiting for patients—through sharing this essential yet limited resource, and alleviates the potential burden of too many unused frozen embryos.

A Pragmatic Approach to Treatment

An analysis of more than 2,000 donor egg cycles at Shady Grove Fertility clearly demonstrated that the majority of egg donors will produce enough eggs to share with more than one recipient. On average, an egg donor will produce 21 eggs in a single cycle; 60 percent (or 13 eggs) of those are fertilized and 60 percent (or 8) will result in high-quality embryos (or 8 eggs). While we will only proceed with a cycle if four mature eggs are available for a recipient, our goal is to transfer one high-quality blastocyst embryo to the recipient. If any extra high-quality embryos remain, we can freeze them.

“We have had great success with international patients. We have established relationships with fertility caregivers in the UK, and have had many international patients ‘cross the pond’ and seek our services, especially our Shared Donor Egg Programme. Most patients thus far are choosing the 1:3 (one donor, three recipients) option,” Dr. Levy reports.

“The response to this innovative programme has been beyond expectation. Even better, there has been no decrease in success rates when recipients share donor eggs. We are proud to provide a treatment that achieves excellent pregnancy rates at an affordable cost,” adds Dr. Levy.


If you have any questions about Shady Grove Fertility’s Shared Donor Egg Programme, please reach us by phone at 0208 003 0827 or email Amanda Segal, international patient liaison, at [email protected].


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