(EGG AND SPERM DONATION)
Reception of donor eggs
These guidelines are for couples or single women whereby the woman is treated with eggs that have been donated by another woman. In Denmark it’s permitted to fertilise donor eggs with either the recipient partner’s sperm or donor sperm. In connection with donor-donor treatment (double donation), at least one of the donors must be non-anonymous.
Who can receive donor eggs?
Egg donation can be used for the following women:
- Women who experience the menopause early and can therefore no longer produce eggs.
- Women who have Turner’s syndrome and are born without ovaries.
- Women who’ve had their ovaries removed due to cancer, endometriosis or infection.
- Women whose own eggs cannot result in pregnancy.
- Women under the age of 46.
Which requirements do we have with respect to the woman donating eggs (the egg donor)
- The woman must be no older than 35 years of age.
- The woman must be physically and mentally fit.
- The woman must be from a healthy family without any known hereditary diseases.
- The woman must be examined for Hepatitis B and C, AIDS (HIV virus) and syphilis. These tests must be no more than one month old when retrieving the eggs.
It must be emphasised that the woman hasn’t been examined to ascertain whether she’s carrying hereditary diseases, as this isn’t practically possible.
Preliminary consultation prior to receiving donor eggs
At this consultation, we’ll obtain a medical record and provide information about the egg donation procedure. An ultrasound scan of the uterus and ovaries is carried out, after which a plan of treatment is determined.
Any prior fertility treatment will be reviewed and used to put together the ideal treatment. We’ll therefore always request a copy of previous medical records that should be forwarded prior to the first, non-binding consultation.
The woman will receive a prescription for:
Hormones for stimulation of the donor and herself.
Sperm from partner
In connection with egg donation, the man must deliver a semen sample in advance which will be frozen for fertilisation of the donor eggs. The semen sample can be produced here at the clinic or brought from home if transport time is less than an hour. You can get a plastic cup for the semen sample at the clinic. The semen sample must be kept warm during transport (e.g. under your jumper so that it doesn’t get cold).
Anonymous donor sperm from European Sperm Bank can be used, which we always have a representative supply of. If there’s a need or a wish for sperm from a donor without anonymity, this can be ordered from either European Sperm Bank, Cryos or SellmerDiers Sperm Bank at the expense of the couple/woman. We can store the sperm for an annual fee (see current price list).
Hormone therapy for recipients of eggs with regular menstrual cycle
When you’ve been notified that frozen, fertilised eggs (blastocysts) are ready, we can plan the embryo transfer. Initially the woman doesn’t begin hormone therapy, but simply has to undergo a scan after 10-12 days, such that we can keep record on the growth of the dominant follicle. When this reaches a size of 17-20 mm, an ovulation injection (typically Ovitrelle 250 micrograms) must be taken and embryo transfer will then take place one week later. All patients then receive a supplement of Ovitrelle, 12 clicks on the day the embryo is transferred and 12 clicks 4 days later in order to ensure hormone production. When the doctor deems it to be beneficial, a progesterone supplement must be taken in the form of Crinone gel or Lutinus according to the schedule and until the results of the pregnancy test are available 12 days later. You take a urine test yourself, but can also have a blood test taken by your own GP or at the nearest hospital laboratory.
Hormone therapy for women who rarely or never have menstruation
When you’ve been notified that frozen, fertilised eggs (blastocysts) are ready, we can plan the embryo transfer. The endometrium of the uterine wall is built up and made ready to receive the fertilised egg by means of oestrogen. Oestradiol 2 mg must be taken, 3 tablets at night, or oestrogen plaster (2 x 75 micrograms every second day) to build up the endometrium.
You must meet at the clinic for an ultrasound scan after approx. 10 days’ treatment. We’ll check whether the endometrium is ready to receive the fertilised egg. If it has the correct appearance and thickness, we’ll find a suitable day for embryo transfer. A course of Crinone or Lutinus will begin 6 days prior to embryo transfer as per instruction.
Following transfer, you must continue with Østradiol tablets or oestrogen plaster and Crinone or Lutinus according to the schedule for the next 12 days, after which you can take a urinary pregnancy test or ask your own GP to take a pregnancy blood test. It’s crucial that you continue taking all the hormones until you are told otherwise by the clinic.
When we have eggs for you
When we have donor eggs for you, we’ll contact you by telephone and give you instructions with regard to the start up of Østradiol or a scan in your own cycle.
Embryo transfer with donor eggs
Embryo transfer is performed much like an ordinary gynaecological examination.
The egg is introduced to the uterus by means of a thin plastic catheter, which is led up through the cervix canal. A nurse will simultaneously scan your pelvic region so that we can follow the catheter and ensure correct placement of the egg. The procedure is normally carried out without any discomfort. You must turn up with a bladder that’s half-full, i.e. you should urinate two hours before the appointment and then drink a large glass of water 1-2 hours prior to embryo transfer. The advantage of a full bladder is that it enables a much clearer ultrasound image and straightens out the angle between the cervix and the uterine cavity, thus making it easier to carry out the transfer of the egg.
Side-effects in connection with Crinone treatment and Østradiol
Some women will find that some clotted, greyish discharge will emerge from the vagina when taking Crinone. Any excess remnants should be removed when taking a shower in the morning.
As you’re being treated with a relatively large dose of female sex hormone Østradiol, side-effects can occur in the form of tiredness and fluid build-up, breast tension and bloated stomach, in addition to mild cramping in the abdomen.
Precautions following embryo transfer with donor eggs
After embryo transfer you should take it easy and perhaps call in sick at work for a few days until the eggs have become attached 1-2 days later. The eggs are only 1/10 mm in size and can’t fall out of the uterus. However, it’s recommended to subsequently refrain from heavy exercise, swimming baths or baths in a bathtub for a period of 2 weeks. Sex can be resumed after one week.
When the pregnancy blood test is positive after implantation of donor eggs
If the pregnancy test is positive, treatment is continued with both Østradiol and Crinone for a further 6 weeks until the 10th week of pregnancy. Women that are treated in their natural cycle don’t take any hormones or continue with Crinone according to agreement. A pregnancy scan is carried out 3-4 weeks after a positive test.
The foetus will not suffer if you take hormones at the beginning of your pregnancy.
If the pregnancy test is negative
If the pregnancy blood test is negative, you can stop taking both Østradiol and Crinone. You’ll then bleed a few days later. Women who’ve had embryo transfer in their natural cycle will typically experience bleeding if the egg hasn’t attached itself to the uterus. Crinone may delay this bleeding and shouldn’t be continued in the event of a negative test.
If there are several frozen eggs, you can agree on the start up of new treatment according to the same principle as before.
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