Understanding IVF: Egg, Sperm and Embryo Donation

When couples have experienced an unsuccessful cycle of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) using their own sperm samples and eggs, as the next step, doctors may recommend the option of using a donor.

Donor laws vary from country to country, therefore you should always learn more about it before choosing a specific country for your IVF procedure. Donation offers quick, efficient access to donated eggs, sperm samples or embryos for couples who are unable to conceive by themselves.

Egg donation

Oocyte (egg) donation is the anonymous and altruistic provision of eggs from a female donor to another woman so she can get pregnant. Any healthy woman who meets physical and psychological conditions established by the legislation certain country can donate her eggs. It is important to note, that these standards are so strict in some countries that only 5% of applicants can donate their eggs.

Nowadays, the female donors are mostly women aged between 18 – 34 and they undergo a whole range of psychological, medical and genetic tests.

If you try getting pregnant using an oocyte donation, you will probably undergo In vitro fertilization treatment. The donated egg could be fertilised by your partner’s sperm or by donor sperm. This treatment involves the following steps:

  • retrieving eggs from a donor’s ovary,
  • fertilise them with sperm in a laboratory dish,
  • transfer to the woman’s uterus, where the embryo will hopefully develop and grow.

The incidence of infertility is on the rise. Female and male causes of infertility are equally represented. Learn more about infertility causes (female&male).

Sperm donation

Sperm donation is used in many cases, nowadays. Firstly, it offers you a way to have a baby if your partner isn’t producing enough healthy sperm for you to get pregnant. Furthermore, it is used when the male partner doesn’t want to pass on an inherited disease. On the other hand, it may be a great option for the individuals who want to have a child by themselves or with a female partner. Sperm donation involves using semen from an appropriately screened man (donor).

Donor sperm can be used for IVF (in vitro fertilization) – to fertilise eggs in a laboratory. This means that the eggs would be extracted and then fertilised by the sperm in a laboratory. Later on, the embryo is placed back to the womb to hopefully grow and develop.

Donor sperm can be also used to fertilise an egg inside your body. This is known as DI – donor insemination. During this method, the sperm sample is passed through a plastic tube that enters the cervix and extends into the womb. This procedure is done around the time the woman ovulates to boost the chance of getting pregnant.

Embryo donation

Embryo donation helps couples to conceive and is an option for couples who require both egg and sperm donation, or single women unable to use their eggs. Embryo donation is a form of third party reproduction.

This type of donation can be defined as the giving of embryos remaining after one couple’s in vitro fertilisation to either another couple/person. Embryo can be either used for implantation (the purpose of getting pregnant) or to medical research.

The born child is then considered to be the child of the woman who carries it and gives birth. The same principle is followed by egg donation or sperm donation. Embryos tend to be donated by couples who have experienced a successful IVF treatment and are eager to help other couples experience the same. Moreover, some of the couples store the embryos for the future.

How do I choose an IVF clinic abroad?

There are so many reasons why people decide to go for a treatment abroad: it might be the waiting list in their home country, low quality of services or cost of the procedures as one of the most decisive factors.

Do you want to undertake your IVF treatment abroad? Check GCR report – Top 10 IVF clinics in Europe.

It does not matter if you would like to undergo dental, cosmetic, IVF or any other type of treatment, it is always better to be prepared – for your own safety and peace of mind. In this article, you can read 5 handy tips to consider before scheduling the first consultation in a clinic abroad. In nutshell:

  1. Do extensive research before choosing a clinic,
  2. Be very curious about selected clinics,
  3. Double check the clinic before booking (look at expertise, facilities, services, feedback score, location, payment methods),
  4. Consult your treatment with your personal doctor,
  5. Use the extra services in the selected clinic.

If you are looking for IVF treatment, testing or ways to increase your chances of getting pregnant, you can find great fertility clinics in our platform GCR right now.

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1 thought on “Understanding IVF: Egg, Sperm and Embryo Donation”

  1. Since its inception, IVF Spring Fertility Clinic has successfully maintained the highest standard of quality for treatment of all its patients. With personalized treatment that caters to each patient’s problem individually, we have successfully helped several infertile couples become parents, with IVF AND IUI treatments. Moreover, we also treat men’s and women’s health issues such as Azoospermia, Uterine Poylps, Oncofertility, and others. With over 15 years of experience, our specialists are experts in the field of fertility treatments, and have achieved the highest success rates. Choose IVF Spring to address your fertility issues, and tell the world your success story.


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