Oocyte donation, which is namely another term used alternately for egg donation, is a process by which a healthy woman donates her eggs to another woman who might not be able to conceive by herself naturally. This is not only done as part of an assisted reproductive remedy or solution but also used in biomedical research.
Usually, in case of Assisted Reproductive Technology, egg donation is usually followed by in vitro fertilization (IVF) technology where the eggs are fertilized with the sperms artificially in the lab. In some cases (although very rare), female eggs are sometimes frozen and stored for future use. In an analogy, you can describe the ‘Donor Oocyte Program’ as a third party reproduction venture of ART.
Types of Donors
The following are the types of donors who can generally participate in a ‘donor oocyte program’:
- Autonomous or semi-autonomous donors: These women are oocyte donors who generally do it for monetary or altruistic purposes. They may even be recruited by egg donor agencies or IVF clinics. There may also be non-autonomous donors who can choose to share contact information with the recipients.
- Designated donors: Some acquaintance, such as a friend or relative who the recipient might have brought along with herself especially for the purpose of egg donation and thereby, helping them. Bringing along a designated donor will help in getting your name ahead on the waiting list.
- Shared donors: Women who go through in vitro fertilization can also opt for donating their unused eggs to this donor program where egg recipients together help pay the high cost for the entire IVF procedure.
The donor oocyte program is a blessing for women with ovarian agenesis or premature ovarian failure. Such women are also allowed the liberty to choose whichever donor oocytes and husband sperm they wish to implement.
In case of women with non-functioning ovaries, donor oocyte program can be used to counteract premature ovarian failure, ovarian agenesis, Menopause Symptoms and bilateral oophorectomy.
In case of women with functioning ovaries, donor oocyte programs can be used to counteract risks of inheritable genetic defects in children, failed IVF due to poor quality of oocytes, inaccessible ovaries and post radiotherapy conditions.