Category Archives: Medicine

Egg donation – step by step


pregnancy-784671_640The advancement in the field of assisted reproduction for last decadeshas enabled numbers of infertile couples to enjoy having children. Methods such as In Vitro Fertilization show high probability of success in cases like blocked or damaged fallopian tubes, problems with ovulation and defects in sperm quantity, quality or mobility. In a regular IVF cycle egg cells retrieved from female patients are being combined with partners’ sperm in order to develop embryos. However, for many women the problem is not easily overcame with IVF technology whentheir oocytes lack the ability to be fertilized or for various reasons the quality of their cells or possible repercussions of using them in the procedure might cause the need of looking for other solution. In such cases the best option is an In Vitro Fertilization with egg donation that allows to bypass all the problems connected with patient’s ova. Here are a few things you need to know on how the process goes and what is most important from the beginning to the procedure.

  1. Diagnosis

First, the most important and often the most difficult stage is a diagnosis. Usually it is a year of unsuccessful attempts to conceive that is an indicator for stating the existence of infertility, however it might be also diagnosed much sooner as impairment of ovaries, malfunctions, diseases, infection or other factors are being diagnosed. Finding out might be emotionally hard but it is important not to give up on hope for procreation. Being properly diagnosed is a first step to treatment and recovery, and it is a huge step ahead comparing to dealing with undiagnosed infertility.

The diagnosis is usually carried throughout initial visits with examination. Medical screening and all the necessary laboratory tests allow to rule out some factors, state the possible cause of infertility and choose the right method of treatment, most suitable for particular case.

  1. Decision on the method

Being aware of the infertility just like in any medical condition means the necessity of deciding on the way how to get treated. Usually the doctors recommend going through the methods accordingly: from most natural and least invasive methods to more medically advanced, with IVF at the end. With properly diagnosed female infertility factor being an indication for In Vitro Fertilization with egg donation, this can be the first method of choice which allows to save time that is often of essence.

Experts in the IVF facilities serve with guidance and counselling on the topic of the procedure. With the help of the specialists patients can choose what is the most convenient for them – whether it is a complete egg donor cycle with exclusive donor, egg sharing or shared egg donor cycle. They can either select an IVF with fresh or frozen donor eggs, or have an implantation of frozen embryos which can come from embryo donation. Also the patients can choose the additional treatment options for example preimplantation genetic diagnosis or additional consultations and tests.

  1. Choice of clinic

Deciding on the procedure you need to pick the best clinic to ensure high quality and efficacy rate.  Nowadays the choice is almost unlimited when it comes to decision on countries and their facilities. Also there is a huge range of different options when considering various criteria. This is when specialised online services such as come to succour, facilitating the decision making. It contains all the necessary information about the egg donation itself, countries where the procedure is available, top clinics and choice of services they provide (for more info visit You can search through the database of the facilities choosing the criteria important for you, compare particular places. Egg Donation Friends allows to pick the most suitable clinic for patients’ individual needs.

  1. Selection of donor

Some clinics reveals complete information about women donating their eggs, others provide patients with only basic information such as blood type, age, height or hair and eye colour. In every case the clinic is required to collect and share with patients full medical history of a donor and make sure she is healthy by carrying out thorough examination of a donor prior to a procedure.

Depending on domestic regulations of different countries and personal preferences of patients they can either decide on using ova from anonymous or known donor. This decision has important implications for the future of the family and possible relationship of a child with a donor. Both choosing anonymous or non-anonymous or even familiar donor has its own advantages. One way or another the donation should be based on the written agreement settling the rights and legal situation of the patients and donors.

Also the clinic sets out the rules of financial side the donation. For a young person becoming an egg donor can be very psychologically rewarding by setting a mission and enabling to help infertile couples in pursuit of parenthood. The financial retribution is only a part of the process in which donating a cell can make somebody else’s dream come true. The financial gratification needs to be treated more like a return on investing time and effort as well as incurring any expenses, not as a source of income. Also it is important to remember that the issue of legality of paying for an oocyte or any other cell is questioned in many countries and in some of them the donation needs to be absolutely gratuitous. The clinic usually provides a legal guidance and helps patients and donors to settle all the formal issues.

  1. Preparation and the procedure

When all the decisions are made the treatment begins. First part is an egg production where donor’s ovaries are stimulated to produce multiple eggs. The recipient is being medically prepared for embryo transfer and to support pregnancy.Then the donor eggs retrieval is carried out. Next step is the partner’s or donor’s sperm donation, followed by fertilization in IVF laboratory and embryos culturing. Then embryo or embryos are transferred into recipient’s uterus. At this time remaining embryos may be frozen in the process called criopreservation. To find out what is the outcome of the procedure there is a program verification and pregnancy testing.

What are fertility factors?


Infertility and problems with conceiving a child are more and more common in our society. Some scientists even talk of the epidemic of infertility among women and men. Although the situation may not be as serious for many couples some conditions are effectual obstacle to starting a family. How to detect and avoid infertility factors and if it is possible to completely rule them out are important questions for future parents.

Female and Male Fertility

There are fundamental differences between female and male fertility. Female egg cells are already formed at the beginning of woman’s life, during prenatal period. In an adult life woman’s ova develop from the large number of cells called primary oocytes situated in the ovary – about 2 million of primary oocytes are present at birth and none of them are created after birth. It contrasts with male continuous production of sperm cells during the whole period after puberty. The process of spermatogenesis takes place de novo – sperm cells form each time right before ejaculation. That is why age plays huge role in female reproduction processes and does not affect so much male reproductive capabilities. That fact also constitutes that age is one of the most important factor of female fertility that have ‘expiry date’ counted by released egg cells during each ovulation and ending around time of the beginning of menopause. The highest fertility is achieved at the age of twenty to twenty-fife. For various reasons, fewer women at this age give birth and this decision is postponed for later. After the age of thirty fertility already begins to decline up to the age of forty when there is only 5 percent chance of fertilization during one menstrual cycle. That is why age factor is of essence for female fertility while for men decrease of sperm cells’ quality is not so vital.

Also the terms of fertility are different among women and men. For men being fertile means to be capable of properly producing healthy sperm cells in sufficient quantities and release them while completing sexual intercourse. For women it is more complex – fertility denotes the ability to sexual intercourse, then to conceive a child, then to get pregnant (capability to induce embryo’s development in the fallopian tube and its implantation in the uterus), after that to carry out the pregnancy, to give birth and in the end to breast-feed a child. Additionally female fertility occurs repeatedly at certain moments of menstrual cycle while male fertility is constant.

Determinants of infertility

General differences between female and male fertility result in disparity of factors effecting it and causing its decrease. Some of the variables concern only women, however there are also certain determinants that apply more or less to both sexes. Among fertility factors there are for instance genetic predisposition – some genetic diseases and aberrations induce absolute lack of fertility, some others may cause some organic malfunctions that may cause partial or temporary infertility. Additionally children inherit parents’ capacities such as for example difficulties to conceive or other health problems like thyroid disorders, tendencies for obesity and other factors decreasing potential for reproduction. Also factors from the earliest development – from fetal life so for example medicaments and substances that our mother took, infections the mother went through effecting fetus’ features and among that future fertility or even wrong diet of the mother – on one hand eating too much unhealthy food that do not contain much nutrients, and on the other eating not enough food and being undernourished causing low child’s birth weight, may induce number of health problems in child’s adult life one of which is being infertile.

Especially for females, an important factor is body built – healthy weight, being generally fit and even thinner waistline help to maintain fertility on a high level. On the opposite – obesity and unhealthy lifestyle can cause severe damages to fertility and cause not only general problems but also difficulties to procreate due to causing hormonal abnormalities. However too much exercise and drastic weight loss may as well cause the decrease of the level of oestrogen and as a result lower fertility so it is important to maintain the state of balance in terms of weight level and amount of physical activities. Unbalanced diet can cause infertility, but there are  dietary substances harmless at a glance that lower oestrogen level which are for instance coffee, tea (caffeine products) and soy containing phytoestrogens that replace actual hormones. For both sexes drinking alcohol, smoking, being overweight and suffering from sleep deprivation cause hormonal problems and as a result lower chances for conception.

Among the diseases that induce infertility most important are direct reproductive organs illnesses or anatomic abnormalities, insufficiency or poor quality of gametes as well as hormones shortages. Other main infertility factors are thyroid problems (mainly hypothyroidism), diabetes and other metabolic diseases, untreated gluten intolerance, immune system disorders, hyperprolactinemia which is an excessively elevated level of prolactin and infections that are systemic or effect directly female and male gonads.

Many infertility factors are possible to eliminate. Factors, such as obesity, wrong diet, stimulants and bad habits, sleep deficiency or unhealthy lifestyle are what can be altered and improved in order to obtain high level of fertility. If those are the only problems that the couple need to face, simple guidance of doctor dealing with fertility issues will be enough. The situation is more complex if there are other infertility factors diagnosed – then the proper attendance of infertility treatment facilities’ specialists may be indispensable not only for reproductive reasons but also for general health condition. Then it is recommended to look for necessary help at fertility clinics in home country or abroad. Good option for those who take into consideration infertility treatment in other country are INVICTA Fertility Clinics specialising in the comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of infertility that can pride themselves in success rate exceeding European and UK standards (more: click).