Embryo donation is an IVF treatment method that is recommended for couples when the female cannot get pregnant with her own eggs, or when the male has a diagnosed condition and the couple’s only chance of having a baby is through sperm donation.
During embryo donation, all necessary tests that are compatible with the couple’s physical properties will be carried out. The embryo that is formed using sperm from a sperm bank and egg from a donor via the use of microinjection method (ICSI) is transferred to the embryo recipient female.
This procedure can reach a success rate of around 75%. The sperm and the egg that are used for this procedure are obtained from different people and banks which fit with the criteria of the couple.
After the couple has been given a briefing about the treatment, an embryo donation may be considered as appropriate and the recipient couple is evaluated. In the next stage all necessary tests are carried out for the female, and she will be given instructions about the medications she will need to take. This is followed by ultrasound tests and the couple is then informed about the outcome and, if possible, the date for the embryo transfer.
Even though the donated embryo does not genetically belong to the couple, it allows the mother to experience pregnancy and breast feeding. It also enables the couple to share the pregnancy period and birth itself.
The embryo continues its cell division and growth after it is placed into the uterus. After it reaches a certain level of development, it tears the surrounding membrane (zona pellusida), settles inside the inner layer of the womb (endometrium) and continues to grow. Research has shown that if the embryo does not tear this membrane, pregnancy will not occur.
For women above the age of 35, in patients who had failures with previous IVF trials and in cases where this membrane is thick, puncturing a small hole in the membrane using chemical or mechanical methods before the transfer procedure has noticeably increased the pregnancy rates.
The main objective is to increase the rate of embryo adherence to the uterus and therefore increase the pregnancy rate.