The egg donation program was set up to link women that wanted to donate their eggs with those couples that need donated eggs.
A woman might need donated eggs for a number of reasons:
- Premature ovarian failure
- Genetic reasons for not using her own eggs, i.e. some diseases are transmitted genetically.
- Older women who have had previously unsuccessful fertility treatments
Fortunately, a number of women are prepared to donate their eggs in order to help those that need them. The donors are usually between 21 and 35 years old and donate altruistically to a known or an anonymous recipient.
The woman donating her eggs is given fertility drugs to stimulate her ovaries and the development of several mature follicles. Each of these follicles may contain an egg. The recruitment and development of the follicles is regularly monitored by ultrasound scans and blood tests. This is to ensure that the ovarian stimulation is both safe and effective.
Once mature follicles have been produced the eggs are collected using an ultrasound-guided needle through the vaginal wall and into the ovary. This procedure is performed under sedation/local anesthetic. The collected eggs are then placed into culture in the embryology laboratory.
These eggs are then inseminated using the recipient’s partner’s sperm. The next morning the eggs are inspected for signs of fertilization. Those eggs that have normal fertilization are cultured in the laboratory for another 24 – 48 hours. The development of the embryos is monitored and the patients kept advised of their progress.
The recipient will have had her cycle synchronized with that of the donor. This synchronization is achieved using down regulation and hormone replacement medication -this ensures that the recipient’s endometrium is at the optimal stage to receive embryos.
Our fertility specialist performs the embryo transfer procedure. The selected embryos are introduced, through a fine catheter, into the recipient woman’s uterus. Typically 2-3 embryos are transferred depending on the patient’s circumstances. The embryo transfer procedure takes no more than half an hour and few women experience any discomfort.
The pregnancy rate for those treated using donated eggs is 55 % per treatment cycle at Barbados Fertility Centre. However, the success rate is dependant on many factors, such as the number and quality of the donated eggs.
95% of the Barbadian population is African Caribbean, so if you are of this ethnic background it would only be a short wait until we were able to find you a donor. However, if you are of a different ethnic group, then we work with excellent reputable global donor agencies. Their donors are excellent and of many different ethnic origin and we will put you in contact with them so you can have treatment in a very short time frame.
Please contact us for further details.