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Egg donation in Greece

What is egg donation?

It sounds complicated but we are going to do our best to shed some light on it. Egg donation, also known as oocyte donation, makes pregnancy possible for women who might not otherwise be able to get pregnant using their own eggs, a case that is often associated with older maternal age. It has been proven that egg/embryo donation is a very effective procedure in a wide range of cases.

The procedure is similar to standard IVF, except that the eggs are sourced from a friend or from an anonymous donor, or an egg bank. The donated eggs are fertilized with the partner’s sperm in a laboratory dish and then the fertilized embryos are transferred to the woman’s uterus.

The success rate varies depending upon the age of eggs, retrieval process, and quality of semen as well as the overall health of the women involved. In most cases, donors are young men and women, have a healthy reproductive system, and are tested negative for hereditary diseases.

What is the egg donation process (for the recipient)?

Let’s see how it works now so as to understand what comes ahead! This is called the “Egg Donor IVF Cycle” and starts a month before.

The cycle starts when the donor’s eggs are prepared for embryo transfer and the mother’s uterus is prepared to accept them. Now it is also the time to start planning your trip if you are thinking about Egg Donation abroad!

The expected mother will begin taking progesterone supplementation. Like estrogen, it helps the preparation of the uterus to accept the embryo. After the egg recovery is finished, the donor’s job is done and you need to have already traveled to the country in which you have selected to perform the treatment.

Then it is the father’s turn to appear! He needs to give a semen sample (at times, the sample might be collected and frozen before. But it’s typically done upon the arrival of the egg recovery.) The recovered donor’s eggs and the father’s sperm cells will be put together. Ideally, a portion of the eggs will be fertilized.

Following three to five days, the expected mother will come into the facility for an embryo transfer. One to two embryos will be moved into the mother’s uterus and all remaining embryos will be frozen for another cycle -if needed. Around ten to fifteen days after the embryo’s transfer, the expected mother will take a pregnancy test.

This is a very quick look at the process of egg donation. It may differ in medication and timeframes, but it gives you an idea so as to start getting familiar with it.

Is egg donation treatment painful?

Egg donation is generally not painful for the recipient. The discomfort or pain, if any, is typically associated with the donor rather than the recipient. Recipients’ involvement primarily consists of preparing their body for embryo transfer, which is not painful. Egg donors receive anesthesia and will be asleep during the procedure, so they will not feel pain. Afterwards, some donors report pelvic cramping and light bleeding, but significant pain is uncommon. Most of them take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen to manage the pain and are back to normal in a few days.

Egg donor process

Have you ever considered the donor’s side? Although anonymous, still they are individuals that will play a huge part in your life, giving you the chance to have a child. Here is their journey.

Oocytes (eggs) are recovered from young women, in the range of 18 and 35 years of age. Egg donors experience strict medical screening, including an intensive clinical history, physical test, mental screening, and ovarian reserve testing to decide whether they are a probable donors. 

Next, the donor will get hormone infusions to prompt the advancement of different eggs. When the eggs are fully grown and ready to be retrieved, the doctor will recover them while she is under sedation, utilizing an ultrasound-guided needle that is embedded into each developed follicle so as the oocyte to be collected. A few eggs will be fertilized in the laboratory utilizing either the partner’s sperm or the chosen contributor’s sperm. A fertilized egg is transferred into the recipient’s uterus.

After this, the embryo will develop into a healthy baby by being embedded into the uterine covering.

The donor’s job is done!

A jar full of chocolate hearts

Who is eligible for egg donation?

  • Couples in which the woman is in menopause–who has low quality or no eggs. Cultural standards are driving an increasing number of women to delay pregnancy, usually until their forties or fifties! Regardless of why you have delayed beginning a family , postmenopausal pregnancy is indeed achievable with a frozen donor egg.
  • Women without any ovaries, who however, have a healthy and functional uterus.
  • Women with hereditary elements that they would rather not inherit them to their kids.
  • Women for whom the previous attempts of IVF ended ineffectively.
  • Women who have lost their egg cells following treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy or having them removed by surgical ways or even experiencing early menopause for no reason.

Who is eligible for egg donor?

To become a female egg donor you must meet certain requirements, depending on the clinic some requirements might change, but usually the ones that are applied across all clinics are:

  1. To be between 19 and 35 years old
  2. Have no personal or family history of genetic diseases or sexually transmitted ones
  3. Have a BMI less than 32
  4. Have no history of drug abuse
  5. Be Greeks or residents of the country

Egg donation success rates

Egg Donation opens up a universe of potential outcomes for women who have attempted to give birth. It helps many women who couldn’t get pregnant with their own eggs to become pregnant effectively, regardless of whether they utilize fresh or frozen contributor eggs.

Researchers and statistics say that on average 1 in 2 women having IVF treatment with donor eggs will have a baby while the rates in egg donation are smaller.

Now let’s talk about numbers. Although egg donation success rates and statistics are very debatable, there are some conclusions that can be draw. Most statistics do not include very important factors regarding egg donation and for that reason, cannot be taken as an undeniable fact. What we can do is give you an estimate and as every case is unique, you cannot know which side are you on before your doctor examines your medical history and your current health state.  

There is an 80% possibility that after the treatment, you will get appropriately developing embryos.

75-85% possibility that the embryos placed to your uterus will embed accurately.

70-80% possibility that there will be a diagnosis of biochemical pregnancy (1 week after the embryo is transferred).

55-65% possibility that there will be a diagnosis of clinical pregnancy (12-week ultrasound check).

And around a 45-55% possibility of giving birth.

Fresh eggs vs frozen eggs

There is no clear answer to that question! IVF experts do not tend to agree about whether using a fresh or frozen embryo to a woman’s womb offers a more successful result. What we can do is point out the differences.

a frozen egg

Fresh Eggs Pros and Cons

IVF with fresh eggs history and research goes way back! Many births since the 1980s have been achieved with fresh eggs.

It’s worth mentioning that the beneficiary’s cycle must be synchronized with the donor’s cycle, which can cause delays in having an embryo transfer.

Documented cases using fresh donated eggs for IVF conclude that success rates are a little bit higher!

But they are more expensive than the frozen ones.

Frozen Eggs Pros and Cons

It’s critical to keep in mind that frozen donor egg banks are not legally committed to reporting achievement rate information like clinics are. The technology is new and there are no safe and concrete results in relation to the fresh egg donation process. For that matter, currently, the success rates are lower but yet improving.

You don’t need to synchronize your cycle with the contributor, on the grounds that the donation has been done.

The time frame between picking a donor and getting an embryo transferred can be shorter.

Expenses per treatment cycle are lower.

So, it basically depends on your priorities to choose the one vs the other.

How do the genetics of egg donation work?

There are some questions that probably arise when thinking of egg donation. Will the baby look like me? Or like my partner? Or like the Egg Donor? How would I feel? 

The truth is that genetics move in mysterious ways. Even with biological parents, you are never sure about the looks of your baby. The uncertainty applies to everybody. DNA is responsible for the features and how they are passed over from one generation to another. The variability and the extent of hereditary qualities make it difficult to know for sure how your child will look before being conceived, just think that a human DNA is involved 46 chromosomes, with each parent passing on 23 out of 46. Geneticists state that there are 60,000 to 100,000 qualities in everybody’s chromosomes. If you consider all possible combinations, a couple can have 64 trillion unique kids! Picking an Egg Donor for your IVF who looks like you, doesn’t ensure that the physical attributes will be passed on to your infant.

Why choose Greece for egg donation?

It is indeed a big decision for you to make that cannot be taken light-heartedly. You have to do a lot of research before proceeding –and that is how it supposed to be. For that reason, these are the facts so as you can have a complete view and be able to make the best decision possible.

Egg donation cost in Greece.

Greece is significantly affordable compared to the costs of other countries abroad.
* Donor IVF in the US costs around $35,000 (about 5 times more than Greece) while in the UK the average cost of an Egg Donation cycle is around £9,000 (about double the price in Greece).

There are at least 50 IVF facilities in Greece scattered around the country, very well equipped with expertise personnel and doctors.

As per Greek law, egg donors ought to be somewhere in the range of 18 and 35 years of age, and are chosen following a very strict clinical screening.

Due to the anonymity law, the donor’s information cannot be given to the recipient and vice versa.

Most IVF techniques are permitted by law so the choices are many. A wide range of fertility treatment procedures is allowed, regardless of marital status and sexual orientation

There is a great donor availability, with no waiting lists.

Last but not least, it is a very attractive destination if you want to combine the treatment with some relaxed vacation!

Still, thinking about it?

Why choose MEDIPASS to help you with your fertility journey?

Because our fertility clinics have the highest quality of care, high success rates in fertilization, and the highest standards of medical expertise, science and health, state of art facilities. 

We care about your feelings and thoughts on this difficult yet rewarding journey. That is why we have also created a Facebook Group for people with infertility struggles to talk about their experiences and find support through other people that may experience the same.

We know the amount of strength you will need in case there will be unsuccessful attempts but we will be here for you in either scenario.

We understand all your concerns and doubts and that you do not want to be rushed into a decision before weighing all the facts and that is why we are here to answer all your inquiries as detailed as possible.

This is our approach and mentality and since no one can predict the outcome beforehand, what we surely can do is make you feel valued and supported

Check our cooperating clinics and fertility doctors providing egg donation in Greece and start your journey with MEDIPASS as your fellow traveler!

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Egg donation in Greece