There are several reasons why a woman may not be able to use her own eggs to conceive a child. In some cases, the woman may not have any eggs at all: her ovaries may have been removed from a previous operation, her ovaries may have been damaged during cancer therapy, or she may have experienced early menopause. In other cases, a woman may simply not have enough eggs, or they may be of poor quality. Whatever the reason, egg donation can be an effective fertility treatment for women who are unable to conceive using their own eggs.

In an egg donation treatment, another woman (the egg donor) undergoes ovarian stimulation. At the same time, the intended recipient undergoes hormonal treatment to prepare her uterus for an embryo transfer. As in a standard in vitro fertilization cycle, eggs are retrieved from the egg donor, fertilized with the recipient’s partner’s sperm (or a donor), and embryos are transferred into the recipient’s uterus.

It is important that patients are well informed about the steps involved and that they are also familiar with the laws in Canada with respect to egg donation. Here, we try to outline some of the key issues and steps required when pursuing egg donation.

Why become an egg donor?

The longing to build a family and nurture a child is one of the most basic and natural desires for many women. Unfortunately, some women are unable to conceive. For many patients, receiving a donated egg is the last hope for a baby. Most of the time, those considering egg donations have tried everything else to conceive- exhaustive testing, countless appointments with fertility specialists, and strained relationships.

Through the Egg Donation Program at Newlife Fertility Centre, these women are given hope. Because caring and compassionate young women make the ultimate gift by donating their eggs, these women are given the opportunity to conceive, carry and deliver a child.

Who can become an Egg Donor in Canada?

Anyone who has been screened for communicable diseases as mandated by Health Canada can become a donor. However, all potential Egg Donors must meet the following basic criteria:

  • Egg donors Age between 21 and 32 years old
  • Egg donor must be a non-smoker
  • A healthy egg donor
  • Mature and prepared to help a couple have a child
  • Have low FSH levels and at least 6 eggs

The egg donor must use fertility drugs to stimulate the development of multiple mature eggs, whereas the recipient takes estrogen and progesterone to prepare the uterus for embryos derived through egg donation. The sperm of the husband, partner, or sperm donor is used to fertilize the eggs.

Anonymous egg donors will go through the following testing procedures before being accepted:

  • Medical history and physical examination.
  • Testing for infectious diseases.
  • Screening for inheritable diseases through family health questionnaire.

They will also be required to sign anonymity consent as well as attend a counseling session prior to donation.

Using an altruistic donor in Canada
Couples often have to find a donor who is known to them, either through family or friends, who are willing to offer their eggs as an altruistic donation (i.e.: the egg donor does not receive payment).
Affiliated program at US Clinics
NewLife works closely with several fertility clinics that have excellent egg donation programs. These Clinics have donor data bases from which patients may chose the donor they wish to use. These clinics would cycle the donor at the same time as the recipient, or intended parent, enabling a fresh rather than a frozen egg to be used. As a NewLife patient, your initial testing and your cycle monitoring are done here in one of our clinics in Ontario. In addition, several visits to the US clinic you’ve chosen would be required in order to meet with the US team, for the male partner to produce a sperm sample, and finally for the embryo transfer. Two weeks after the embryo transfer, you would return to NewLife for a pregnancy test.
Frozen Embryo Bank
The most recent option available to patients is to create embryos using donor eggs. Here’s how this option works: an egg donor is selected from a database, usually in the US or elsewhere internationally. The male intended parent’s sperm is collected and frozen at NewLife. We ship the frozen sperm to the clinic that will be collecting the eggs from the egg donor. That clinic fertilizes the donor egg with the male partner’s sperm provided by NewLife. The resulting embryos are frozen, and then shipped to NewLife. We then perform the frozen embryo transfer at one of our clinics. Please note that any international form of egg donation and its associated medical procedures are not covered by OHIP. All fees/charges for services at international clinics as well as that of the egg bank are charged in US funds. Those fees are payable directly to those clinics, not to NewLife Fertility.

What To Expect During Treatment

If you are using a known egg donor, the donor will undergo an IVF cycle (medication to grow multiple eggs will be used, the eggs will be removed and fertilized with sperm). The resulting embryo will be transferred into the uterus to achieve a pregnancy.

What Information Is Available On Anonymous Egg Donors?

Egg banks provide information on the egg donor’s race, height, weight, personal history, academic performance, and many other demographic details. Also, depending on your preference, you may choose to see photos of the donor and read an essay they have written about themselves.

If you are interested in more information about our egg donation program, please give us a call at 844-225-2429.