When sorting through the database of potential egg donors, it’s not hard to notice that there is one thing that they all have in common. They’re all young. This is not because of vanity or coincidence, it’s a deliberate choice. While most people understand that fertility works best in a woman’s youth, they may not understand why it is so crucial to choose an egg donor who is under the age of 30.
A woman’s body will release the best available egg each month, starting at the time of her first ovulation. By the time a woman reaches her thirties, her egg reserve may be starting to weaken. At this point she may begin releasing eggs that are not as high in quality as the ones she has been releasing over the previous 15-20 years. Continue reading
Some women come to Growing Generations with one simple need: a viable egg. Many women are capable of getting pregnant and sustaining a healthy pregnancy, but lack the availability of a viable egg to do this on her own.
In the instance of egg donation, the intended mother would seek an egg donor and then implant the embryo, created from the donated ovum and the sperm of her partner or a sperm donor, into her own uterus. The result would be that the intended mother carries her child herself, although she and the child will share not a genetic link. Continue reading
The term “mosaic” is assigned to an embryo that is found to have both normal and abnormal cells during PGS testing at the 5 day blastocyst stage. In this form of testing, doctors are able to look for and detect, with a high amount of accuracy, the presence or absence of certain genes that may lead to developmental concerns later in pregnancy. For example, tests are often able to detect the presence of an additional copy of chromosome 21, a condition that leads to Downs Syndrome.
In IVF, these tests are generally performed in an effort to transfer only the best quality embryos into an awaiting uterus. With the high costs of IVF treatments and the fact that donor egg cycles often result in more viable embryos than needed, many couples choose to test for abnormalities and then discard any embryos that suggest less-than-optimal chances for implantation. Continue reading
As science continues to advance and doctors learn more about embryos and IVF technology, we continue to see new terminology and practices in the field. Recent studies conducted by the world’s largest genetic laboratory, Reprogenetics, have introduced the IVF community to a new term and potential game changer in the assisted reproductive technologies world: mosaic embryos.
Mosaic is the term now assigned to embryos found to possess both normal and abnormal cells during preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) testing. Continue reading
The goal of your egg retrieval is to create as many viable embryos as possible. The reality is that, even if your egg retrieval leads to 30 viable embryos, you’re likely to transfer no more than two. The most common outcome is that many of your “left over” embryos will be frozen for potential future transfers.
The embryo freezing process takes just a matter of hours to complete. The first step involves bathing the embryos in a solution that is similar to sucrose. The solution forces all moisture out of the embryo to prevent ice crystals from forming during freezing. Such crystals would destroy an embryo.
During your initial consultations you will be asked to consider and decide on any potential tests you’d like to have completed on your developing embryos. Most tests are performed after creation of the embryo and prior to their transfer into your surrogate’s uterus. These tests can highlight a number of things from sex of the fetus to presence of any potential genetic disorders.
Understanding the different types of tests available is a bit like eating a bowl of alphabet soup; they’re all abbreviated and occasionally medical professionals can forget that this may be your first experience to these tests. Perhaps the most often confused tests are the Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) and Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening (PGS). Both tests require a biopsy be completed on your embryo on day 5 or 6. Here’s a look at how these two very similar tests differ.
Choosing to use an egg donor to help create your family is a choice that can come with a lot of questions. The question of whether or not the egg donor will want to meet with the child that results from her donation is frequently asked. Rest assured that, in nearly all cases, the resounding answer is no, they will not.
For most donors, the detachment starts before the donation is even scheduled. Many of our egg donors tell us they do not feel attached to the eggs they will be donating in a maternal or possessive way. Continue reading
The medical cycle for an egg donor or intended mother (IM) serves two purposes: it stimulates the body to create multiple eggs at once and manages the timing of ovulation. The goal is to create a large number of viable eggs on the same schedule of the surrogate’s best days to conceive.
The first step is to sync the donors monthly cycle with the cycle of the person who will be carrying the embryo. Continue reading
Some intended mothers in our surrogacy program have the choice between acting as an egg donor herself, or to choose an egg donor. Many intended mothers will need to choose an egg donor based on medical reasons while others will opt for an egg donor based solely on the intended mother’s age. For years, doctors have believed that women beyond 35 years of age are not likely to produce viable eggs of a high enough quality to result in a positive IVF experience. However, new research is starting to challenge this long-held belief. Continue reading
Most couples arriving at surrogacy expect to conceive a child with a biological relation to them by the close of the process. However, there are rare cases in which a donated embryo may be a viable option for some couples. Continue reading