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Egg Donation - Oocyte Donation

Dr. Gabriel Fiszbajn is an Associate Director and Chief of the Department of Reproductive Medicine of CEGyR, Centro de Estudios en Ginecología y Reproducción (Center of Studies on Gynecology and Reproduction).

The first fecundation with an in vitro fertilization technique in Argentina was performed in this center in 1985. The development of the ICSI (injection of one spermatozoon into an egg or oocyte) procedure in this country in 1994 was again pioneered by CEGyR.

The Egg Donation Program run by CEGyR is the most important one of its kind in Argentina and South America. In 2005 this program treated 250 cases, obtaining a 45% clinical pregnancy rate. This large number of cases and the excellent pregnancy rate is due to the fact that this program has been developed in recent years in accordance with the ASRM (American Society for Reproductive Medicine) standards for the study and selection of donors, as well as for the preparation of recipients, and the coordination of this considerably complex treatment.

The remarkable sucess achieved by this program has called the attention of both professionals and patients from Argentina and other countries, and this has positioned CEGyR as an assistance, advice and treatment center for patients from Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, as well as from Mexico, USA, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, England and other European countries.

Nowadays, 60% of the patients undergoing Oocyte Donation treatments with Dr. Gabriel Fiszbajn are from Argentine interior provinces or from other countries, and this has resulted in the doctor’s regular contact on the Internet with doctors and patients with the aim of streamlining and optimizing times and thus limiting visits to Buenos Aires to the minimum necessary.

Indications for Oocyte Donation

 
 

Menopause
Precocious menopause or premature ovarian failure Perimenopause
Poor egg quality
Poor embryo quality ascribable to eggs
Repeated abortions probably caused by poor oocyte quality
Genetic disorders of female transmission

 
 

Female organs involved in reproduction are: vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. The ovary has the capacity of producing eggs, which are the female gametes forming the embryo when joining the spermatozoon. Ovaries produce eggs during women’s reproductive life, that is, from the moment they begin to menstruate to the moment menstruation disappears at 45 or 50 years (menopause). Sometimes, a woman may no longer ovulate because she ceased to menstruate before the age of 40 (precocious menopause or premature ovarian failure). In both cases she might want to have biological children and this would not be possible. There are also other possibilities, for instance, when a woman does ovulate but her eggs are of a poor quality, incapable of forming an embryo and thus of achieving pregnancy. This condition is detected only in assisted reproduction procedures (such as an IVF or an ICSI), when eggs are retrieved and the specialist can observe them and their behavior. Anyway, it is a known fact that after 42 or 43, the scanty remaining eggs are generally of a poor quality, which makes it extremely difficult to achieve pregnancy. In this case and the previous ones a couple may turn to oocyte donation.

Technique:

Unlike spermatozoa, eggs cannot be frozen, as they die during the procedure. This is why there are no oocyte banks yet (though there are many efforts and advances going on in this area). The eggs that are donated in Argentina come mostly from voluntary women. Only in a few cases, the eggs come from patients undergoing assisted reproduction procedures (on medical recommendation). If these patients produce a number of eggs higher than needed for their own treatment, they have the possibility of making an altruistic donation of the spare eggs.
Voluntaries’ ovaries are stimulated with hormones so that they may produce a significant quantity of eggs. These eggs will be used by the recipient couple (that is, the couple in which the woman produces inadequate eggs or no eggs at all), and injected (via ICSI) with her partner's sperm. This is the way the embryos to be transferred to the recipient woman will be formed. This treatment requires an important coordination effort to perform the retrieval of eggs (from the donor) and the transfer of embryos (to the recipient) within the same cycle. This calls for very accurate coordination between donor and recipient. In CEGyR, this procedure is performed on an anonymous basis, which means that the recipient ignores the donor's identity and the donor ignores the recipient's identity. Oocyte donation is a very complex procedure, not only from the medical point of view but also in psychological terms, since a gamete from a third party with this person’s genetic information is being included. This involves a delicate situation and requires periodical psychological evaluations before and during the procedure.

Donors:

Nowadays, most CEGyR donors are voluntaries whose age ranges from 21 to 29. In the first place they are informed about the characteristics and purpose of the program. Then they are required to undergo clinical and gynecological tests; infectious disease tests such as VIH, B and C hepatitis, VDRL (Venereal Disease Research Laboratory) tests; genetic tests such as karyotype; and they are also tested for the most frequent mutation of cystic fibrosis. Voluntaries are also required to undergo a psychological evaluation and a personality test.
They have to sign informed consent agreements and once they have been assigned the corresponding recipient/s, we proceed to stimulate ovulation, with adequate monitoring, and then we retrieve the eggs under general anesthesia by means of a transvaginal ultrasound.
Each recipient is assigned a minimum of 4 high-quality eggs. In this program, the eggs are shared among recipients according to the number of high-quality eggs available.

Recipients:

Women who are to use donated eggs are known as recipients. In the first place they are informed about the characteristics of the program and have to sign the corresponding agreements. They are required to undergo the necessary tests: clinical, gynecological, infectious disease, endocrinological tests, etc. The recipient is then required to hand in an updated photo of herself and her partner (if she has one) which will be used for the process of compatibilization with the donor. She is also required to undergo a psychological evaluation. Subsequently, her endometrium is prepared so that when the follicle retrieval is performed on the donor, the partner's sperm may be injected into the eggs and after 48-72 hours, embryos may be transferred.
Compatibilization

Oocyte donation is performed on an anonymous basis. CEGyR develops a process of responsible compatibilization between donor and recipient, respecting demands based on physical characteristics of both parties.

Pregnancy rate

The pregnancy rate with this procedure is of 45% per attempt. This is the highest pregnancy rate of all reproduction treatments, because it combines eggs from a young woman and an endometrium perfectly prepared to receive embryos. As each attempt has a similar success rate, if the procedure is repeated, the long-term and medium-term chances are really high.

For further information:

If you are interested in further information about the program and treatment costs, contact Dr. Gabriel Fiszbajn either by e-mail (fiszbajn@cegyr.com) or through Online Queries.

 
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