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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
or through Online Queries.