Ask the Surrogacy Experts

“”We are wondering about the process of egg donation and the role it plays in surrogacy, in particular the use of our own egg donor. What are the requirements that need to be met before she would be able to donate.”
— Angela and Tony


Good morning Angela and Tony…

People often underestimate the importance of their egg donor to the success of their surrogacy program. Of the failed surrogacy attempts I’ve seen, a significant majority were the result of a poor egg donation that didn’t provide enough high-quality eggs. Poor egg donations result in very few or low-quality embryos, which in turn results in a negative pregnancy.

In most surrogacy programs, you can donate the eggs yourself or use your own egg donor… but before you make that decision you should have your donor undergo some basic fertility tests to make sure she’s capable of giving you a good result. Egg donation is perhaps the most critical component of your surrogacy procedure, and you should ensure that your donor is fertile with a large reserve of available eggs.

Here’s what you should do to know if your donor is qualified and can kick-start a successful IVF and surrogacy cycle:

1) At the start of your natural cycle, you should have a ‘Follicular Ultrasound’ (also known as an Ovarian Scan). This is used to gauge the ovarian volume and a count of the existing egg follicles. The number of visible follicle is a strong predictor of how many eggs will be retrieved.

2) Also at the start of your cycle, you must undergo a hormone screening to show the levels of fertility hormones in your blood, which is an indicator of your overall fertility. Along with basic information, the scan should include fertility hormones including Anti-Müllerian hormone (often called AMH), Luteinizing hormone (also known as LH or lutropin), Follicle stimulating hormone (also known as FSH), and Estradiol (also spelled oestradiol).

Note that you would only be considered a viable candidate for egg donation if the FSH level on day 2 is less than 10 and the AMH level is more than 1.0. In addition, the clinic normally requires a minimum of 6 visible follicles.

I hope this helps.
— Bill


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