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When there is complete lack of eggs or when eggs are of poor quality, donor eggs are used. Early onset of menopause or lack of response to ovarian stimulation for previous unsuccessful IVF treatments could mean that there is a complete depletion of eggs. Often women who do not respond to IVF drugs are peri-menopausal and are likely to hit menopause within the next five years or so.

The process of egg donation involves the following steps:

  • The steps followed for an IVF stimulation procedure are followed until the eggs are collected
  • The eggs are then donated to the recipient couple. The donor egg is then fertilised with the recipient partner’s sperm
  • Alongside, the recipient also receives hormonal drugs so that her ‘cycle’ is synchronised and her uterus is ready for implantation of the transferred embryo
  • The donor as well as the recipient must go through counselling as there are medical risks in the case of IVF

In the case of donor eggs, while chances of pregnancy are similar to that of conventional IVF, the donor’s age is a key factor that impacts success rates.