The Egg Recipient’s Treatment
Before starting a treatment, the recipient couple is informed of basic physical characteristics of the donor, such as skin, eyes and hair colour and also her blood type.
After a donor is chosen for a couple, the treatment begins for both donor and recipient couple simultaneously. The use of fresh collected semen and the fresh (non-frozen) embryos transfer increases this procedure’s possibilities of success. The fact that both egg recipient and donor begin the treatment simultaneously avoids the taking of estrogens for a long time by the recipient.
The hormonal treatment done by the egg recipient aims to thicken the endometrium (the mucous membrane that lines the uterus) in order to increase the possibilities of embryo implantation.
The treatment is done with estrogen tablets and starts with the beginning of menstruation. At the end of the treatment vaginal progesterone is also used to help the embryo implantation process. The endometrial thickening is evaluated through one or more vaginal ultrasound scans.
Egg Fertilisation and Embryonic Development
The couple shall do blood tests to prove the inexistence of Hepatitis B,Hepatitis C, HIV (AIDS) and syphilis. These tests may be done in AVA Clinic or the couple can choose other credited laboratory.
Eggs and semen are collected on the same day. All eggs are fertilised through microinjection (ICSI).
he fertilisation of eggs is observed on the following day and the embryos’ development is accompanied for some days before they are transferred into the uterus.
The transfer of one or two embryos into the egg recipient’s uterus is performed with a soft catheter. Transfer is painless. In case good quality embryos exist (besides those transferred) they can be frozen for the recipient couple to use later on. This procedure avoids the use of a new donor reducing thus the waiting time and treatment expenses.
After the embryo transfer, it is essential to continue taking estrogens and progesterone until the pregnancy test is done. This test consists in a blood test done 14 days after the transfer.
In case the outcome is positive, medication continues until the 10th or 12th week of the gestational period. If it is negative, medication is suspended and menstruation appears. As in normal pregnancies there is always a small risk of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.
When evaluating the risk of chromosomal changes during pregnancy, it is important to be aware of the donor’s age and not the egg recipient’s one.
The average success rate for each donation is 45 to 55% each transfer.
Legal and Ethical Aspects
AVA Clinic follows all legal precepts and recommendations of the CNPMA (Conselho Nacional de Procriação Medicamente Assistida – National Counsel for Medically Assisted Procreation) as well as the European Directive on Tissues.
Every tests result is given to the donors and in case they are not accepted for medical reasons, they are informed. Donors acknowledge that their eggs are exclusively used to help other women to overcome fertility problems. The donor has no rights or obligations towards the egg recipient’s pregnancy or any child born from donation. According to the Portuguese Civil Code, the woman that gives birth to a child is always its legal mother. Both donor and recipient couple acknowledge and sign a document containing quite explicitly all information received and in which they give their consent for the donation process.