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Human desire is never-ending and just like all our other desires, the desire to become parents may be felt at any time. While fulfilling a lot of other desires may not be impossible, there is a good chance of working this one out. If you are over 40 years of age, your doctor is most likely going to tell you that your chances of becoming a mother with your own eggs are very slim. However, this does not deter some women, who are keen on having their own child even if age is no longer on their side.

IVF with Donor Eggs – Do You Need It?

The woman's body is such that her eggs are most fertile when she is under the age of 35. Once she crosses the threshold of 35 years of age, the quality of her eggs begins to decline. By the time she is 40, the quality of these eggs may have declined to a point where they can no longer be used for conception.

There are women who are still able to conceive naturally in their 40s, but that is rare. Some women may no longer be able to produce healthy eggs for an IVF treatment and that is when doctors suggest IVF with donor eggs

You can test your ovarian reserve by doing two simple tests.

1. What’s your blood AMH level.  Read more at http://www.drmalpani.com/knowledge-center/infertility-testing/amh

2. Check your antral follicle count by doing a vaginal ultrasound scan. Read more at http://www.drmalpani.com/knowledge-center/articles/afc

Finally, the best test for your ovarian response is an actual IVF cycle - how good is the quality of your eggs and embryos when the doctor does IVF for you ? If your ovarian response is poor, or your embryo quality is poor, you may want to consider using donor eggs in your next cycle.

READ MORE- Are you The Appropriate Candidate for Donor Eggs? 

The Considerations 

IVF with donor eggs is different from conventional IVF treatments. This is because the egg retrieval step is overridden in this treatment. There are a number of considerations in play here:

  • You have to first decide if you are comfortable withe the idea of using donor eggs.
  • Since the donor is anonymous , this means you need to take a leap of faith that the doctor will select the right donor for you. The good news is that because we use frozen eggs from our egg bank, it's possible for us to closely match physical traits ( height, complexion, colour of eyes, blood group and so on) !
  • If your partner's sperm is unhealthy or unusable, you can opt for donor embryos instead. In this case, though you would be carrying the child, it would have no genetic ties with either you or your partner

The Process 

The doctor will select a donor for you who matches your physical traits ( height, colour of eyes, hair and blood group, for example). Once the donor's egg are mature, she will have to go through the egg retrieval process. She will be superovulated to harvest many eggs in one cycle. These eggs are frozen, which means they can be thawed, fertilised with your husband's sperm, and the resulting embryos then transferred into your uterus when your uterine lining is receptive. The spare embryos can be frozen and then used in the future as needed.


Having an IVF with donor eggs is common, especially when the woman is past the age of 40 or she has unusable eggs. With young donors, the eggs are fertile and the chances of success are much higher.

Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.

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