It is evident that the process of egg donation is unique and differs from the process of sperm donation. Sperm donation simply requires a man’s involvement in a clinic’s private room and usually no physician involvement, while the medical process of egg donation is significantly more cumbersome and sometimes problematic.
Sperm banks have existed worldwide throughout the decades, yet the popularity of egg donation has only grown over the past ten years. Since egg donation process is relatively new in the overall history of Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART), processes and regulations as to this practice are still forming just as technology and legal issues continue to evolve.
According to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, there are a few main medical reasons why people need to use an anonymous egg donor:
lack of available oocytes or of follicles, acquired or congenital, caused by natural menopause,
women who carry a serious hereditary diseases, and who wish to minimize the chance that the diseases will be passed on to their children,
women whose age is sufficiently advanced, so that their fertility potential is impaired significantly, also women who have had poor-quality embryos during previous IVF cycles.
Each month a woman should produce one egg cell. However, with egg donation process, coupled with the assistance of ART, anonymous egg donors’ ovaries are stimulated with hormone medications, while under the medical care of the reproductive physician, to help create numerous eggs for retrieval and ultimate donation. Keep in mind when working with the international surrogacy agency in Ukraine Parents Life relating to egg donation that the intended parents are not just receiving just one egg cell from their anonymous egg donor but are instead receiving numerous egg cells to use for ART. Being the anonymous egg donor is like going through half of IVF. They undergo the ovary stimulation and egg retrieval components but do not complete the second half of IVF, which is the embryo transfer into the recipient’ uterus.
A fertility clinic that is performing an egg retrieval must not allow the anonymous egg donor to begin her fertility medications until the proper egg donation contract is fully executed between the anonymous egg donor and the fertility clinic. All fertility clinics in Ukraine have their own egg donation contracts; therefore, a proper legal contract needs to be fully executed by all parties before the real medical procedures begin. This protects all parties involved.
As it relates to egg donation, aspects of the process to consider are the cost for the anonymous egg donor, the compensation to the anonymous egg donor, the medication implications for the anonymous egg donor, and privacy between the anonymous egg donor and recipient.
According to Kiev-based international surrogacy agency in Ukraine Parents Life (http://parents-life.com), “… along with compensation, the intended parents pay the costs of the screening and all medical aspects, including the premium, also local transportation. The anonymous egg donor compensation covers the time, effort, inconvenience and high level of commitment necessary to accomplish the process. Our program places expectations on the anonymous egg donor to follow through. Compensation should mirror the importance placed on her commitment and generosity.”
In qualifying a woman to act as the anonymous egg donor, Parents Life shares that “… professionals involved in the screening process look very carefully at motivation, health and family medical history, and emotional stability (among other factors). All of these things are weighed, and often it is no one thing that disqualifies the anonymous egg donor candidate. However, missing scheduled appointments without informing the professionals involved is typically the leading cause of disqualification. Due to the time-sensitive nature of the procedures, the ability to keep a schedule is one of the most important aspects of the process.”
While there is a standard protocol for creating eggs for the anonymous egg donor, the medical treatment will be determined by the fertility specialist and is customized for each anonymous egg donor.