IVF is the best-known and most common modern reproductive method. The IVF protocol, the type and severity of female infertility, and the number of unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant are taken into account. Donor biomaterials (female eggs or embryos) can be used in particularly severe infertility.
Donor selection process
Reproductive specialists approach the selection of an egg donor as responsibly and carefully as possible. Who can be a donor? As a rule, IVF success rates by age is a woman under the age of 35 who has healthy children, does not inherit chronic or hereditary diseases, and does not have bad habits (smoking, drugs, alcohol). Potential donors are checked for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, syphilis, HIV, and other infections. An important part of the screening is the consultation of a geneticist, a therapist, and a psychologist.
Conditions requiring egg donation
Egg donation is considered a viable option if:
- Ovarian dysfunction is present;
- Defects in the development of female reproductive organs;
- Exhaustion of ovarian function is present;
- Failure of artificial insemination due to poor quality embryos;
- Risk of transmission of serious genetic diseases;
- Menopause is present;
- The cause of female infertility is unknown.
The anonymity of the fertilization process with donor eggs
The key thing about donating is that the process is completely anonymous. The possibility of contact with interested parties is excluded. An exception is an independent selection of donors among relatives, friends, and acquaintances. What data are available about donors: nationality, education, physiological parameters, hair and eye color, face shape and type, blood type, and Rh factor. Reproductive medicine specialists tend to carefully select donors with the most similar phenotype.
The donor is selected. How does the process proceed?
The key stages of obtaining an embryo from a donor egg are the following important stages:
- Synchronization of the menstrual cycle by hormonal means involves the coordination of the maturation process of donor and patient follicles;
- Eggs are collected after they have matured;
- After selecting the most suitable egg and collecting the father’s sperm, the embryologist begins to fertilize the egg in the laboratory;
- If fertilization is successful, the resulting embryos are placed in an incubator under 24-hour video surveillance;
- After five to six days, the best-quality embryos are selected and transferred to the patient’s uterine cavity.
Let’s try to figure out what the success of the IVF procedure depends on, what factors does it depend on?
A key factor in success is a woman’s age. Cells age with age, after 35 years every second egg becomes aneuploid. If you have reached the age of 35 and have not become pregnant within 6 months after planning, you should immediately contact a reproductive specialist the selection of the most effective treatment. Successful IVF with a donor egg in one cycle increases the chance of pregnancy by 60% but has little effect on success if the woman is under 51 years of age.
The next key requirement for successful IVF is an ovarian reserve – the number of eggs that can potentially be fertilized in the ovaries. Ovarian reserve is determined by determining the level of anti-Müllerian hormone in the blood and counting the number of antral follicles using ultrasound. The lower the ovarian reserve, the lower the percentage of successful IVF. Therefore, all women who, for any reason, postpone the birth of a child, need to know the level of anti-Müllerian hormone before planning a pregnancy and have time to perform the reproductive function or freeze eggs. Another factor in the success of IVF is the quality of the man’s sperm. An embryo is born from two cells – mother and father. Therefore, the quality of the sperm is as important as the quality of the egg. The quality of male cells is also affected by age, concomitant diseases of the future father, smoking, the use of antibiotics, and many other harmful factors that damage the DNA of the sperm and, as a result, the DNA of subsequent embryos.
Therefore, all men who participate in IVF protocols are recommended to lead a healthy lifestyle, to refuse visits to saunas, hot baths, and harmful practices, if possible, to exclude professional risks. One of the most important factors affecting the effectiveness of IVF is smoking, which is a risk factor. Numerous studies have shown that women who smoke receive half as many eggs from IVF protocols compared to women of the same age who do not smoke. Therefore, if you have decided on this method of treatment, you should completely give up smoking or at least reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke.
The success of IVF also depends on the genetics of the parents. Couples with unsuccessful IVF attempts are recommended to undergo a qualified karyotype examination. If there is a defect in the genetic structure of the couple or individual parents, the embryos should be examined with the help of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, which allows you to check the chromosomes of your future child and rule out a variety of serious diseases and many genetic problems before they are transferred to the uterus. It is believed that 80% of the success of IVF depends on the quality of the embryo and only 20% on the quality of the endometrium (the inner lining of the uterus, where the embryo is implanted). However, the success of IVF in a natural cycle or in vitro fertilization can be compromised by chronic inflammation of the lining of the uterus itself or the lack of correct receptors for hormones, which can lead to implantation failure. For this reason, in IVF protocols, it is important to monitor the blood coagulation system and prevent the formation of small capillaries. Blood clots block small blood vessels and can lead to abortions. Women with congenital thrombosis and antiphospholipid syndrome need special attention. Modern technologies of ultra-fast freezing made it possible to save as much blood material as possible. This allowed reproductive specialists to adjust the cycle and practically avoid serious complications. (Molnupiravir)
The efficiency of donor programs
Statistical data from long-term observations of reproductive specialists indicate that the success rate of pregnancy with IVF using donor eggs is much higher than with traditional fertilization. This important factor is explained by the fact that young female donors do not have burdened heredity, it allows them to carefully select the best eggs and sperm without straining heredity. (tramadol)