Procedure of IVF with Donor Embryos

ivf with donor embryo

Research and population studies show that the average fertility rate has declined and almost halved from about 5 in 1960 to only 2.4 in 2021. Lifestyle habits, environmental conditions, and medical factors contribute to a decreased fertility rate. With the rapid decline in fertility across the globe, the need for Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) procedures and other fertility treatments is increasing.

In-vitro fertilization, or IVF, is one such ART procedure that has proven to be a revolutionary treatment option for people who have infertility and has helped countless couples in conception.

IVF treatment generally uses the recipient’s sperm and eggs, but in some cases where the egg may not be eligible due to low quality or other factors, donor eggs may be used.

When looking for IVF treatment and its possibilities, it is also important to learn about embryo donation. Are you aware of the use of donor embryos in IVF procedures? If not, this blog is just for you. It covers all the necessary information on donor embryos, the procedural steps, success rates, legal aspects, and more. So, stick with us until the end and learn more about this topic!

How Embryo Donation Works in IVF Treatment?

Embryo donation in IVF treatment refers to a process where the recipients use the embryos developed from donors’ gametes (eggs and sperm), for conception. The female donor egg is mixed with the male donor’s sperm and kept under laboratory conditions for development. After around 5 days, the embryo is transferred into the female recipient’s uterus for implantation.

This procedure is used when both the recipients suffer from fertility problems like low-quality eggs or diminishing ovarian reserve in the females, and low testosterone levels, sperm mobility and quality in the males, or some genetic conditions that the couple doesn’t want to pass on to the child.

The procedure is also helpful for males over 40 and females over 35 years of age, when their fertility starts to decline.

IVF Success Rates with Donor Embryo

IVF using donor embryos can significantly increase the chances of a successful conception. A traditional IVF treatment involving the recipient’s gametes (both egg and sperm) has an average success rate of 35-40%, as opposed to IVF using donor embryos, where the average success rate hikes up to 70-80%.

However, success rates also vary due to other factors, including the recipient’s uterine receptivity, age, lifestyle habits, and medical history.

Still, even in females over 45, the average success rate of IVF using donor embryos is 63%, which is quite impressive. The chances of success also improve with subsequent cycles of IVF with donor eggs, just like in traditional IVF procedures.

LEARN MORE: Success Rate Of IVF With Donor Eggs In India

Step-by-Step Process of IVF with Donor Embryo

Using eggs from donors during IVF treatment is a complex process involving various steps like finding a suitable donor, medical screenings, emotional and conscientious consent, and then the further process of IVF treatment, which is similar to the normal procedure. Here is a step-by-step process of the whole donor embryo IVF procedure:

Medical screening of the recipient

The process starts with a complete medical screening, including various fertility tests for both recipients. If the healthcare provider identifies a need for donor eggs, they may proceed further with consultation about the same, and if not, regular IVF treatment may be considered.

Medical screening also helps assess other factors, such as health disorders, hormonal imbalances, and other things that might disrupt the course of the procedure. If treatable, these things are treated before starting the IVF procedure.

Selection of embryo donor

If the need for donor eggs is identified, and the couple agrees to go with the embryo donation process, selecting the right donor begins. This task involves finding a genetically compatible donor and may also include selecting donors according to the recipients’ preferences.

Counseling of donor and recipient

After finding the donor, the next step is to counsel both the recipient and donor about the upcoming procedure. This also involves legal and general consent from both parties and some basic bonding activities to ensure a smooth procedure.

Donor ovarian stimulation

This is where the actual process of IVF treatment begins. The female donor is administered a set of fertility drugs to hasten ovulation and boost hormone production for egg retrieval. The medications generally include the Follicle Stimulating Hormone(FSH) and the Luteinizing Hormone(LH). This process takes about 8-14 days.

Egg collection and fertilization

After the ovarian stimulation is over and the eggs are mature and ready for retrieval, the next step of egg collection and fertilization starts. In this step, the donor undergoes a transvaginal ultrasound, and then a needle is inserted to retrieve one or multiple mature eggs from the ovaries.

Then, the male recipient’s sperm is mixed with the donor eggs under laboratory conditions and kept there for fertilization for about 6-8 days until it is transferred to the female recipient’s uterus.

Recipient PGT screening and medication

Along with the egg fertilization process, the female recipient simultaneously goes through a pre-implantation genetic testing screening to ensure suitable conditions for implantation. The recipient is also administered some medications to prepare her body for the procedure.

Embryo transfer

After embryo development in the laboratory and the female recipient’s preparation for the procedure, the next step is embryo transfer. It is a simple and painless procedure where the selected healthy embryos are inserted into the recipient’s uterus through the cervix using a flexible catheter. The whole process is done under an ultrasound screening to ensure accurate placement of the embryos and avoid complications.

Pregnancy Testing

The embryo takes 3-5 days to implant itself on the surface of the recipient’s uterus. About 2 weeks after the embryo transfer procedure, healthcare providers proceed with a pregnancy test to determine the success of an IVF cycle. If the cycle is successful, then the facility may carry out some other care and support routine and demand active monitoring of the pregnancy, at least in the early stages.

In case of a failed cycle, the couple may be advised for counseling and another IVF cycle based on their circumstances.

Also Read: 7 Essential Tips on How to Choose an Egg Donor in IVF Treatment

Few Legal and Ethical Aspects of Embryo Donation

India’s constitution has a complex set of laws and regulations for IVF procedures, donor gametes, and traditional and gestational surrogacy. While commercial surrogacy is banned altogether, IVF procedures are completely legal, and so are donor gametes.

Legal Eligibility Criteria

Here are the legal eligibility criteria for an egg donor:

  • Donors must be between the ages of 23 and 35.
  • They must be free from genetic conditions and disorders.
  • They must be physically and mentally sound.
  • They are required to go through full body checkups and fertility tests before egg donation.

About Consent

The law emphasizes the importance of consent from both parties, i.e., the recipients and the donor. Both donors and recipients need to provide written consent and understand the terms of the procedures, their legal implications and risks, etc.

About Confidentiality and Anonymity

The law emphasizes the importance of anonymity and confidentiality for both the donor and the recipient. This provision protects the privacy of both parties and prevents any potential conflicts, be they social, legal, or personal, that may arise from the disclosure of identity or personal information.

About Financial compensation

The law prohibits the commercialization or exploitation of the egg donation process. However, the donation process requires donors to undergo many medical tests and other necessary procedures for oocyte donation. Transportation expenses, accommodation expenses, and other miscellaneous expenses may also occur. The law understands these financial aspects and demands fair compensation to be provided to the donors, with an intent to cover the medical and other aspects of the procedure, not with a commercial intent.

Choosing the Right Fertility Centre

Now that you have read the article, you should be well informed about the donor embryo and the whole procedure, including the success rates and legal aspects. 

Along with these things, choosing the right fertility center is crucial when looking for the best infertility treatment services. A good fertility center can greatly increase your chances of success while giving you the best possible experience.

If you are looking for such a fertility center, Crysta IVF might be the best choice for you. We are one of India’s leading and most trusted fertility centers, with the trust of countless satisfied couples who we have helped achieve parenthood. We are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and a team of the best fertility specialists across India. So, don’t let your parenthood dreams wait anymore. Book a free consultation with our fertility experts today!

EXPLORE: Which clinic has the highest success rate in Delhi? 


Q- Can IVF treatment with Donor Embryo Fail?

Yes. Although IVF using donor eggs has a significantly higher chance of success, it might still fail. Various other factors may contribute to IVF failure other than the embryo, including implantation problems, hormonal imbalances, genetic abnormalities, etc.

Q- What is the cycle of a donor embryo?

A cycle refers to the whole IVF procedure using donor embryos. This procedure is similar to regular IVF treatment and may take 6-8 weeks to complete.

Q- What is the IVF cost of using donor eggs?

Donor eggs are usually sourced from young female donors with good egg quality and genetics. Finding healthy and compatible donors is quite tough, and the whole process of IVF using donor eggs is complex, which makes it more expensive. On average, a cycle of IVF using donor eggs can cost anywhere from 2.5 lakh to 4 lakh rupees.

  Verified by Crysta IVF Fertility Experts

Kirti Saxena

Kirti Saxena, a dedicated healthcare content specialist with over 5 years of experience focusing on IVF and reproductive health. Passionate about improving health outcomes, Kirti specializes in crafting credible, well-researched content aimed at educating people and communities. With expertise in writing health blogs, website content, and magazine articles, Kirti effectively communicates complex medical concepts in accessible language, detailing health issues and offering practical solutions. Her commitment to staying updated on the latest advancements ensures that her content reflects the most current insights in the field of IVF.

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