As you age, your ovarian reserves decline. For example, at the age of 30 you have a 20% chance of conceiving naturally, but by the age of 40, you only have a 5% chance of natural conception. At Gago Center for Fertility, with locations in Lansing, Brighton, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, Laura April Gago, MD, offers oocyte donation and in vitro fertilization (IVF) services to help you carry and deliver a baby. If you’re having trouble getting pregnant naturally, call Gago Center for Fertility today or make an appointment online.
You may choose to use an egg donor for many reasons. For example, as you age, the quantity and quality of your egg cells declines — often referred to as diminished ovarian reserve — which can severely impact your ability to become pregnant naturally. You may also choose to use donor eggs if you carry a genetic disease or condition that you don’t want to pass on to your child.
Another reason you may opt to use egg donation is a condition known as premature ovarian failure, which causes your ovaries to stop producing and releasing fertile eggs much earlier than expected.
Dr. Gago also may recommend using oocyte donation if you’ve already had IVF treatment that wasn’t successful.
The egg donation process has several steps. Gago Center for Fertility offers both fresh and frozen donated eggs.
Your first step is to select a donor. Gago Center for Fertility only works with egg donation organizations that adhere to FDA guidelines. All donors have physical exams, genetic screening, and psychological assessments.
After you select a donor, she begins to take medication to increase her ovulation so Dr. Gago can harvest several eggs during a single procedure. At the same time, both you and your donor take hormones to match your cycles. This ensures that after the eggs have been retrieved and harvested, Dr. Gago can inject them into your uterus at its most hospitable time of the month.
Dr. Gago monitors your donor’s ovaries with ultrasounds and blood tests to check her luteinizing hormone levels. When your donor is ready to ovulate, Dr. Gago performs a minimally invasive procedure to retrieve the egg cells.
When the donor eggs have been harvested, Dr. Gago takes them to her fertility lab where they’re fertilized using IVF or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) techniques. The lab team monitors the fertilized eggs for a couple of days while the cells multiply.
Finally, Dr. Gago performs the embryo transfer, using a thin catheter to place the embryos into your uterus. In about two weeks, you’ll have a follow-up appointment and pregnancy test to see if your procedure was successful.
If you opt for frozen eggs, Dr. Gago monitors your menstrual cycle to identify the optimal time to inject the embryos into your uterus, and you skip the middle steps after choosing your donor.
Dr. Gago offers personalized fertility counseling and can help you select an egg donor. She helps you navigate questions around physical characteristics, family health history, and other concerns you may have about using donor eggs.
If you’re having trouble conceiving naturally, call Gago Center for Fertility or make an appointment online today.