What are the Chances of Pregnancy in IVF with Egg Donation?

Egg donation can be the only way for some patients to have a child, but are the odds of IVF different when you are using a donor egg instead of your own?

Differences between Egg Donation and Conventional IVF

The differences between having IVF with donor eggs and using your own eggs all happen before the embryo is created in vitro. If you are using your own eggs, then you will need to take medication to stimulate the release of mature eggs. When these eggs are ready, they will then need to be collected from your body. If you are using an egg donor, then she will be the one to go through this process. You will need to take medication to ensure your womb is ready to receive the donor eggs when they are collected, but you won’t need any invasive procedures before the embryo transfer.

Once the eggs have been collected, the process is the same, no matter where they came from. The eggs will be fertilised in vitro. The best embryo or embryos will then be selected for transfer into your womb.

What Are the Chances of Success with a Donor Egg?

Many couples who are considering using a donor are concerned that it might negatively affect the chances of success. However, an embryo created from a donor egg won’t find it any harder to implant in your womb.

In most cases where egg donation is recommended, it will actually increase the chances of success.

The most common reasons for using an egg donor are:

  • No eggs are available or there are issues with their quantity or quality
  • IVF using your own eggs has failed
  • You are over the age of 40 and the chances of success with your own eggs are too low

All of these issues can reduce the chances of success with IVF or even make it impossible for you to conceive with your own eggs. Using a donor egg instead will therefore increase your chances of success with IVF.

Egg donors are carefully chosen to ensure that they are healthy and fertile. The age limit for egg donation is usually 35. Since age is a significant factor in fertility, using a donor can have a big impact on IVF success rates which are approximately:

  • 10% for women aged 42 using their own eggs
  • 5% at age 43
  • Less than 3% at age 45
  • 20% for a woman over 40 using donor eggs

Egg Donation and Surrogacy

One reason why you might not be able to use your own eggs is if you are a man or male couple and you want to have a baby. Heterosexual couples may also need to use both an egg donor and a surrogate under some circumstances, for example after a complete hysterectomy.

In these cases, you can choose to use the same or different women as your egg donor and surrogate. The chances of success are the same whether the egg comes from your surrogate or someone else. Many patients actually prefer to use different egg donors and surrogates. The chances of success are the same whichever choice you make.