More About Third Party Reproduction:
Third-party reproduction refers to the use of eggs, sperm, or embryos that have been donated by a third party to enable an individual or couple to become parents. Dependent upon the individual patient diagnosis, one or multiple options listed below can be utilized.
At Vios Fertility Institute, we work with different agencies and business partners to assist patients in their goal of parenthood. Our team will advise you every step of the way regarding trusted donation and surrogacy agencies, legal counsel and holistic partners. Visit Resources
Acquiring donor eggs for treatment offers multiple options for patients. Access to donors may come from selecting an anonymous donor through an egg donor agency or working with a frozen donor egg bank. In some instances, a known donor may be a close relative or friend. Whether a donor is known or anonymous, all parties must undergo a thorough medical and psychological evaluation prior to moving forward.
Once a donor is chosen, donor eggs must be acquired. If using eggs from a frozen donor egg bank, eggs are thawed and fertilized with sperm from a donor or the intended parent. Outside egg banks ship directly to our facility. To complete a cycle with fresh (unfrozen) donor eggs, the donor must be selected, screened appropriately, and then undergo ovarian stimulation and an egg retrieval procedure, a process that may require two to three months. After the egg retrieval, eggs may be cryopreserved for future use, or fertilized with sperm for fresh transfer to the recipient’s uterus or cryopreserved at the blastocyst stage for a future frozen embryo transfer. To learn more about the embryo transfer process, visit In Vitro Fertilization
PREPARATION OF THE RECIPIENT FOR THE EMBRYO TRANSFER
In order for embryos to implant into the recipient’s uterus, the endometrium (uterine lining) must be prepared and precisely synchronized with the stage of the embryo. When the donor starts her hormonal medications to stimulate her ovaries, the recipient is given estradiol to stimulate the endometrium to develop if a fresh embryo transfer is planned. The recipient will also being progesterone later on in the cycle. Progesterone causes specific maturational changes within the endometrium that enable the embryo to implant. Since timing of medications and synchronization is critical, some recipients elect to cryopreserve embryos and undergo a frozen embryo transfer the following month while waiting for preimplantation genetic testing results or to allow for assessment of each step before proceeding with the next. Visit In Vitro Fertilization
For patients/couples with severe male factor infertility or no male partner, donor sperm can be used to achieve a pregnancy. Sperm banks can provide cryopreserved sperm for treatment, or a known donor can supply sperm. Anonymous and known sperm donors undergo an extensive screening process, including blood work, psychological and physical screening before they are allowed to donate sperm. They also have a semen analysis to evaluate their sperm prior to donation. Donated sperm can then be used for intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF), depending on the quality and quantity. Visit Resources
THE INSEMINATION PROCEDURE
Insemination may be timed based on a woman’s natural cycle or in conjunction with an ovulation induction cycle and should occur close to the time of ovulation. When performing an IUI, the washed semen specimen is placed through the cervix and into the uterine cavity. To learn more about the insemination process, visit Intrauterine Insemination. Visit IUI
Embryo donation and embryo adoption are family building options, in addition to standard IVF, utilization of donor eggs or sperm, and adoption of an infant or child. These procedures allow embryos that were created by couples undergoing fertility treatment to be transferred to infertile patients for use in a frozen embryo transfer cycle. On rare occasion couples are left with additional cryopreserved embryos after their family is complete or due to a change in circumstances, and this option allows for donation (or adoption, processes vary) of these embryos to couples that desire the opportunity to hopefully achieve and experience pregnancy. Donated embryos can be through an embryo donation agency or from a known donor. Visit Resources
SURROGACY & GESTATIONAL CARRIER
A gestational surrogate (or gestational carrier) is a woman who carries a pregnancy for another couple or individual. With a gestational carrier cycle, embryos created by the intended parents or through other third party reproductive processes discussed above, are transferred to the surrogate’s uterus, which has been prepared hormonally to carry a pregnancy. The gestational carrier does not provide the oocyte (egg). All intended parents and gestational carrier candidates must undergo a thorough medical and psychological evaluation and legal counseling prior to moving forward. Visit Resources
There are a number of legal issues that concern third-party reproduction. Written consent should be obtained for any procedure. In situations of known sperm or egg donors, both donors, as well as intended parents, are advised to have separate legal counsel and sign a legal contract that defines the financial obligations and protects the rights of the donor and recipients. Regulations may vary by state, individual family situations, and procedure. Visit Resources