Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Egg Donation


Local Physician Experiencing High Pregnancy Success Rates with Donated Eggs

Boca Raton, FL – For many American couples, the dream of parenthood seems virtually out of reach. Infertility is a condition that affects one in five couples, and is a very personal issue that can cause strain in even the most stable relationships. Approximately one in 12 American couples experiences problems with infertility, and medical science keeps opening new paths to parenthood for these couples.

Luckily, there is a growing trend in the treatment of infertility, that of anonymous egg donation; young women, many times college age women, in the middle of their prime fertile years willing to give of their time and bodies to help infertile couples have a child. And with the advent of simplified in vitro procedures that make the process shorter and easier with a higher success rate, more and more women are willing to give of themselves in this way.

The need for egg donors in the United States is also on the rise. The most recent report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that donor eggs are used in more than ten percent of all assisted reproductive technology cycles – a statistic which continues to escalate. But, despite the fact that more and more women are willing to donate, the demand for eggs continues to outweigh the supply.

Dr. Mark Denker of the Palm Beach Fertility Center is reporting exceptionally high pregnancy rates among couples that have chosen to use a donor egg for in vitro fertilization (IVF). “Success rates of using in vitro fertilization and donor eggs is as high as 80 percent, while experience shows that a 39-year-old woman using her own eggs has closer to a 40 percent chance of getting pregnant,” he said. This typically has to do with the age of the woman who is producing the eggs. Donors are typically young and many times are college students, while people experiencing infertility have used all the conventional therapies over a time period of six or seven years and tend to be older.

“Egg Donation is fast becoming a necessity in the treatment of infertility,” said Dr. Denker. “For many couples, this is their last hope for having a child.”

One local donor, Tammy, has a very personal reason for choosing to help couples having difficulty becoming pregnant. She has two sons of her own, but experienced very difficult pregnancies with both children. “I know what it’s like to be hospitalized and experience the fear and heartbreak that comes with the possibility of losing a child,” she said. “I was fortunate because I ended being able to deliver healthy children, but can sympathize with couples who are not as lucky as I am.”

At age 31, Tammy is a stay at home mom who has donated her eggs to three infertile couples. She came to know about the program from a friend who had been an egg donor, discussed the issue with her husband, and made an appointment to see Dr. Denker. After completing a rigorous medical exam and detailed interview process with the doctor and his nurses, Tammy was chosen to be a donor. “This experience has been very rewarding for me, and my husband has stood beside me through the whole process. He administers all of my injections and has gone to Dr. Denker’s office with me for each procedure,” she said. “We both feel a sense of pride about our ability to help.”

Prospective egg donors are subjected to a variety of medical and emotional examinations, and must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible for the program. Included is a screening process for genetic conditions and sexually transmitted diseases, as well as drug screening. Donors must be non-smokers and in good physical and emotional condition.

Once accepted, donors go through a hormone stimulation process that will enable them to produce more eggs than during a typical ovulation. This is accomplished by administering daily hormone injections. The donor’s progress is monitored closely, and after a series of ultrasound examinations, blood tests and hormone level checks, she is scheduled for egg retrieval.

The procedure is performed under anesthesia and usually takes about 30 minutes. The eggs are transferred immediately to the embryology laboratory. The donor is able to go home one hour after the procedure and resume normal activity within 24 hours.

The Palm Beach Fertility Center compensates donors financially for their time and inconvenience. For more information, contact the Palm Beach Fertility Center at (561) 477-7728.

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