Egg Donation in Iran
In recent decades, fertility technologies have increased dramatically, and the number of infertile couples requesting to use such technologies has also increased. Medical treatment may not always cure infertility. Advanced techniques for infertility treatment may not always work. The only fertility solution in cases of low ovarian reserves or low-quality eggs, while the uterus and other reproductive organs are in good health, is to receive an egg donated by a volunteer. This article provides information about egg donation, the use of donated eggs, IVF with donor eggs, and egg donation in Iran.
What Is an Egg Donation?
A newborn has millions of immature ova in her ovaries that remain unchanged until she reaches puberty. However, during puberty, hormone changes cause the ovum to mature and leave the ovary every month. If the sperm gets close to the released egg during this time, the two will combine, leading to pregnancy. The egg can survive in the uterus for approximately 24 hours.
A woman who has a low ovarian reserve or poor quality eggs has a lower chance of becoming pregnant and may even be infertile. Among women over 35, aging is the primary factor that reduces ovarian reserve, so the possibility of becoming pregnant decreases with age.
There is also the possibility that chronic physical and mental illnesses can affect eggs and cause problems during pregnancy. People with low ovarian reserve or poor quality eggs might be able to get pregnant with the help of ovulation-stimulating drugs in some cases. However, the use of drugs and advanced therapies may not be effective for everyone. The only way for this couple to treat their infertility could be through egg donation and IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), one of the methods of assisted reproduction technology (ART). A number of eggs are collected from a volunteer in this method. A selection of quality eggs is then fertilized with the sperm of the recipient’s spouse in the laboratory following the necessary tests. Early in the process of embryo development, the laboratory-grown embryo is transferred into the uterus of an infertile woman.
How Is Infertility Treated Using Donated Eggs?
A specialist first examines an egg donor volunteer, and an ultrasound is performed before using donated eggs for infertility treatment. Various tests are taken from her, such as those for addiction, hepatitis, AIDS, etc. After a doctor approves the condition of the donor, she will be granted an egg donation permit.
After that, the doctor prescribes medications to coordinate both the recipient’s and the egg donor’s menstrual cycle. Generally, it takes a month for the whole process to be completed.
After the ultrasound, the donor is prescribed ovulation stimulants with a prescription from a doctor. Maturation of the eggs takes approximately ten days. A doctor will determine a special day on which the eggs will be removed from the donor’s ovaries by outpatient surgery. Fertilization of donated eggs takes place on the same day as fertilization with the recipient’s sperm during IVF. During the early stages of embryogenesis in the laboratory, the embryo is transferred to the recipient’s uterus. Usually, two or three fetuses are transferred to the mother’s uterus to increase the chances of pregnancy.
Who Are The Candidates For Using Egg Donation?
There are several factors that can affect a woman’s ability to donate eggs. A successful pregnancy is more likely to result from these factors, and the risk of congenital anomalies is reduced. Usually, egg donors are between 21 and 35 years old. The eggs produced by women in this age group are of higher quality and quantity, and they respond better to fertility drugs.
The donor must be free of diseases such as HIV, hepatitis C, and genetic disorders. We do not accept donations from women at high risk of HIV or other infections. In addition, egg donation is not allowed to anyone unable to provide an accurate medical history of their family.
A candidate for egg donation must also meet the following conditions:
- An older woman (maximum 45 years old) who is unable to conceive.
- Women who have reached menopause
- Women who experience premature menopause
- Chemotherapy and radiation therapy patients who have had their ovaries removed.
- A woman who has not responded well to ovulation stimulants or assisted reproductive techniques such as IVF.
- A woman with a low ovarian reserve
- Women who do not have good-quality eggs
- Those who suffer from genetic diseases
- Having experienced recurrent miscarriages with no known cause
Who Qualifies To Be an Egg Donor?
To minimize the couple’s costs and emotional stress and increase the chances of a successful pregnancy, the fetal donor must meet the appropriate conditions. These conditions are:
- An egg donor must be between the ages of 21 and 35 in order to ensure the health of the egg. The quality of the eggs can also be assured if the donor has had a successful pregnancy in the past.
- A physical examination and a review of the medical history of the egg donor are required before donation. Donors must be free of genetic diseases and chromosomal abnormalities. Addictions and sexually transmitted infections, such as AIDS and syphilis, can also disqualify a donor.
- Mental health: All aspects of the egg donor’s life are examined, including mental health, family history, educational background, personality disorders, and emotional stability.
- The coordination of physical characteristics: Typically, a person is considered for egg donation who shares similar appearance characteristics as the recipient couple, including eye color, skin color, hair color, and body type.
Who Is Eligible To Be an Egg Recipient?
Aside from the donor, a person receiving the egg also needs specific characteristics and conditions to increase their chances of becoming pregnant. Some of those conditions include:
- A woman should not be older than 45 years old if she is to receive an egg donation since pregnancy at an older age poses a risk to the mother and unborn child. As individuals age, their reproductive organs deteriorate, and chances of becoming pregnant are reduced.
- It is essential to examine the physical health of the couple receiving the egg. Patients with diseases such as AIDS, hepatitis, and addiction are unable to receive eggs.
- An egg recipient couple needs to be mentally prepared before receiving donated eggs. Therefore, the recipient of a donated egg receives the necessary psychiatric and legal advice prior to receiving the egg to be aware of all the psychological aspects, inheritance concerns, etc., of the donation.
- The health of the uterus: The woman’s uterus must be able to support the fetus created when the donated egg is fertilized. A doctor administers drugs to prepare the inner layers of a woman’s uterus for accepting the fetus.
What Are The Success Rates and Chances of Pregnancy with Donated Eggs?
It is important to note that the success of pregnancy resulting from the use of donated eggs is dependent on both the condition of the donor and recipient. This method is highly successful if the conditions of the donor and recipient are in accordance with medical standards. The goal of fertility clinics is to increase the chance of pregnancy by selecting young and healthy egg donors.
What Are The Risks of The Egg Donation Method?
There are many infertile couples who can benefit from the use of donated eggs to treat their infertility. However, egg donation comes with risks and dangers for both donor and recipient.
Risks for egg donors:
To stimulate the donor’s ovaries, the doctor will prescribe hormonal drugs. However, the injections may pose risks to the egg donor. Some donors may experience complications, including bruising at the injection site, mood swings, blood vessel damage, hot flashes, anxiety, or depression. Donors with ovarian cysts and ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome make up less than one percent of all donors.
Risks for egg recipients:
In addition to the donor, the recipient faces risks using the donated egg method. This involves mostly psychological risks. For an infertile couple, a child’s physical and mental health is extremely important. Couples want to make sure the donor’s physical, mental, and cultural history are taken into account, as well as their social and cultural background. In contrast, they prefer to maintain their anonymity and do not want to know the egg donor or become acquainted with them. The egg recipient may feel anxious and worried because of these dualities. Furthermore, couples who struggle with infertility might want to avoid revealing or hiding this issue from their children. In this case, they can seek the advice of psychotherapists with experience in treating these problems.
Egg Donation In Iran and Surrogacy services
Fertility treatment and conceiving a child are sometimes achieved by using a donated egg. However, some women who have uterine problems may need to use surrogacy and an egg from an egg donor. As a result, the embryo will be transferred into the womb of a surrogate mother (a mother who is not the biological mother).
Infertility Treatment Using Egg Donation in Iran
Donating eggs (oocytes) is a legal and popular method in Iran. Iran has several reputable infertility treatment centers that use this method with high accuracy and quality. In order to minimize the risk of congenital disabilities and other complications in the fetus, oocyte donors are chosen from young women and undergo rigorous screening regarding their physical and psychological health. In Iran, infertility treatment centers use fresh oocytes since the success rate of treatment with fresh oocytes is higher than that of freezing oocytes. As a result, oocyte donation in Iran is a successful procedure.
Apart from Iranian infertile couples, foreign couples can also use the egg donation services of infertility treatment centers in Iran to solve their infertility problems. The infertility problem of many couples from different countries, including Iraq, Oman, Turkey, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Australia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, United Arab Emirates, etc., are solved with fertility treatment in an Iranian fertility clinic using donor eggs.
In Iranian laboratories, well-equipped for the task, donated eggs are examined, and only quality eggs are chosen for further processing.
The process of retrieving the eggs is done under local anesthesia. The donor does not have to stay in the hospital, but she is asked to rest at home for 24 hours. The whole egg donation procedure will take several weeks, so foreign couples should consider staying in Iran for at least 1-2 months.
It should be noted that medical centers in Iran aren’t allowed to disclose information about egg donors to others, according to the law.