Egg donation is the process by which a woman provides several eggs (ova, oocytes) for another person or couple who want to have a child. Egg donation involves the process of in vitro fertilization as the eggs are fertilized in the laboratory. After the eggs have been obtained, the role of the egg donor is complete.
Egg donors are recruited, screened, and give consent prior to participation in the IVF process. Some patients bring their own, designated donors, while other patients rely on the services of often anonymous donors typically recruited by egg donor agencies or, sometimes, IVF programs.
Once the egg donor is recruited, she undergoes the IVF stimulation therapy, followed by the egg retrieval procedure. After retrieval, the ova are handed over to the recipient couple, fertilized by the sperm of the male partner in the laboratory, and after several days, the resulting embryo(s) is placed in the uterus of the recipient. For the embryo transfer the lining of the recipient has been appropriately prepared in a synchronous fashion. The recipient is usually the person who requested the service and then will carry and deliver the pregnancy and keep the baby
Results in treatments with the use of egg from donors often have a better than 50% chance of success. With egg donation, women who are past their reproductive years or menopause can become pregnant.