Egg Donation in IranFertility Treatment
What Is Egg Donation and How Does It Work?
Egg donation is a fertility treatment method for women whose eggs are not the sufficient quality to be fertilized due to factors such as old age. In this method, the egg taken from a third party is inseminated with the sperm of the male partner in the laboratory, and the resulting embryo is transferred into the female partner's uterus.
The History of Egg Donation in Iran
After the first baby's birth through the egg donation process in 1984, the desire for parenthood increased in infertile couples. The egg donation process in Iran dates back to the early 2000s. This method has been used as a method of assisted reproduction in Iran’s fertility treatment centers for many years after it had passed religious and legal stages.
In this article, we provide comprehensive information about Iran's egg donation process. You can also learn about experienced gynecologists and the best IVF clinics in Iran.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Using Egg Donation?
The egg donation method is an alternative for women with poor egg quality or those who did not produce good-quality embryos in at least three cycles of assisted reproduction. This method can also be used where a genetic disease can be transmitted from mother to fetus or in cases a laboratory method such as PGD cannot treat and identify genetic disorders. If you want to know more about preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), follow this article.
In general, the following people can use the egg donation method to treat fertility problems:
- Women over the age of 35;
- Women with hypogonadotropic;
- Women with premature ovarian failure;
- Women with a history of oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries);
- Women with a history of chemotherapy or radiation therapy;
- Not responding ovaries to ovulation-stimulating drugs;
- The existence of definite signs of diminished ovarian reserve;
- Recurrent incurable miscarriage;
Egg Donor IVF Process Step by Step
Step 1: Donor Screening
Before the egg donation procedure, the donor must refer to the infertility center according to the schedule announced. In the first step, the donor should be examined by a gynecologist. Then, she has to undergo an ultrasound examination and perform tests such as AIDS, hepatitis, addiction, etc. Finally, the donor can take permission from a physician to donate her egg.
Step 2: Egg Donor Matching
To perform egg donor IVF, the physician regulates the donor's menstrual cycle and coordinates it with the recipient's cycle. This process will take about a month. Of course, to choose a suitable donor for each person, the physician considers the donor's health and the appearance similarity (phenotypic) between donor and reception, including skin color, eye color, hair color, and body structure. The physician also maintains the confidentiality of donor identities.
Step 3: Ovarian Stimulation for the Egg Donor
Having gone through an ultrasound examination, the donor enters the process of taking medications to stimulate the ovaries to induce ovulation. Most of these drugs are taken for ten days. Once the follicles have reached the proper size, the doctor will set a specific day for retrieving the eggs from the donor's ovaries. A sperm sample is taken from the recipient's partner on the same day. The donated egg is then fertilized with sperm in a dish in a laboratory. The egg retrieval process is an outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesia. Click here for more information about the egg retrieval process.
Step 4: Fertilization and Embryo Transfer
The resulting embryo comprises the recipient's partner's sperm, and the donated egg is transferred into the recipient's uterus. About two or three embryos are often transmitted per IVF cycle. The egg recipient can take a pregnancy test after 14 days.
Egg Donation Process in Iran
In some cases, medication or other methods of assisted reproduction cannot work towards preventing the causes of infertility. For example, although a woman has healthy reproductive organs, she may not be able to conceive a child due to conditions such as old age, poor egg quality, premature menopause, and other disorders. In such cases, donor eggs are the only way to help the fertility problem.
In the egg donation process, the donor egg is fertilized with the sperm of the intended father in the laboratory. The fertilized egg or embryo is then transferred into the intended mother’s uterus. The egg retrieval process is performed under local anesthesia.
It is not necessary for the donor stays in the hospital, but she is asked to rest at home for 24 hours. The whole egg donation process will be done for several weeks; foreign couples have to consider at least 1-2 months staying in Iran.
What does the donor have to do before egg retrieval?
The donor will probably be asked to abstain from eating and drinking for about 8 to 10 hours before the operation. She will also be asked not to wear contact lenses, jewelry, makeup, and nail polish on the day of surgery. The donor will be given anesthesia by intravenous injection or inhalation in the operating room.
What does the donor have to do after egg retrieval?
After the egg retrieval process, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection and reduce inflammation in the genitals. The donor is asked to return to the hospital for a post-retrieval checkup. So that the doctor can ensure that she is recovering correctly from both the ovarian stimulation and retrieval, in most cases, donors can return to routine activities in a day or two after egg retrieval. But in case any of the following complications occur, you should immediately report them to the doctor:
- Body temperature over 38° C;
- Severe abdominal pain or bloating;
- Chronic nausea and vomiting;
- abnormal uterine bleeding (low bleeding is normal);
- Painful or difficult urination;
- Weakness or dizziness.
Donor Egg Recipient Requirements
- Having a doctor’s referral letter which shows the person is eligible to use egg donation;
- Being under the age of 45;
- Not having diseases that endanger the health of mother and fetus;
- Not having diseases such as AIDS, hepatitis, syphilis, etc.;
- Not being addicted;
- Having a uterus and endometrium is suitable for pregnancy.
Egg Donor Requirements
- Being between 21 to 35 years old;
- Being divorcee or the non-lactating widow;
- Preferably having one healthy child;
- Being genetically healthy;
- Not having diseases such as AIDS, hepatitis, syphilis, etc.;
- Not being addicted;
- Having Normal ovarian volume and reserve;
- Having consulted a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Are There any Risks from Donating Your Eggs?
- Injection problems
The physician uses injectable hormonal drugs to stimulate the ovaries to release healthy eggs. Most people will not have any problems during the injection, but in some cases, some will experience allergies, redness, bruising, and in rare cases, fluid retention, breast pain, and mood swings. In addition, injections of hormonal drugs may cause irregular menstruation in subsequent menstrual cycles.
- Ovarian cysts
Ovarian cysts have been reported in about 1% of women who had donated their eggs.
- Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome
Sometimes, the egg donor develops ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and complications such as dehydration, kidney damage, fluid retention in limbs, and blood clotting disorders.
Ovarian stimulating hormones are injected to perform egg retrieval so the ovary can release several eggs. If the donor’s body fails to control the injected hormones, they may become allergic, and their health may be at risk.
- Risks during egg retrieval
Suppose a donor prefers unreliable centers or inexperienced doctors for performing egg retrieval. In that case, she increases the risk of damage to her intestines, bladder, arteries around the ovaries, and damage to adjacent organs of the ovaries.
- Hot flash
Some of the complications of ovarian stimulation hormone injection include hot flashes, sweating, anxiety, vaginal dryness, insomnia, rapid heartbeat, and feeling of extreme heat.
- Depression and mental health problems
Some egg donors become depressed after the procedure. It is recommended that the person be prepared mentally for the donation before proceeding.
- Genital cancer
Studies show that since a woman takes a lot of hormonal drugs during the egg donation process, frequently donating eggs can increase the risk of women’s cancer.
Legal System of Egg Donation in Iran
Before starting the egg donation process, the receivers and donors will be informed about their rights and duties in this regard during a legal consultation session. After having reached an agreement, the two parties sign a contract.
We should note that the donor will not have any rights over the embryo produced through the IVF process. The resulting embryos legally belong to the receivers of the donor egg.
Egg Donation in Islam
Shiite and Sunni scholars have held various opinions on using the egg donation method. Most Sunni scholars agreed that egg donation is not permitted in Islam, while most Shiite scholars consider this method allowable. They agree that if the donor and recipient’s partner temporarily marry together for a few hours before the egg retrieval process, the resulted embryo in the laboratory will be legitimate.
So, we recommend you obtain the necessary information about the fatwā of your marji’ taqlīd if you wish to use donor eggs.
How much Does Egg Donation Cost in Iran?
In general, all methods of fertility treatments in Iran are cost-effective compared with other countries. Egg donation is a procedure that is performed through IVF. It is an expensive fertility procedure, and the price depends on many factors. The cost you pay for receiving fertility treatments in Iran includes the medications and all other related costs. In contrast, other countries, such as the United States, do not include medications.
If you are looking for more information about Egg Donation Process in Iran, don't hesitate to contact us for a free consultation from Raadinahealth medical consultants. We support and help you to find the best fertility treatment centers in Iran as well as the right specialist for your needs. To book an appointment with a doctor, begin here.
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