The oocyte donation or egg donation It is the process by which a woman donates eggs for the purpose of using them in an assisted reproductive technique or for biomedical research.
In Spain, egg donation is a procedure regulated since 1988 that indicates that it must be done voluntarily, altruistically and anonymously. Oocyte donors must be between 18 and 35 years of age and are carefully screened to highlight diseases, infections, and genetic disorders.
Currently, assisted reproduction cycles in Spain are carried out with 70-80% of gametes belonging to the couple who are going to undergo treatment, and 20-30% of gametes donated by people outside the recipients.
The process seeks to carry out fertilization, which is carried out in an assisted reproduction laboratory, in which the female gamete is provided by a woman who will receive the resulting embryo. For this to be possible, the donor and recipient ovarian cycles must be synchronized.
The recipient needs to receive a treatment that prepares the uterine lining to receive an embryo. An endometrial mucosa capable of implanting the embryos and allowing their development has to be developed. This is achieved through the administration of estrogens and progesterone.
In patients with normal ovarian function, it is advisable to administer a GnRH analog, which allows the cycles to be controlled avoiding the possible interference of endogenous hormones. The donor receives an induction of follicular development and egg collection according to the usual protocols.
Once the donor oocytes have been obtained, one or another assisted reproduction technique is performed, depending on the seminal characteristics.
It may happen that the remaining eggs from an oocyte donation process are vitrified for later use. The results of using vitrified eggs are identical to those used fresh.
It is indicated in older women who present primary or early ovarian failure or inaccessible ovaries, with premature or surgical menopause, who are carriers of a genetic alteration, repeated failed cycles of in vitro fertilization (IVF) or have presented unexplained pregnancy losses and repeated (repeat abortion).
Requirements to donate eggs in Spain
Egg donation is an altruistic act regulated by Royal Decree 412/1996, where anonymity is guaranteed, does not compromise the future fertility and maternity of the donor and it is performed under a rigorous and safe procedure practiced by fertility and assisted reproduction clinics.
In order to participate in an egg donation program, the requirements for donating eggs are stipulated by law and are quite rigorous. Some of the requirements to donate eggs are as follows:
- Women aged between 18 and 35 years.
- Be in perfect physical and mental health.
- Do not suffer from malformations, genetic or congenital or hereditary diseases. Close relatives cannot suffer from these diseases, so the donor cannot be adopted.
- Possess a normal functioning of the reproductive system.
- Not having given birth more than 5 children, since the law establishes a limit of 6 births per donor. Although it is not essential, it is positive that the donor has already been a mother to guarantee her fertility.
- Go through a psychological study.
Tests to be done to donate eggs
In addition to these requirements to donate eggs, donors must pass two tests, one of fertility and another to guarantee the non-transmission of infectious or sexual diseases.
- Blood test that includes a study of herpes, Hepatitis B and C, Syphilis and AIDS.
- The fertility study includes: complete blood count, gynecological examination, vaginal ultrasound and chromosome analysis.
Steps to donate eggs in Spain
As a donor, you will have to spend a physical and psychological study and a series of gynecological tests and blood tests to ensure the good health of the donor and rule out diseases and infections. If after the gynecological and psychological examination you are considered suitable by the Medical team of the donation center where you attended, you will be given the medication and we will teach you how to administer it in a personalized learning workshop that the nurse will give you. During the ovarian stimulation treatment We will tell you that you are ready to extract the eggs, we will give you the pertinent instructions and 36 hours later we will perform the follicular puncture.
The entire treatment lasts two weeks and it does not pose any obstacle to follow the rhythm of daily life of the donor (work, family, studies, etc.). All the information, as well as how the donation cycle works, is explained step by step on the first visit and the team is always available for any questions or concerns.
How is the egg donation process?
When the center knows the results of the analyzes, the next step to take is the ovarian stimulation.
This process lasts between 10/12 days and it consists of a simple hormonal treatment in which you stimulate your ovaries for the day of the puncture.
Stimulation consists of a treatment that you can apply yourself at home, but if you needed the doctors to do it, there would be no problem in attending the center where you perform the process.
Your body monthly, or so it should be, expels an egg, with stimulation what we do is that not only does that egg mature, but we make all the eggs that should mature that month do so. That is why with egg donation you do not lose eggs or remain sterile.
Treatment will begin with the next menstruation. You will begin the hormonal treatment and you will have to contact the center for a personalized follow-up and some controls that are painless so that they can see your evolution and your evolution.
Once the 10/12 of ovarian stimulation has passed, you will come to the health center where they will perform the follicular puncture.
The follicular puncture consists of the extraction of the oocytes, it is carried out vaginally, which should not scare you. It is a simple intervention that lasts about 20 minutes and will be carried out under a small sedation so that at no time you notice any discomfort.
The intervention is safe, has no side effects and in 2/3 hours, when the medical team confirms that everything is fine, you will be able to continue with your normal life, taking into account the medical indications. Doctors should be aware of you at all times.
Why donate eggs?
Every case is different
At the beginning, it is not easy to give an answer to this question since as each woman is different, the motivation to make an egg donation is also different. Each one has an intimate reason that “leads” her to make the donation and that is linked to a particular situation which is what allows you to be a donor and thus give something of your own to another woman who needs it.
Why donate eggs? In some cases, the girls come to donate with very clear motivations that are related to how they understand egg donation and motherhood.
Help another woman
There are women who want to donate altruistically, so they feel that they are helping another person selflessly. This is the case of donors who explain to us that they have a friend or relative who cannot have children naturally and this has decided them to help other people who are going through the same difficulty.
In other cases, they are donors who have children and who pass on to us how beautiful it is for them the experience of motherhood and want to offer that possibility to other women. On the contrary, there are also women who do not consider being mothers at the moment (some do not even want to be one in the future) but believe that through donation they will help someone, who really does want it, to achieve it.
Some donors decide to do so because they think that if they were the ones who would not They could have children, they would want someone else to help them.
“I help and they help me”
Many times this motive is “mixed”, that is, they want to do it because they think that donation is a good way to help other people and they also value positively being compensated for the time and commitment they dedicate.
All motivation is valid and personal, and we even see that there is no single reason for wanting to be an egg donor. Although there are common motivations, the answer to the question of why donating eggs cannot be generalized, each woman is different and it is in each of them to find her own answer.
What are ovules?
The ovules They are the female sex cells produced by the ovaries. Beginning with puberty in women, a Ovumsheds approximately every 28 days and remains fertile for 24 hours after descending into the uterus in the fallopian tubes.
Therefore, the ovum is a haploid cell produced by the ovary that carries the genetic load and is capable of being fertilized by a sperm, so that the function of both gametes (male and female) gives rise to the formation of the zygote, which after successive multiplications will lead to the process known as pregnancy. So that from the moment the sperm fertilizes the ovum, life as such is generated.
Benefits of donating eggs
Infertility is one of the main problems for many couples today. Stress, age, anxiety, or genetic background are direct causes that affect reproduction. Donate eggs It is one of the most favorable options for couples who have difficulties having children. In fact, it is in our country where the most donations are made from all over Europe.
The pros of donating eggs
Within the different assisted reproduction processes the egg donation It is one of the most used in elderly women with problems to be mothers. This system implies a series of benefits for those women who wish to be donors:
- You will help many people to fulfill their dream: not all willing couples can. There are many people who, due to circumstances, are left with the desire to have children. You will help them see how their greatest illusion comes true. You will be part of an incredible experience whose ultimate goal will be the creation of a new life.
- They will give you free medical tests: When donating eggs you will benefit from a series of free tests and analyzes that will allow you to know the state of your health at no cost to you.
- Short duration process: about a week is what the egg donation process takes. The intervention is simple and painless, lasting approximately 20 minutes. After about three hours after the puncture, you will be able to lead a normal life.
- Low risks: Currently, there is a lot of information and research that has greatly minimized the risks. Most female donors, after donating, comment on their satisfaction
How many eggs can be donated?
The Spanish legislation Assisted Reproduction set to 6 the maximum number of children born in Spain from eggs from the same donor, regardless of whether the donation was made in one or more assisted reproduction clinics.
It is important to know that not because you donate more eggs, you will be less fertile, which does not affect you in any way if you want to get pregnant now or in the future. In fact, there are many mothers who are egg donors and they are very happy to do this program so that they can help other women.
Where to go to become an egg donor?
We recommend that you search the internet and inform yourself well. It is a very delicate process, in Spain they seek to comply with the assisted reproduction law. Remember that life is not a game. Always go and assist with doctors already specialized in the subject, because it consists of your life and they are processes that are both simple but at the same time very delicate if you do not go with experts.
How often can you donate eggs?
The Law of Assisted Reproduction of Spain does not give a clear notion about how many times eggs can be donated, nor about how often eggs can be donated. However, it does establish that “the maximum authorized number of children generated with gametes from the same donor should not exceed six”, Including your own children. So this would be the limit.
If a woman carries out six donation processes and all were successfully completed by generating healthy children, you will not be able to carry out any more egg donations throughout his life.
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