Arizona Center for Fertility Studies has a lot of experience using donor eggs, and probably has one of the longest standing donor egg programs in the country. As early as the mid to late 80's, Arizona Center for Fertility Studies was anonymously transferring extra donated eggs from young women undergoing the GIFT procedure, without financial compensation, to women with premature ovarian failure and age-related infertility. Freezing of embryos was not readily available then, and some couples were willing to donate their extra eggs anonymously to another woman. These "recipients" were on a first come, first serve basis; and when they were number one or two on the list, they were temporarily made menopausal, put on oral estrogen to prepare their uterus for implantation, and hoped that some young woman with similar characteristics who was having egg recovery, had "extra" eggs that she was willing to donate, before her "window of opportunity" passed because she had been on estrogen too long. Although, in those days, there were many successful pregnancies, it was extremely frustrating for so many women who were prepared and "waiting for eggs". Many times numerous cycles were cancelled because no extra eggs were available to be donated.
As the demand for donor eggs increased, and because of the cancellation of many cycles because of the "window of transferability" had passed with no extra donated eggs available, Arizona Center for Fertility Studies looked at ways to improve its egg donation arizona program. Our current program is an evolution of those changes. Today, egg donation at Arizona Center for Fertility Studies is a busy and a very successful program. With the advances in cryopreservation, women are no longer donating their extra eggs. As a result, Arizona Center for Fertility Studies was the first egg donation Arizona program to begin recruiting young women who were willing to anonymously donate their eggs for financial compensation; to make "a profound difference in another couple's life and alter their own lives forever".
Become an Egg Donor at the Arizona Center for Fertility Studies facility!
Click Here to download the Egg Donation Arizona Application (PDF)
Imagine being able to profoundly impact another individual's life. To give the gift of life and love... a gift that would alter another's life forever. Becoming an egg donor allows you to do that. Many of us are "opportunities" waiting to happen. Becoming an egg donor can be that opportunity. You have that power. The donor egg program at Arizona Center for Fertility Studies, with your help, has helped hundreds of couples achieve their dreams.
Letter to an egg donor from one of our patients
"As I cannot contact you directly and talk to you face to face, I'm writing this letter anonymously to let you know just how important and significant your decision is to others.
My arms have ached waiting for that special child to arrive that would bring new meaning and significance to my life, and create the family I have always wanted. Even as you read this, you are getting very close to having that dream of creating life come true for us. You have put your body through daily injections. My eggs could not be used. This means that the chance of creating a life that is most wanted and would be most cherished cannot happen without your help.
It is the gift of hope and life itself. Your gift could be the most loving and gracious gift that you will ever give to a fellow human being. I assure you that the child that could develop will be loved and cherished. They will be raised with true social consciousness and environmental awareness. By their very presence, they will make the world a better place, having been given a rare and special chance to be here.
Although I cannot thank you directly, please know that my grateful thoughts and prayers will be with you all of the rest of the days of my life".
All Arizona Center for Fertility Studies donors are between 19-30 years old. Initially, an interested young woman will fill out an donor egg application and mail it back to the office. Arizona Center for Fertility Studies donor egg coordinator will then call her up for an interview; at which time, the entire Arizona Center for Fertility Studies donor egg program will be explained to her in detail and she will have plenty of time to have all her questions answered and/or any concerns addressed. Once she is determined to be a suitable candidate, she will see the doctor; as well as, undergo full psychological, genetic and medical testing, and once chosen all required FDA testing. Having passed all these, she will then be put on our list of available egg donors for patients to choose from.
Although Arizona Center for Fertility Studies donor egg program is completely anonymous, couples will have the opportunity to be able to see a perspective donor's pictures and review her medical, psychological and genetic information, identifiable by a number unique to that donor.
Egg donation involves the deliberate use of oocytes (eggs) provided by a donor for In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and subsequent embryo transfer to a matched and synchronized recipient. Today, egg donation has expanded to include:
Arizona Center for Fertility Studies clearly recognizes that for some women, the decision to use donor eggs is an easy and straightforward one based on their medical history; for many, it is a difficult and, many times, life-altering decision. A frank discussion of issues related to non-genetic parenting, past infertility problems, feelings regarding prior failed In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatments, parenting at an older age and positive and negative aspects of disclosure to family and the potential offspring of using donor eggs needs to be thought through. If a known donor is used, the "recipients" need to consider how the pregnancy might impact on any future relationship with the donor, as well as, defining future interaction between the donor and the potential offspring. Although success is quite high using donor eggs, the couple must address the possibility of being unsuccessful and determine how they might deal with that outcome.
For some, after much thought and prayer, they make the decision to proceed, for others, it is the most difficult decision of their life, and sometimes impossible to make. Donor eggs is not right for all women. To give up your own "genetic material" in exchange for an others, is many times, one of the most difficult and thought out question of a woman's life. It depends on so many factors including believe systems, religious values, spiritual, psychological and a long list of emotional thoughts and feelings. A big part of the decision is what a woman thinks most influences the outcome of a child. Is it nature or nurture, environment or hereditary? For those women that believe that the way a child turns out is due mainly to how he/she is raised; to include the values, beliefs, experience, traditions and the personality of the parents, then making the choice to proceed with donor eggs is "easier". If a woman believes that hereditary is the main guiding factor in how a child turns out, then deciding to use donor eggs will be extremely difficult. Some will not be able to make that choice, and would rather adopt or go childless. But once the decision is made to use donor eggs, in Arizona Center for Fertility Studies experience, that woman "never looks back" and once the baby is born and she holds it in her arms, she "wonders why she waited so long to make the decision".
There are many pros and cons for deciding to proceed with donor eggs versus adoption or going childless. For some women, they feel strongly about adoption and being able to give a loving and nurturing home to a less fortunate child. But adoption is not for everyone and donor eggs offers a great alternative. In Arizona Center for Fertility Studies experience, we have noticed some differences between adoption and donor eggs:
From the many differences seen above, the decision to proceed with donor eggs is a very personal and, sometimes one of the most difficult decisions in a woman's life; but once she makes that decision, in Arizona Center for Fertility Studies experience, she "never looks back" and when the baby is born and she gets to hold it in her arms, she "wonders why it was so difficult to decide".
Once the decision has been made to proceed with donor eggs and the couple has selected a donor, the process of synchronizing both donor and recipient's cycles will begin.
Arizona Center for Fertility Studies DOES NOT match recipients with egg donors and strongly believes it is the decision of the recipient couple to "choose" the egg donor that is "best" for them.
Donors receive medication that will stimulate her ovaries to produce multiple egg follicles. The patient (recipient) prepares her uterus by taking estrogen, and later, progesterone; once ovulation is triggered in the donor. Egg donors are either anonymous or known to the couple.
In the United States, anonymous donors are compensated for their services.
At Arizona Center for Fertility Studies, donors are compensated $3,800 per donation.
Many think that young women donate for the money. In Arizona Center for Fertility Studies experience, that is so far from the truth and if that was the case we would have a line of potential egg donors a block long waiting to sign up.
Young women donate because it is their way of "making a difference", and what a profound difference it is in the life of the recipient, and in theirs. What better gift can one person give to another? Although, she will "never be thanked", it will alter her life and the life of the people around her in so many positive ways. It is what the East Indians call AGAPE or "selflessness". Arizona Center for Fertility Studies gets its egg donors by word of mouth and by advertising in local media sources. All Arizona Center for Fertility Studies donors are between 19-30 and can donate for a total of 6 times and are covered with donor health insurance. For every 100 calls we get and send out applications, we are lucky to put 5 donors on the list. The following steps is what an egg donor needs to do:
The reason that donor eggs is so successful is two-fold. One is that the eggs are so young, and the "younger a woman's eggs are the better the success". And secondly, the age of the uterus is a zero factor. That is why you can put 24 year old eggs in a 49 year old woman, and she will have the success rate of a 24 year old.
The couple acknowledges that any child/children born as a result of In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)-donor eggs will be considered in all respects their natural child.
How old is too old to receive donor eggs? Arizona Center for Fertility Studies feels strongly that a woman has the right to choose whether or not she would like to have a baby regardless of her age; and, therefore, any woman 50 or older is considered on an individual basis and not automatically turned down. As long as she has medical clearance to proceed, no significant medical problems, has seen a psychologist and perinatologist (high-risk baby doctor) and is cleared, then Arizona Center for Fertility Studies respects her right to choose, will support her decision and passes no judgment on whether or not it is a good idea. What is better, 25-30+ years of unconditional love and nurturing or 60+ years of maybe not knowing one or both of your genetic parents?
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