Accessible

Affordable
Available

Identifiable Egg Donation

 

Sims IVF is pleased to offer a state of the art option for identifiable egg donation.  The programme is conducted to the highest medical standards and achieves first class pregnancy rates.

In this programme, identifiable egg donation is available within the comfort of our clinics in Dublin or Cork.  It offers great convenience to busy couples as there is no need to travel abroad for any appointments.

A key element of Identifiable Egg Donation is how you chose your egg donor and most importantly how information about your chosen egg donor can be accessed in the future.

To help you choose the right egg donor for you, private access to our dedicated donor wesite is provided.  There you can view information on approximately 10 individual identifiable donors.  Very detailed profiles of the donors including physical characteristics, education, hobbies, extended family history and a childhood photo are made available to assist in your decision making. 

It is very important to note that in this programme the egg donor remains anonymous to you, the recipient couple. Identifying information about the donor will be provided to Sims at the time of treatment including donor name, date of birth, passport details and social security number. This information will be stored securely and confidentially until any child resulting from treatment reaches the age of 18.  At that point the child only will have the option of accessing the stored data.

Over the course of the Programme our dedicated and experienced egg donation team will guide you through 7 key stages of treatment:

Consultations, Investigations, Consents Signing and Sperm Freeze, Donor Choice, Donor Cycle, Frozen Embryo Transfer and Cycle Outcome.

 

 

 

 

 

Consultation

Medical Consultation

When you come for a consultation at Sims IVF, our aim is to help you to conceive and experience the joy of having a family.   Your Sims IVF consultant will discuss the various fertility treatment options available with you.  

Egg Donation may be the most appropriate choice for you. This will depend on a number of factors including: 
 AMH levels (ovarian reserve)
 Previous fertility treatment
 Medical history

When recommending egg donation as an option, your Sims IVF consultant will brief you on:
 The egg donation programme options available
 Risks associated with egg donation
 Risks associated with fertility treatment

If you decide to proceed to the next stage, your doctor will refer you to our dedicated Egg Donation team for a consultation with a qualified Egg Donation Coordinator.

Consulting with an Egg Donation Coordinator

Our Egg Donation Coordinators are nurses and midwives with specialist expertise in egg donation. They have a particularly sensitive and empathetic approach to their work.  Entirely dedicated to our egg donation programmes, our coordinators will be your link to Sims, providing expert care for you and ensuring that you are supported and informed throughout the process.  

In the initial consultation the Egg donation Coordinator will aim to ensure that you are confident in your decision to undergo egg donation and are fully prepared to proceed. 
The following areas will be discussed:

  •  Explanation of  the programmes available including potential outcomes and risks
  •      Information on tests, investigations and counselling required for the recipient couple
  •      Explanation of the donor process including criteria, testing and treatment cycle
  •  Step-by-step treatment timeframe from consultation to embryo transfer
  •      Explanation of the programme consent forms
  •      Programme costs and timing of payments
  •      Opportunity for you to ask any questions about the process





 

Investigations

A number of standard tests and investigations are required for both partners prior to proceeding with the programme. All the tests below are included in the cost of the programme.  The Egg Donation Coordinator will assist you with booking these at your initial consultation.

In some cases your doctor might recommend additional testing prior to your treatment cycle.  Any additional testing required will be charged per item.

Both Partners

Counselling

Implications counselling is a mandatory legal requirement for all couples wishing to avail of egg donation. Counselling is essential for both partners before the treatment begins.  The process helps you to explore any questions and concerns you might have regarding the use of donor eggs to achieve a family.  In addition, counselling often raises issues that a couple might not have considered previously.
Sims IVF provides experienced fertility counsellors who are familiar with the complex issues and implications involved in undergoing egg donation.  

Female Investigations

1. Blood Tests

Infectious screening bloods

Blood group

Basic hormone tests

Rubella immunity

Blood clotting

2. Ultrasound Investigation: Saline Infusion Sonography (SIS). 

This test assesses two major factors that can influence the success of treatment; the ease of embryo transfer and the condition of the uterine cavity.  The test provides useful information to ensure the inside of the womb appears normal and that embryos can be transferred easily and safely. 

Male Investigations

1. Blood tests

Infectious screening bloods

Blood group

2. Semen Freeze

Once all male infectious screening bloods are negative a sperm freeze can be performed.  A further screening blood test is also required on the day of the semen freeze. A semen sample is provided in Sims and a basic semen analysis is performed in our laboratory.  The semen sample is then frozen in advance of shipment to our partner clinic to be used for fertilization of the donor eggs. A test thaw of the frozen sample is performed in Sims prior to shipment to ensure the sample is suitable for use in this programme. 

Return consultation

Once all investigations are complete you will have a consultation with your doctor to discuss the results and finalize your treatment plan. This can take place on the phone or in person.  The Egg Donation Coordinator will advise you about arranging this.

 

  

 

Consents Appointment & Semen Freeze

Consents Signing

In advance of the Consents appointment you will receive a call from the Egg Donation Team to confirm your chosen programme and to advise you of any additional requirements.  You will also be reminded to attend with the Consent forms completed (except the last page).

At the Consents appointment you will meet with an Egg Donation Coordinator who will review the consent forms with you.  The Coordinator will again highlight the main risks associated with the programme. You will also have an opportunity to ask any questions you have regarding the programme. Once you have confirmed you are happy to proceed, the final sign off of the consent forms will take place. 

During this appointment we will also provide you with a date for online donor selection.

Semen Freeze

A semen freeze should be carried out following 2-3 days of abstinence from intercourse or masturbation. This will help to ensure that the optimum sample is produced on the day of the freeze. Usually only one semen sample is required to be frozen but this does depend on the sperm quality. You will be advised by the team at Sims if a subsequent sample is required.

Once the semen sample is received a basic semen analysis is performed in our laboratory.  The sample is then frozen in advance of shipment to our partner clinic to be used for fertilization of the donor eggs. A test thaw of the frozen sample is performed in Sims prior to shipment to ensure the sample is suitable for use in this programme. 

Transport of Frozen Sperm

Frozen semen samples are transported by air in a temperatrue controlled container to our partner clinic. Samples are accompanied at all times by an experienced specialist courier until they are delivered to our partner laboratory.  Every effort is taken to minimise any risk to samples during the transport process.

Once all consents have beeen signed and the semen sample has been frozen the donor allocation process can begin.
 

Donor Selection

This is an exciting phase in the process. As soon as investigations are complete and the sperm has been frozen, the donor allocation process begins.

You will be given a unique username and password so that you can log on to our donor portal in the privacy of your own home and review the options available to you. Typically there are approximately 10 identifiable donors available to choose from although there can sometimes be more. You are allocated a specific time period on the portal during which you have exclusive access to all available donors. Please note that donors marked "Anonymous Only" cannot be chosen for the Identifiable Egg Donation programme.

When you access the portal you will be able to filter the available donors by hair colour, eye colour and blood group. Narrowing your search may help with your decision making. You will have access to a complete profile, including childhood photo, for each donor. 

Once you have made your final decision you will inform the Egg Donation team by email. Your decision will then be confirmed with our partner clinic.

Once you have approved the donor, work with our partner clinic will commence.

 

Donor Cycle, Fertilisation, Freeze

Once accepted to the programme, the egg donors are usually keen to start treatment as soon as possible.  We do however allow a timeline of up to 8 weeks (approx. 2 period cycles) from the time of confirmation to the start of their stimulation cycle.  You will receive a call from the Egg Donation team to inform you when your donor is ready to start her treatment cycle.

The donor will commence ovarian stimulating medications and undergo regular ultrasound and blood testing to monitor her response to the treatment.  Once the medical team in our partner clinic deems her response appropriate, the egg collection procedure is planned. 

There is a small possibility that the donor may not respond to her treatment and therefore no eggs become available.   Thankfully this happens rarely but if no eggs are available, the hormones are stopped and another donor is found as soon as possible.

Egg Collection

Eggs are retrieved from a donor by means of vaginal ultrasound guided aspiration of ovarian follicles.
This involves the introduction of a specially designed needle through the vaginal wall under local anesthesia and intravenous sedation.

Once egg collection is complete a process called ICSI then takes place. In ICSI, an individual sperm is selected and injected into each oocyte to increase the chance of fertilisation occuring.  

Fertilised eggs are cultured in the laboratory for 5-6 days until they reach a stage called blastocyst. The blastocysts are then frozen by a process called vitrification in preparation for shipping to Sims by specialist courier.

You will receive a call from the Egg Donation team when your final embryo number is known.  At this stage we will advise you of the next steps and provide you with a date for your embryo transfer.

Embryo Transfer

Preparing for the Embryo Transfer

Once you have been informed of your total embryo number, preparation for your embryo transfer cycle begins. This will be organised by one of the Egg Donation Coordinators. A 1-2 month treatment schedule is set up and a prescription for specific uterine preparation medications is arranged. 

We want to ensure that the embryos are placed in the womb at the optimal time for implantation. This is usually achieved by firstly starting on the contraceptive pill for a short period. A nasal spray is then introduced to make the ovaries temporarily inactive. This is known as down regulation. Some women requiring donor eggs do not menstruate and therefore may not require down regulation. Once down regulation has been achieved, hormone tablets are taken daily to prepare the lining of the womb to receive the embryos.

Ultrasound scans are carried out following commencement of the hormone tablets so that the lining of the uterus can be assessed in advance of the embryo transfer. If the uterine lining is satisfactory, an additional hormone – Progesterone – is taken as advised. This ensures that the lining  is in the best possible condition for implantation of the embryos.

Embryo Transfer

The Embryos are thawed on the morning of embryo transfer in preparation for transfer into the uterus. They are replaced through the neck of the womb using a small plastic tube. This is usually a painless procedure rather like having a cervical smear test and it takes approximately 10 minutes to perform.

After the Embryo Transfer

Following embryo transfer, the hormone tablets and progesterone medication are continued daily as indicated in your treatment schedule. These hormones reflect the changes that normally occur in a woman’s body at this time. While the hormone supplements are being taken, a period will not usually occur.  However, this does not necessarily mean pregnancy has begun.

12 days after the embryo transfer, you will be advised regarding pregnancy testing to establish if you are pregnant.

N.B. Your first embryo transfer is included in the all-inclusive package price. Subsequent transfers will be charged as frozen embryo transfer cycles.

 

Outcome

On the date provided for your pregnancy test you may opt to do a home pregnancy test.  If you wish to do so we recommend you use either Clear Blue or First Response testing kits as they are capable of detecting early pregnancies.

Regardless of the result of a home pregnancy test we ask that you attend for a blood test to confirm if you are pregnant or not.  This blood test will routinely be done in the morning and you will receive a call from the Egg Donation team later the same day with the result.

Pregnant

When a positive result is confirmed an Egg Donation Coordinator will advise you regarding your medications and early pregnancy care, and will book you in for your first obstetric scan at approximately 7 weeks. The Egg Donation team is available to offer guidance and support throughout the first 12 weeks of pregnancy until your care is referred to an obstetric team.
Please note that on some occasions the pregnancy blood test result might be inconclusive.  For example a level of pregnancy hormone might be detected but the level is lower than expected based on the date of your embryo transfer.  In this instance the Egg Donation Coordinator will advise you regarding repeating the test and the possible outcomes of the cycle.

Not Pregnant?

Although our pregnancy rate is high there is no guarantee of a positive outcome. We understand that a negative test result is very disappointing for both partners and our Egg Donation coordinators are available to support you at this difficult time.  You will be advised regarding your medications and about arranging a return consultation with your Sims consultant to discuss future options.  If either of you feel you need additional support at this stage our specialist counsellor is also available for a session by phone or in person.

Finally...
We hope you have found the above information helpful and informative.  Should you decide that Identifiable Egg Donation is the best treatment option for you, we would like to take the opportunity to wish you every success with the programme.