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Ovum Donation Information

Ovum donation is a fertility choice for women who are unable to produce ova for conception but can become pregnant.

Ova are retrieved from a well screened and hormonally stimulated donor. These ova are fertilized in a petri dish by sperm from the recipient's partner or a sperm donor.

After an incubation period, the best embryos are transferred into the recipient's uterus and the rest are frozen for possible use in a second transfer, in case there is no pregnancy or if the recipient desires a second child genetically related to the first.

+ What you can expect from donor process (step by step)

+ Donor FAQ

+ Donor Application

Consultation and Referrals

Ms. Gorton provides extensive consultations regarding the medical and legal issues involved with ovum donation. An in depth assessment of ovum donation as a viable fertility option is explored. Referrals are made to infertility medical specialists and to infertility therapists as appropriate. Upon request, referrals can be made to attorneys to review the contract for the recipient, and/or donor. The recipient parent(s), and/or donor may request this referral to ensure that they understand the extent of their obligations.

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Donor Recruitment and Screening

Ms. Gorton has a broad portfolio of potential egg donor candidates of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Detailed histories of each donor are provided for recipients' review. An expansive advertising network attracts donor applicants of different races, educational levels, and physical characteristics.

A meeting between the couple and the donor is encouraged so that both may review the requirements of ovum donation and learn about each other's family background, personality traits and interests. Meetings are on a first name basis to maintain confidentiality and are optional.

Ovum donor applicants may live outside the San Francisco Bay Area and must have a schedule that allows for frequent visits to your fertility clinic. Healthy women between the ages of 21-29 who have completed some education beyond high school are selected as applicant donors. Donors who have children or have previously been pregnant are preferred.

An independent licensed mental health professional completes a psychological evaluation on each candidate after the donor and the recipient couple agree to work together. This evaluation may include personality testing if required by the fertility clinic. The mental health professional submits a written recommendation to the fertility clinic's attending physician for approval. Donors complete a detailed family health history form which is sent to the mental health therapist and to the attending physician.

After the donor has passed the psychological evaluation, Ms. Gorton arranges for a board certified genetic counselor (GC) to complete genetic screening and a family history risk assessment on the donor.  The GC sends the genetic consult report to the donor and to the recipient.  The recipient must approve the GC report before the fertility clinic will schedule the Medical Screening Appointment with the donor.

We provide donors with written and verbal explanations of the medical procedures to be performed and concomitant risks/side effects they may experience. At our face-to face meetings and in our phone interviews, we go over a sample calendar of a donation cycle and answer any questions regarding the process. Donors are advised that they have no parental rights to any child(ren) or embryo(s) conceived pursuant to ovum donation. To reduce the risk of long-term side effects or sequelae from medications and medical procedures of ovum retrieval, donors may participate in ovum donation up to four, five or six times, as approved by the treating physician.

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Recipient Parent(s) Education

Articles from the Journal of Fertility and Sterility are given to the recipients at the first consultation. These articles address issues regarding informing children about their unique conception and the social/psychological characteristics of ovum donors.

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Ovum Donor

Donor candidates are thoroughly interviewed in an attempt to eliminate unhealthy candidates and those with family histories of inheritable diseases. HIPPA laws prevent the collection of medical records on the donor and her family. Only candidates with reported healthy individual and family histories learn about egg donation procedures and concomitant risks.

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Follow up

After the Medical Screening Appointment (MSA), Ms. Gorton checks with the donor and/or the IVF clinic to confirm that her office receives a calendar of the donation cycle. Ms. Gorton will talk with the donor about her experience with the IVF clinic, the date of the HCG injection, and her need for transportation and/or lodging at the time of the retrieval. The donor's service fee is mailed so that the donor usually receives payment on the day of the retrieval and the donor's expenses are reimbursed upon receipt of her expense report within 10 business days of retrieval. As soon as pregnancy test results are known, all donors are told how many ova were retrieved, how many embryos were transferred and frozen, and most importantly if there was a pregnancy.

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