Donor Gametes in Assisted Reproduction
One of the possible reasons for failure in the IVF cycles is the poor quality of gametes ( egg or sperm or both ). When the sperms of the husband or the eggs of the wife are grossly abnormal or absent then one needs to replace them with gametes from healthy young donor in order to have a successful pregnancy outcome.
Donor Sperms – They are used in cases of either complete absence of sperms in husband or in case of severe abnormality in sperm parameters . Donor sperms are used in IUI cycles if the wife is absolutely normal .But when wife herself has infertility issues then donor sperms can be used for IVF/ICSI cycle.
Donor sperm sample is taken from a certified Sperm Bank, which has the responsibility of screening the profile of donor men. Only those semen samples which are of good quality and from medically screened donors are accepted. Appropriate consent forms has to be signed by both wife and husband.
The donor sample has to anonymous (unknown identity) but one can ask for certain matching features like blood group, height, colour of skin and eyes etc.
Donor Eggs – At times, wife has very poor ovarian reserve and is not able to produce egg /oocytes in sufficient number and quality required for successful embryo transfer. They are usually of higher age or with low AMH ( Anti Mullerian Hormone ) and AFC ( Antral follicle counts ).Such cases are associated with negative results or overall poor success rates .
Replacing the egg/oocytes of the wife with the ones obtained from another young donor woman can bring improvement in results of such cases. IVF is done with donor eggs and husband’s sperm in laboratory and resultant embryos are placed back in wife’s uterus .So wife will be the biological mother but genetically unrelated to the offspring born out of such pregnancy. Appropriate consent form has to be signed by both husband and wife.
The donor eggs are taken from approved ART Banks which provide medically screened healthy donors as well as the relevant consents from donor woman and his husband. This type of IVF cycle requires programming of the menstrual cycle between donor woman and the recipient wife.
Donor embryos – In certain couples when both sperm and eggs are bad, they are offered donor embryos created in IVF laboratory using anonymous donor sperms and oocytes. If the uterus of the wife is good enough to receive such embryos , it can give a positive pregnancy result in such cases . Although the child born out of this will be genetically unrelated to the couple, the wife will biologically carry the pregnancy and deliver the baby. The couple has to sign the consent form and the resultant child born will be their legal heir.