More information on Donor Egg

Donor Egg Consultation 

Physician Consultation

During the donor egg consultation, CRM’s physicians explain the donor/recipient matching process and all medical procedures involved for a donor egg recipient cycle, including required pretreatment testing. 

Donor Egg Orientation Class

CRM offers a donor egg orientation class. Taught by a nurse, the class includes:

  • Staff introduction
  • Treatment timeline
  • Explanation of recipient/donor matching process
  • Medication protocols
  • How to mix and administer medications
  • Injection technique
  • Post-treatment follow-up 
  • Support services
  • Billing and insurance questions
Psychological Consultation

CRM’s staff psychologists specialize in all emotional and psychological aspects of infertility and are active members of the donor egg team. Recipients and their partners, if applicable, are required to attend a psychological/educational session to discuss the egg donation process prior to being matched with a donor.

Psychological services at CRM are an integral part of the infertility treatment team, and our psychologists, who understand the highly stressful nature of infertility treatment, are available to patients at any point during the process. Contact the Donor Egg and Psychological Services Program Coordinator at (646) 962-3447 for more information, or to make an appointment.

Prepatory Cycle

Before the donor egg cycle begins, a new donor egg patient (often referred to as "the recipient") meets with her physician to discuss the treatment and undergoes an initial preparatory cycle (“prep cycle”). This cycle lasts approximately 21 days, with 2 weeks of medication preparation prior. 

Undertaken prior to donor matching, the prep cycle is used by the physician to confirm that the uterine lining responds appropriately to medications.

Patients who reside out of town may complete the prep cycle in their home cities or countries and do not necessarily have to come to CRM for this part of the treatment. However, once matched, the patient will be required to be monitored at CRM for the recipient cycle.

Matching with an Anonymous CRM Donor

CRM's egg donation program recruits and thoroughly screens all potential oocyte donors. Recipients and donors are mutually anonymous. In certain situation, CRM also works with known or oocyte agency donors. 

The Center's donor screening process includes medical, genetic, and psychological screening.

Patients who choose to match with a CRM donor are placed on the list for matching once the physician and psychological consultations are complete.. Recipients are asked to submit a profile that includes their physical characteristics, photographs, and traits they value in a potential donor. 

The donor egg team works together to match donors with recipients. Over the last 25 years, we have successfully matched thousands of women with oocyte donors. 

When the donor egg teams has identified a potential donor/recipient match, the patient receives a detailed profile including:

  • Physical and psychological evaluation
  • Medical and social history
  • Education history
  • Genetic testing report
  • Summary

Donor Egg Program Treatment Cycle Options

There are three treatment options within CRM’s Donor Egg Program: Frozen Cycle, Fresh Single Cycle, and Fresh Shared Cycle

Frozen Egg Donation

CRM maintains a bank of frozen donated oocytes obtained from CRM-recruited donors. Patients who choose to use frozen oocytes are generally matched with batches of 6-8 frozen eggs. These frozen oocytes are then thawed and fertilized with the desired sperm source. Patients open to using frozen oocytes from our bank may match more quickly with a donor. Furthermore, because patients who choose to use frozen oocytes will not need to be synchronized with a donor, they may forgo the preparatory cycle. In cases where the uterine lining is deemed inadequate, the oocytes will not be thawed and the recipient will follow up with her physician to determine a more appropriate protocol. 

Single and Shared Cycles

Patients using a CRM donor have the option of a single or shared egg donation cycle. A patient who elects a single cycle is matched to one donor, and receives eggs retrieved from the donor. In a shared cycle, eggs from one donor are split between two recipients.

While shared and single cycles have comparable pregnancy outcomes, each option is specific to the patient’s needs. With a shared cycle, patients may match with a donor more quickly since each donor is matched to two recipients. In addition, shared cycles fees are generally lower. On the other hand, a single-cycle recipient will typically have more eggs available for fertilization with an increased chance of viable embryos available for future transfers. This would be beneficial for patients who choose to have another child via frozen embryo transfer. The CRM Donor Egg Team will discuss these options in detail during your consultation visit.

Donor Egg Cycle: Step by Step

Cycle Synchronization

The donor cycle begins by synchronizing the donor and recipient menstrual cycles. The recipient is typically prescribed the same medications used in the prior prep cycle. Monitoring typically occurs  twice a week once the patient begins taking the stimulating medications. The donor will undergo ovarian stimulation at this time.

During menstrual cycle synchronization, the goal is to create simultaneous cycles in both donor and recipient, so that the recipient’s uterus is ready to support a pregnancy. This process usually requires six to eight weeks.

Donor Ovarian Stimulation and Egg Retrieval

On the day of the donor’s egg retrieval, the eggs will be fertilized. If the egg recipient has a male partner, he may provide a fresh sample at our Embryology Laboratory [INSERT LINK]. If frozen sperm is to be used, arrangements will be made to ensure the lab has the sample for the day of retrieval. 

Fertilization and Embryo Development

The day following retrieval and fertilization, the recipient will be notified by the Donor Egg Team regarding the fertilization results and the embryo transfer schedule. Embryo development is monitored closely by CRM embryologists. Embryos that are not transferred yet deemed viable at the end of the donor egg cycle may be frozen for future use in FET cycles. The embryo transfer is usually performed three or five days after the donor’s egg retrieval.

Embryo Transfer

Embryo transfer is an outpatient procedure performed at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. The physician uses a catheter inserted through the cervix to place the embryo(s) in the uterus.

Based on embryo development under incubation, the embryo transfer is scheduled for the third or fifth day after retrieval. The number of embryo(s) to be transferred is determined by the physician, in consultation with the recipient, and is based upon the recipient’s clinical history, the age of the donor, and the embryo quality.

After Embryo Transfer

Until transferred to the care of an obstetrician, each recipient will continue to be monitored by her CRM physician through the first trimester of pregnancy. This monitoring typically includes hormone supplementation, blood testing and ultrasound. 

Weill Cornell Medicine
Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine

1305 York Avenue, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10021 Phone: (646) 962-2764