There are limited options for treating older women who are menopausal or
perimenopausal. Older women usually respond poorly to ovarian stimulation and
the live birth rates even with IVF treatment are significantly lower than with
younger women. They are advised to get pregnant through egg donation. Egg
donation is a well-established form of assisted conception treatment. In this
procedure another woman, mostly a relative/ good friend or an anonymous donor,
will be the egg donor. This woman will have an
IVF stimulation and ovum pick up.
After the ovum pick up the collected eggs will be fertilised with sperm of the
partner of the recipient woman i.e. donor acceptor. The embryos are then
transferred into the uterus of the donor acceptor. If a pregnancy occurs the
donor acceptor and her partner will have a child which is only biologically,
half their own
There are selected groups of patients to whom egg donation is recommended.
Women who have a uterus but the ovaries do not produce eggs due to menopause,
premature menopause, because their ovaries have been removed /damaged by
chemotherapy / radiotherapy as a treatment for cancer or congenital absence of
ovaries from birth.
Women with recurrent IVF failures, this could be due to poor response to
stimulation by fertility drugs, failure of egg collections or poor egg and
subsequent embryo quality.
Women whose ovaries are resistant to stimulation by the pituitary hormones-
'resistant ovarian syndrome’
Women who have a high risk of passing on genetic disorders to their offspring,
recurrent pregnancy loss due to chromosomal abnormalities and women who were
born without functioning ovaries (Turner's Syndrome).
Selection of donors for egg donation
There are women who may consider donating their eggs specifically to known
friends or relatives.
Egg sharing with unknown donors is advisable.
The selection criteria for potential egg donors are
They should be healthy women, between the age of 21- 35 years of age
They should have no infectious diseases
No history of mental disorders, genetic or inheritable diseases.
They should have had one or more healthy children of their own