Egg donation or ovum donation is a modification in the process of conventional IVF where eggs from a young healthy female (ovum donor )are used. These eggs are fertilized with the husband/partner of the recipient woman. The resultant embryos are placed inside the uterus of the recipient woman to attain a pregnancy.



1. Many women get married at a late age or postpone their child bearing because of reasons of education and career. However, the biological clock shows its effect in the form of decreased quantity and quality of eggs. This effect is marked after 35 years of age and more so after 38 years. The probability of having pregnancy even by IVF /ICSI decreases at 38-40 years of age. After around 42 years the chances of having a healthy live birth with own eggs are virtually negligible. However, using the help of donor eggs, women of even higher age can conceive and have a baby.
2. Younger women with poor ovarian reserve and raised FSH levels. Some women stop having regular menses at a young age . These ladies with premature ovarian failure can have their own child by means of ovum donation.
3. Women whose eggs have been damaged by tuberculosis, endometriosis and previous surgery on the ovary.
4. Women who have produced less (less than 4) eggs in previous IVF attempts and formed poor quality embryos.
5. Ovary damaged by radiotherapy or chemotherapy for cancer.
6. Carrier of major chromosomal disorders can opt for ovum donation so that the genetic disorder is not passed on to the offspring.
7. Egg donation can be offered to women who have had multiple cycles of failed IVF using own eggs.



Eggs are borrowed from healthy women less then 35 years of age who are not suffering from any medical or genetic disorder. They are screened for infections like HIV, Hepatitis B and C. Married women with one or two kids are preferred as they have proven their fertility. History of caesarean section or tubectomy in the past does not pose any problem and women can still donate their eggs. Ovum donors are usually a relative or friend of the recipient. Ova can also be taken from healthy young volunteers. Egg sharing with other women undergoing IVF cycle is also encouraged after taking consent from both the donor and recipient.



After the basic investigations of ovum donor have been done, the menstrual cycles of donor and recipient are synchronized with medicines. The donor has to visit the OPD about 4-5 times, when she is given injections for formation of multiple eggs in the ovaries. The injections and procedure of egg removal are the same as in IVF with self eggs. The eggs of the donor are removed with a needle under mild anaesthesia there is no stitch or bleeding and she can go back from the hospital after 4-6 hours.
The eggs are fertilized using IVF or ICSI. At the same time , the recipient receives medication so that her uterus is well prepared to receive the embryo. Embryo transfer is done in the recipient after ~ 48 hours .

Egg donation is thus a boon to many women who otherwise cannot hope to have a pregnancy using their own eggs.