What is oocyte donation
There are women whose ovaries do not function correctly and so, even during their fertile years, do not naturally produce oocytes.
This ovarian failure originates physiologically during the menopause, but in some patients, failure is premature and causes what is known as premature ovarian failure. In other cases there is a genetic component that makes the ovary function incorrectly or a chromosome alteration that can be passed down to their descendents. On other occasions, the ovaries have been removed due to a prior illness.
We also include here those cases where a normal number of oocytes are produced, but are of such poor quality that the possibilities of achieving normal gestation using the patient´s own oocytes is frankly scarce and in some cases inexistent - even after having tried different types of medication to stimulate the ovaries.
The best option to achieve a pregnancy in these cases is to use oocytes from a young, healthy and perfectly studied donor that have been fertilized with the husband´s sperm. The embryos fertilized in this manner are transferred to the patient, who has had a prior treatment allowing for excellent receptive conditions in the uterus.
Therefore, the donation of oocytes is an Assisted Reproduction technique in which the feminine gamete (ovum or oocyte) is donated by a woman who is not the one to conceive it.
This is a treatment that has been habitually practiced for many years now. The first paper published on a pregnancy achieved through this technique was in 1983, and since then it has been highly perfected, reaching rates of gestation which at that time were unthinkable.