In 2007, donor eggs or oocytes were used in 12% of all U.S. IVF cycles. As the name implies, donor oocyte IVF involves the use of a donated egg or oocyte (usually form a younger woman) inseminated with sperm and the resulting embryo transferred to the recipient’s uterus.
The first transfer of a fertilized egg from one human to another resulting in pregnancy was reported in 1983. Over the years, the indications for oocyte donor have broadened. Initial indications included absence of ovaries, sterility from prior chemotherapy and radiation and premature ovarian failure. Today donor oocyte is also used in patients with history of poor response in prior IVF cycles, recurrent pregnancy loss, and genetic diseases with a high risk of transmission. Over the past 15 years both the number of donor oocyte cycles and the live birth rates have progressively increased (see Figure 1 below). Thus far in 2010, the Fertility Centers of New England reports a positive pregnancy rate per embryo transfer of 83%, one of the highest rates nationally.