In general, egg quality declines with age. However, even younger women might have poor egg quality that is unable to be fertilized for a successful pregnancy. In other cases a woman’s ovary might have been damaged because of chemotherapy used as treatment against cancer, severe endometriosis or some other disease that affects the ovaries. Hormonal imbalances can also affect the production of eggs. Some women are born without ovaries. In all of these cases, the fertility expert will suggest the use of donor eggs. Once the egg has been fertilized, the embryo can be implanted in the woman just as in the case of IVF. This procedure will enable the man to use his sperms.
When a couple’s infertility is caused by poor quality sperms then they can use donor sperms. If the male partner is sterile or if there is a danger of the male partner transmitting a genetic disorder to the child, the couple is advised to opt for donor sperms. In this case, the donor sperms can either be injected into the woman via an intrauterine insemination or the egg can be harvested from the woman and fertilization can take place in vitro before the embryo is implanted in the uterus of the woman.
Sometimes, if the couple is unable to use donor eggs and sperms, they might need to opt for a donor embryo. This is used when both the egg and sperms are not healthy and there is a high risk of transmitting a genetic disease. This procedure is also used when other forms or ART have failed or are not financially feasible. The fertilized embryo used has both the egg and sperm donated by someone other than the couple. However, the embryo is implanted in the uterus of the woman and she then carries the baby to term.
Surrogacy is the term used when a woman is unable to become pregnant and a viable embryo is implanted in some other woman. The egg and sperm for the embryo can come from the couple or one or both can come from donors. This method is used when a woman is older, has had her uterus surgically removed, or is unable to safely undergo pregnancy because of heart, renal, or other health conditions such as diabetes.
When a couple decides to opt for ART they need to find a fertility facility with an excellent embryologist. This is because the treatment procedure involves careful selection of a healthy egg, healthy sperm, and nurturing of a viable embryo before implantation. The entire procedure needs to be performed carefully in order to ensure that the baby is healthy when delivered.
As ART procedures are expensive, time consuming, and emotionally stressful, relying on a facility with a great embryologist will increase the chances of success.
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