What is Anonymous Oocyte Donation Program?
The Oocyte Donation Program is an alternative increasingly requested in Assisted Reproduction. The Huntington Group has for over 12 years, ethically and transparently conducted the oocyte donation program designed for couples in which the ovulatory side is the main cause of infertility, whether through the inability of the ovary to produce them, or by the sharp drop in the quality of oocytes, which often undermines the ability to get pregnant.
The program is anonymous, respecting the requirements of the Federal Board of Medicine (CFM), which also prohibits the marketing of oocytes. Thus, secrecy and anonymity are critical in treatments involving donated gametes. Current Brazilian legislation does not allow donation between relatives.
The ultimate goal of the program is to help the donor and recipient to achieve a healthy pregnancy. The egg donation process obeys steps previously explained to the donor and the recipient, which should be met according to specifications of the Huntington team.
What are the indications for oocyte donation treatment?
The reasons that lead a woman to resort to oocyte donation range from situations involving genetic factors, issues related to ovarian failure or the woman’s age, recognized difficulty of pregnancy, especially after 42 years of age, even when ovary activity remains intact. One aspect of utmost importance and to be emphasized is the change in behavior of women in society, which includes the exhaustive search for professional success as priority and, therefore, the desire for motherhood remains in the background, postponing pregnancy plans.
In general, pregnancy rates in oocyte donation cycles have above 50% success rate per cycle performed. To understand the importance of oocyte donation programs, the U.S. performs about 8,000 cycles annually.
How does the treatment work?
The couple will consult the doctor to receive information about possible donors and fill out a questionnaire that will greatly help them to find the ideal partner. The donor agrees to donate oocytes consciously and spontaneously. Despite the couple’s baby having biologically the genetics of the donor, it is accepted by the couple as their own. The donor has no rights over this child and no access to its information.
As this is a confidential procedure, the donor agrees to keep a low profile over the whole procedure and is committed to providing all necessary information in a truthful manner.
The process is accomplished through in vitro fertilization (IVF). The donor undergoes a process of ovulation induction for subsequent oocyte retrieval. In parallel, the recipient receives hormones that prepare the endometrium to receive the embryos. As the oocytes develop in the donor, the recipients endometrium thickens every day. After collecting the oocytes from the donor, the fertilization process is carried out with the semen of the husband of the recipient.
Most couples who have to resort to the process of oocyte donation go through a period of reflection and acceptance of the idea of conceiving a child with genetic material from another person. In these cases, the decision to donate should be agreed by and between the couple, and registered in agreement and consent signed by both.
A very valued aspect by our team is the secrecy with which we treat the process. The identity of the couples involved in the oocyte donation program is fully protected, and medical and psychological data remain kept confidential. We believe that this procedure concerns the intimacy of couples, and to us, respect is an extremely important value.
Procedures for Assisted Reproduction, including oocyte donation are regulated by the Federal Medical Board through Resolution 1.358/92, published in the D.O.U. [Federal Official Gazette] of 11.19.1992, page 16, 053 – section I.
Chapter IV states that:
1. Donation will never be of profitable or commercial character.
2. Donors should not know the identity of the recipient and vice versa.
3. Necessarily maintain secrecy about the identity of the donors of gametes and pre-embryos, as well as of the receivers. In special situations, information about donor, for health reasons, can be provided exclusively to physicians, safeguarding civil identity.
4. The clinics, centers or services that employ the donation must keep, permanently, a registry of clinical data of general character, phenotypic characteristics and a sample of cellular material from donors.
5. In the region of location of the unit, the registration of pregnancies will prevent a donor from producing more than two pregnancies, of different genders, in an area of one million inhabitants.
6. The doctor responsible for the clinics, units or services will be prohibited from participating as donor in assisted reproduction programs.