While most women are born with a lifetime’s supply of healthy eggs, an unfortunate few may find that their eggs are defective in some way that prevents them from being able to conceive a child or carry it to term. In the past, this meant that such women would be unable to experience the joys of pregnancy and childbirth. With modern technology, however, there is hope for women with poor quality eggs in the form of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) using donated eggs. This procedure, which was groundbreaking when it was first introduced in the 1970s, has changed many women’s lives for the better, and remains highly popular and remarkably successful today.
Egg donation is recommended for women who fall into several categories, including those who are menopausal, who have not responded well to repeated IVF treatments, or who have dysfunctional ovaries due to a disorder, illness, or injury. All these issues can lead to defective eggs, leaving egg donation as the main recourse for such women to become pregnant themselves.
The process of receiving an egg donation is relatively straightforward in theory. Eggs are harvested from a healthy young donor, and can be preserved indefinitely or used right away. The eggs are then fertilised before being implanted in the uterus of the recipient. This process is much like a routine gynaecological examination, and involves the use of a very fine plastic tube that is inserted into the uterus to deliver the embryo. If the procedure is successful, the now-pregnant mother will then carry the baby to term.
Young donors are usually chosen due to the higher success rates of the IVF process that this can achieve – up to 70% pregnancy rates are currently possible with modern technology and good, healthy eggs. Fortunately, the recipient’s age does not have a serious effect on the success rate, although many clinics do put an age limit on the procedure itself (usually around fifty years).
Egg donors can be sourced privately or through egg donation agencies. Most reputable fertility treatment clinics (including those with whom Medical Tourism SA is partnered) choose to work only with agencies that are accredited with the Southern African Society of Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy (SASREG). While South African law requires that the identities of both egg and sperm donors remain anonymous, important details about the donors, such as age, race, occupation, medical history, and so forth, can be obtained to allow the prospective mother to select the donor of their choice.
Egg donation recipients (as well as the donors themselves) must undergo a rigorous series of medical tests to ensure that the chance of a successful procedure is sufficiently high. Where a male partner is involved, he too must undergo tests to assess the potential for successful fertilisation. Certain medications and hormone treatments are also required for each individual recipient before, during, and after the procedure.
Cape Town is one of the top medical tourism destinations worldwide, and fertility treatments such as egg donation are particularly popular in the country due to their comparatively low cost, the high standard of medical care, and all the other attractions that the country has to offer. Medical Tourism SA is partnered with a number of clinics, including Cape Fertility Clinic, to ensure that your procedure results in a successful pregnancy.
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