Third Party Reproductive Services
For couples, or single women, who need help building a family, the Center for Fertility and Reproductive Endocrinology offers the following third party reproductive services:
DONOR Eggs (OOCYTE) In Vitro Fertilization
We are proud to be in our 16th year of offering in vitro fertilization (IVF) with donated eggs.
Our staff is constantly recruiting young, healthy women to serve as egg donors for women who cannot provide their own eggs for their infertility treatment, due to:
The chance of achieving a pregnancy with donated eggs exceeds 60 percent.
Benefits of Egg Donation
Egg donation offers couples the ability to have:
- A biological family, as the female partner experiences pregnancy, while maintaining their genetic link through the genetic father
- Genetic siblings from the frozen embryos they created, via their first donor egg IVF
A shared financial risk program helps reduce costs, or lessen the number of embryos created for couples who do not desire a larger family.
Criteria for Receiving Donated Eggs
Recipients of donor eggs for IVF must:
- Be 51 years of age or younger
- Have a normal uterus
- Be medically able to carry a pregnancy
Women 45 years or older will be required to obtain medical clearance.
Selecting an Egg Donor
While most couples request to be matched with a donor of similar ethnic background and physical characteristics, our coordinator will work with you to help you select a donor who meets your needs.
Careful medical screening, prior to matching recipients and donors, assists in establishing that the couple will likely achieve their goals.
Our staff counselor works with couples to make sure they are at ease with their decision to achieve a family through donated eggs.
About Our Egg Donors
Our wonderful egg donors are the foundation of our program. Egg donors are recruited from all walks of life in the Pittsburgh and surrounding areas.
- Be under age 33
- Be healthy, non-smokers
- Be free from infectious diseases and risk factors for infectious diseases
- Have a minimum of a high school education
We rigorously screen and counsel all egg donors, to be sure they are totally comfortable with their decision to donate. We also screen donors to assure their eligibility, according to the current FDA regulations.
Our program is anonymous, though some recipient couples may choose to recruit or bring their own known or directed donor (such as a friend or family member).
We do permit couples who have unique criteria, to enlist the services of a donor recruiting agency.
Gestational surrogacy (sometimes referred to as “host uterus” or “gestational carrier”) may be appropriate for some couples who can provide their own eggs and sperm (or are willing to use a donor), but do not have a normal uterus to transfer the embryos to.
Gestational surrogacy is an appropriate option for women who have:
- Had hysterectomies
- Abnormalities affecting the reproductive organs
- Multiple non-genetic pregnancy losses
- Immune system disorders
- Underlying metabolic disorders that are complicated by pregnancy, or would make pregnancy unwise
The Process of Gestational Surrogacy
- Couples create embryos through the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process using their own genetic material. When one of the partners cannot provide either their own eggs or sperm, a donor may be used.
- The embryos are then transferred to the uterus of the carrier who has contracted with the couple.
- The carrier will provide gestational care and relinquish the child at its birth.
Finding a Gestational Surrogate
The Center does not recruit gestational surrogates.
Couples requiring the assistance of a gestational surrogate can find a carrier from:
- An agency
- An attorney
- Their own circle of family or friends
Surrogates need to meet stringent criteria regarding their reproductive and medical histories, as well as being emotionally healthy and having good support systems.
The Center provides medical services and pre-conception psychological screening for the intended parents and the surrogate and her partner, if she has one.
Embryo donation is a small, but growing, program at the Center.
Couples who have completed their families, but have remaining embryos, may choose to donate them anonymously to couples who are willing to receive them, and for whom this option is medically appropriate.
Ideal candidates for embryo donation are those in need of both donated eggs and donated sperm, or single women who are beyond the normal reproductive age range.
All couples considering family building via donated embryos are counseled regarding this unique choice.
Criteria for Embryo Donation
Eligibility for donation of embryos includes factors such as:
- The age of the genetic mom
- Number of embryos available
- Quality of embryos
Benefits of Embryo Donation
Donor couples give this very precious gift after:
- Screening for infectious diseases
- Completing a health survey
- Counseling to make sure they are comfortable with their decision to donate
Recipients of donated embryos gain the opportunity to:
- Become biological and nurturing parents to a child to whom they have no genetic connection
- Experience pregnancy and the joys of parenthood
Single women, or couples who have severe male factor problems or inability to produce sperm, may choose to use donor sperm to achieve a family.
Semen samples are obtained through one of several sperm banks, accredited by the American Tissue Bank, and registered with the FDA.
Pregnancy may be achieved using donor sperm samples through intrauterine insemination, or by in vitro fertilization (IVF) when indicated.
As with all third party reproductive arrangements, we recommend and offer counseling.