Better access to donor eggs means more babies born
In the past 10 years, the number of donor egg in-vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles in the US has increased—as have the number of successful births.
Between 2000 and 2010, researchers used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Assisted Reproductive Technology Surveillance System to look at trends using donor oocytes (egg cells) in the US and birth outcomes.
Fertility centers are required to report their data to the system, which includes information on more than 95 percent of all IVF cycles performed across the nation.
For the study, published by the Journal of American Medical Association, researchers examined data at 443 clinics (93 percent of all US fertility centers) and found the number of donor egg cycles performed increased from 10,801 in 2000 to 18,306 in 2010.
They also saw an increasing trend in the percentage of cycles that involved frozen embryos (26.7 percent to 40.3 percent) and elective single-embryo transfers (0.8 percent to 14.5 percent).
Good perinatal outcomes—a single live-born infant delivered at 37 weeks or later weighing 5.5 pounds or more—increased from 18.5 percent to 24.4 percent.
“We believe the increase in donor egg use and successful birth outcomes from those donor eggs are multi-fold,” says Jennifer Kawwass, a third-year reproductive endocrinology and infertility fellow in the department of gynecology and obstetrics at Emory University.
“More women with diminished ovarian reserve are using donor egg for IVF and having successes. And improved technology, along with better access to donor eggs, in part because of egg freezing capabilities, is also increasing numbers. It has also become more socially acceptable to use donor egg when choosing IVF.”
The average age remained stable at 28 years for donors and 41 years for recipients. Recipient age was not associated with likelihood of good perinatal outcome.
“We also found that transferring a single day 5 embryo was associated with an increased likelihood of good perinatal outcome,” says Kawwass.
“Negative predictors included tubal and uterine factor infertility (having damaged or abnormal fallopian tubes and/or uterus). Women with these diagnoses may have less chance of achieving a good perinatal outcome. Non-Hispanic black race was also associated with a lower chance of good perinatal outcomes as compared to non-Hispanic white race.”
Further studies are needed to understand the mechanisms underlying the factors associated with unsuccessful outcomes.
Source: Emory University