Donor Egg Success Rates: a Breakdown

donor egg success rates

Your doctor told you that donor eggs are your best option for starting (or growing) your family. Now, you may be curious to know what the success rates are. Donor egg success rates can look high, which can be confusing when you compare them to some of the other numbers at play.

We broke down some of the numbers you’re likely to come across when looking at the different types of success rates. We explained what they mean and where they come from.

What are donor egg success rates?

What are your chances of having a baby with donor eggs? Depending on your individual circumstances, the chances of having a baby using a donor egg may be significantly higher than the chances of having a baby with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) using your own eggs.

IVF success rates are impacted by things like age, genetics, and other medical conditions that impact egg quality. Donor eggs may eliminate these factors. That doesn’t mean that IVF can’t be successful on its own (it can!); but, some people, especially those with low egg quality or quantity, will experience a higher rate of success if they undergo IVF with the aid of donor eggs.

Success rates at the beginning and end of the process

IVF is a multistep process, and each step along the way has its own specific success rate. It’s hard to account for all the variables that are possible with each donor and recipient; however, there are some consistencies. Please note: while these figures are well established, success is not guaranteed when it comes to donor eggs or IVF.

Frozen eggs retrieved from women under the age of 36 have a 95 percent survival rate after being thawed. This figure can present a huge relief for hopeful parents who are worried about the cost associated with obtaining eggs and fearful of the disappointment that could come along with not even getting past the first stage of the process. While those numbers are strong, they drop slightly to 85 percent when accounting for eggs that were retrieved from women over the age of 36.

And that’s not the only good news. Around 53 percent of all donor egg cycles will result in a little bundle (or in some cases, bundles) of joy that you’ve been dreaming of.

How are these numbers reported?

A division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that tracks Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) collects these statistics. ART covers all fertility treatments where eggs or embryos are used.

Most fertility clinics in the United States report their ART numbers to the CDC, which they then review and report. The CDC’s most recent report was 2019’s Fertility Clinic Success Rates Report. This found that 2.1% of babies born in America each year are the result of ART. You can find individual clinic success rates using our Find a Clinic tool. You can also visit the Society For Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART)’s website; there, search for your clinic to find out how their numbers stack up.

How using an egg donor increases your rate of success

There are several reasons why you might find yourself considering an egg donor as you plan your family.

Poor ovarian reserve or low egg quality

If your doctor told you that you have a low egg count (diminished ovarian reserve) or poor egg quality, using donor eggs may help increase your chances of having a baby with IVF. This is because egg donors are generally young with a high egg count and quality. A reproductive endocrinologist (REI) also screens and approves donors.

Age

A woman’s chance of success with IVF is highly correlated with her age. This means, using a donor egg from a younger woman could increase your chances of success. According to the Society For Assisted Reproductive Technology, the most important factor for success when doing IVF, is the age of the woman.

  • Women under the age of 30 have the highest success rate, at around 50 percent per IVF cycle.
  • Women over the age of 40 have success rates that range from five to 20 percent per IVF cycle.
  • When the oocytes—which are the eggs that will eventually be fertilized and become embryos—are retrieved from an egg donor (under the age of 33), those success rates trend towards the higher end of the spectrum.

Genetic disorders

Some couples carry a genetic disorder that they do not want to pass down to their children. If you’ve been diagnosed with such a disorder, you can use a donor egg to avoid having a child with that condition.

Premature Ovarian Insufficiency

Some women have something called premature ovarian insufficiency (sometimes called primary ovarian insufficiency) which causes the ovaries to stop releasing eggs and producing estrogen. Doctors may diagnose this condition in women under the age of 40.

Surgical or cancer interventions

If you’ve received chemotherapy for cancer you may have a lower than expected egg supply for your age. If you have had your ovaries removed surgically, donor eggs may be the only way you’re able to proceed on your reproductive journey.

Get more information

If you want more information about using donor eggs—or any step of the IVF process, check out our Find a Clinic Near Me tool. This will allow you to browse clinics in your area to see what their transfer success rates are.

Just by doing this research, you’re already on the right path towards starting (or growing) your family.

CoFertility