Advances in third party reproduction have made parenthood possible for many people who otherwise would not have the option. Whether you’re the person longing to get pregnant or the individual wanting to make that dream possible for another, Sutter’s fertility clinics can help with both counseling and coordination.
We offer our own registries of egg donors and a comprehensive Egg Donor program, and we also work with other reputable organizations that provide those services. In all cases, we strive for the highest industry standards of privacy and safety, adhering to guidelines set forth by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.
If you are experiencing infertility due to a low number or quality of eggs, egg donation may provide another avenue to start a family. Egg donors are screened through interviews, medical exams and blood tests, and entered into a database. You can access this database to see non-identifiable information about potential donors and make a selection. Frozen donor eggs from an egg bank may also be an option.
When a donor-recipient match is made, the donor takes birth control pills to synchronize her menstrual cycle with your cycle, and she takes fertility drugs to promote the maturation of multiple eggs. The doctor will remove the eggs at the optimum point in the donor’s cycle. Then in vitro fertilization (IVF) is used to transfer fertilized embryos into your uterus. The rest of the embryos typically are frozen to give you another chance at pregnancy if the first attempt is not successful, or if you later desire another child.
IVF with donated eggs has a high rate of successful pregnancy and a low rate of complications for the donor, making it an excellent option for many couples.
Sometimes couples who have frozen embryos remaining from a previous IVF procedure choose to donate them to another couple or individual who cannot otherwise conceive. Donation requirements are similar to those for egg or sperm donation, meaning donors go through a screening process, provide medical history and undergo a medical exam, and sign contractual agreements releasing themselves of legal, financial and custodial rights or obligations to the embryo. The embryo recipient also receives counseling before undergoing IVF with the donated embryo or embryos.
Sutter Health works with a number of sperm banks that follow the state of California’s and the Food and Drug Administration’s rigorous regulatory requirements. Donors, whether known by the recipient or unknown, work directly with these sperm banks to make their donation.
If you’re the recipient wanting to acquire donated sperm, you must first obtain a doctor’s order. Using this, you order the sperm from the sperm bank, designating the known individual or a donor you’ve selected from the sperm bank’s registry.
Donated sperm is used as part of treatment with insemination or IVF, using the recipient's own eggs or donated eggs.
Gestational Carrier (Surrogacy)
For various medical reasons, some couples require a surrogate mother to carry and give birth to their baby. Prospective parents wishing to pursue this option can ask their doctor for recommendations of local service providers.
Although Sutter Health does not match individuals with a surrogate, our staff can refer you to a local, reputable surrogate agency. We then work with you once the parent-surrogate relationship is established to facilitate any fertility services necessary.