Gamete double donation: How does It work?

doble donacion gametos

Double donation is one of the most common treatments in assisted reproduction clinics in Spain. It involves the combination of egg and sperm donation. We asked Dr. Katharina Spies, a gynecologist specializing in assisted reproduction and the medical director of Vida Fertility, to explain what this treatment entails, the anonymity of gametes, and how prospective parents should prepare for this technique.

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What is gamete or embryo donation?

Gamete donation involves the donation of eggs and sperm by anonymous individuals who wish to help others fulfill their dream of becoming parents. In various circumstances, gamete donation becomes the only viable option for achieving pregnancy.

How are donors selected?

It’s crucial to highlight that gamete donation is a completely anonymous, altruistic, and voluntary process in Spain, as established by Spanish Law 14/2006. Therefore, the identifying information of donors cannot be disclosed, and they will bear no responsibility for any future baby conceived with their gametes.

What is double donation?

Double donation involves an In Vitro Fertilization (IVF-ICSI) procedure that uses eggs and sperm provided by anonymous donors.

The choice of donors takes into account the physical characteristics of the patients. This approach to double donation offers a high success rate in terms of the possibility of pregnancy, as the gametes used are of high quality.

Who is double donation for?

Double donation is intended for all patients or couples who need both egg and sperm donation. In most cases, these are single women or lesbian couples who cannot use their own eggs (due to ovarian insufficiency or other pathologies related to ovarian reserve) and also heterosexual couples with male fertility issues (such as azoospermia or advanced paternal age).

Furthermore, gamete donation may also be necessary when there is a genetic mutation or chromosomal abnormality in either the woman or the man.

Medicina Regenerativa

Double donation in Spain

Many patients come to Spain to receive double gamete donation. There are several reasons why patients choose Spain for their treatment known as “double donation”:

Short waiting times for sperm and egg donor selection: Due to the high number of donations in Spain, this country leads in gamete donations, resulting in a considerable reduction in waiting time to receive a donation. The process usually takes 6 to 8 weeks until embryo transfer.

Donor anonymity: Spain has strict legislation regarding donor anonymity. Unlike other European countries, Spain guarantees irreversible anonymity in gamete donations.

Advanced diagnostic techniques: Although double donation may seem like a straightforward treatment, obtaining a good-quality embryo is not always enough. It’s necessary to check for any obstacles in the uterus for embryo implantation. In this regard, Vida Fertility has the knowledge and techniques required to optimize endometrial preparation.

Double donation has the highest success rates, as the quality of gametes is guaranteed by the age of the donors. Success rates usually range from 70-75% on the first attempt and 93% after 3 cumulative attempts.

tasas de exito ovodonacion

Stages of Double Donation

The double donation protocol consists of 4 key stages, all of which are important for achieving the best results:

  1. Understanding the patient’s history and establishing a personalized diagnosis: At Vida Fertility, we take the necessary time to understand each case and develop an appropriate protocol. It’s essential to know all the details of our patients’ backgrounds to improve endometrial response to implantation.
  2. Donor selection: Donor selection is based on the physical characteristics of the patients, and both donors must share the same phenotype (eye color, skin color, hair color and texture, height, morphology, etc.).
  3. Obtaining embryos: Once donors are selected, the egg donor will start ovarian stimulation to obtain an adequate number of embryos for transfer. On the day of the egg donor’s ovarian puncture, the obtained eggs will be fertilized in the laboratory with the sperm of the male donor, resulting in pre-embryos.
  4. Endometrial preparation and transfer: The patient will begin endometrial preparation according to the personalized treatment plan. This will involve hormonal replacement therapy to thicken and prepare the endometrium for embryo implantation. Once the endometrium is ready, the embryo obtained will be transferred into the uterus.

Everything you need to know about embryo transfer 

Fresh or vitrified embryos?

The transfer of a double donation embryo can be done with fresh embryos or previously vitrified embryos. Both protocols have similar success rates, and there is no difference between a transfer with fresh embryos or vitrified embryos.

At Vida Fertility, we can offer double donation according to these two protocols:

  • Donor/recipient synchronization and transfer of fresh embryos: The egg donor will follow her ovarian stimulation at the same time as the recipient’s endometrial preparation. The recipient should come to the center 5 days after the egg donor’s puncture for the transfer of blastocyst-stage embryos.
  • Preparation with prior vitrification of embryos: This treatment is divided into two phases:
    • Stimulation of the egg donor and obtaining embryos
    • Endometrial preparation and transfer of vitrified embryos. This protocol has the advantage of avoiding additional stress for the patient. She will travel to Spain knowing the result of the obtained embryos and will not depend on her donor’s puncture date to prepare for her trip to Spain.

Why choose Vida Fertility?

We understand how challenging and emotional the journey to parenthood can be, especially when facing infertility. At Vida Fertility, we are not only a team of highly specialized experts in infertility but also individuals who understand and value your feelings and dreams.

Our embryologists work tirelessly to provide you with the best care and support on this journey. Moreover, we speak several languages, making communication and understanding your needs much easier.

In our clinics in Madrid and Alicante, you will find a warm and welcoming environment where you are treated as part of our family. We are here to help you discover the reasons behind your difficulties in conceiving, and together, we will take the first step towards your dream of becoming a parent. You are not alone in this; we are here for you.

Complete our contact form, and let’s embark on this beautiful journey together!