29 May, 2024 @ 12:31
2 mins read

Becoming a mother with donor eggs: ‘The love I feel for my daughter is unconditional and has nothing to do with genetics’.

  • Success rates in oocyte donation at Instituto Bernabeu are over 65% in the first transfer.
  • Egg donation is especially recommended for women with low oocyte quality or with genetic diseases that could be transmitted to their children.

Egg donation is one of the most demanded assisted reproduction treatments, as it allows women who cannot have children with their own eggs to become mothers. In Spain, where reproductive medicine has reached high standards of excellence, egg donation has become a widely used technique with a success rate of 60%. According to the Spanish Fertility Society’s (SEF in Spanish) 2021 National Activity Register, 16,788 donor embryos were transferred in Spain.

Within this context, Instituto Bernabeu has become a European reference in egg donation with one of the first programmes in Spain. They have a long experience since 1992 and their own oocytes bank allows them to select the most suitable donor for each patient. As a result, their success rates are over 65% in the first transfer.

Egg donation is especially recommended for women with poor oocyte quality, i.e. if their eggs are not viable or have chromosomal abnormalities. But this treatment is also aimed at women with genetic diseases that could be transmitted to their children or couples with repeated failures of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) with their own eggs.

Success rates with donated eggs are significantly higher than with own eggs, especially in older women. In addition, because it is not necessary to stimulate the patient’s ovaries, the process is quicker and less invasive. Most importantly, it allows women with medical problems who would not be able to carry a pregnancy to term on their own to become pregnant.

For many women, the process represents not only the possibility of having a child, but also an emotional journey that involves overcoming the sadness and frustration associated with infertility. However, once pregnancy is successfully achieved, many women experience a deep sense of joy and gratitude, finding comfort in the fact that modern science has made their desire to become mothers possible.

Mother thanks to egg donation

María is an Instituto Bernabeu patient who came to the clinic in Alicante when she was 39 years old. She had always wanted to have a child, but different circumstances had made her postpone the moment. When she decided to become a mother, pregnancy did not come naturally. After a year trying, she went to the clinic with her partner, where the team of specialists diagnosed her with low ovarian reserve, which considerably reduced her chances of pregnancy.

From there, the decision was quick. Maria, advised by the medical team, decided to resort to egg donation and underwent in vitro fertilisation (IVF) with her husband’s sperm. The process was a success and that is how they had their first daughter.

‘Becoming a mother with eggs that are not mine was no different from being a mother with my own eggs. The love I feel for my daughter is unconditional and has nothing to do with genetics,’ says María, who encourages other women in the same situation to get in touch with specialists to achieve their goal. ‘I hope my story will inspire other women and to break the taboos and doubts that may arise around assisted reproduction’.

Four decades of experience

Instituto Bernabeu has been at the forefront of reproductive medicine research. The group of specialised clinics, founded in the mid-1980s, is led by doctors Rafael and Andrea Bernabeu and attracts patients from all over the world every year, specifically from 137 countries. It has 9 clinics in Madrid, Alicante, Palma de Mallorca, Albacete, Cartagena, Elche, Benidorm and Venice.

This renowned Spanish institution has 40 years of experience and its milestones include the birth of a child using spermatids for the first time in Spain and sixth in the world, and the recent creation of the first artificial intelligence (AI) unit dedicated to reproductive medicine. Every day 3 babies are born in the world thanks to the professionals at Instituto Bernabeu, which has already surpassed 150,000 clinical records since its foundation.

The Spanish Fertility Society (SEF in Spanish) has recognised its research work by awarding the first and second prizes for clinical communications and the second prize for the best basic communication based on AI. In this case, the research has created an AI model with which it is possible to predict the probability of implanting chromosomally normal embryos. In addition, at the 2024 congress, Instituto Bernabeu researchers will present 16 oral communications and 13 in poster format.

Staff Reporter

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