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Women with ovarian failure can still have children but these are generated using Donated oocytes. Oocyte donation is now widely practiced in the western world and has resulted in the birth of several thousand children. The donor is usually a young female aged less than 35 years and having had children her own. Her features should ideally match those of the prospective recipient especially in relation to ethnic background.Although less important, other features such as hair colour, height, build, blood group should match as much as possible. Psychological testing is carried out and in-depth counselling is performed. These are aimed at ascertaining the suitability of the parties concerned and making sure that they are aware of both short-and long-term psychological and social consequences of procreation with donated gametes. Anonymous donation is most ideal and should be aimed for; the donor will however, never know if viable pregnancies and children were generated with her oocytes, or the identity of the children and their subsequent progress in life.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is carried out using oocytes retrieved from the donor's ovaries and sperm produced by the recipient's husband. A selected number of resulting embryos is transferred into the recipient's uterus two to five days following the oocytes retrieval procedure. Prior to this time the recipient's endometrium is primed to receive and nurture the embryos by the use of oestradiol tablets for about 14 days followed by the administration of progesterone pessaries for two to five days (depending on the age of the embryos) before the embryo transfer. Administration of oestrogen and progesterone is continued until 8-12 weeks of pregnancy, for those who succeed in becoming pregnant.

Pregnancy rates following IVF using donated oocytes are generally high; often higher than rates obtained in women with normal ovarian function who use their own oocytes for IVF.

Although the resulting child will only be genetically related to the recipients husband the experience of pregnancy by the woman is no different from that of spontaneously conceiving women or those who become pregnant following assisted conception treatment with their own oocytes.

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