The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) defines third-party reproduction as “the use of eggs, sperm, or embryos that have been donated by a third person (donor) to enable an infertile individual or couple (intended recipient) to become parents.” Third-party reproduction may also include the use of a gestational carrier. A gestational carrier is an individual who carriers a pregnancy for an infertile individual or couple. Gestational carriers are not biologically or genetically related to the intended parent/s or child.
Egg donors are an option for many patients. It is recommended for women who have age-related infertility, reduced egg quality, premature menopause, or diminished ovarian reserve.
Women who have certain genetic diseases are also candidates for using donor eggs. Eggs can come from a fresh donor cycle or from an egg bank.
A gestational carrier is a woman who carries a pregnancy for another couple or individual. This process begins when one or more embryos created with the sperm and egg of the intended parent/s is transferred into the gestational carrier.
Gestational carriers can be relatives or friends of the intended parent/s or identified through agencies that specialize in this process.
There are a number of indications for the use of donor sperm. For example, donor insemination can be used when the male has severe semen abnormalities or if the male is a carrier of or is affected with a significant genetic abnormality and the patient wishes to avoid passing this on to his/her children. More commonly, donor sperm are used by single women or same sex female couples who wish to become pregnant.