Third-party reproduction, or conception, refers to the use of donor sperm, donor eggs, donor embryos or gestational carriers. Patients will consult with one of our physicians to determine if one of these approaches would be suitable for their situation.

Before proceeding, patients should be fully aware of the social, psychological, legal and ethical issues associated with such options. Psychological counselling with a licensed counsellor is mandatory. All participants in this process require infectious disease screening and Legal Counsel is required in many cases that involve third party conception.

New Federal Regulations on Safety of Sperm and Ova
On February 4th, 2020 Health Canada introduced new federal regulations on the safety of sperm and ova. According to the Guidance Document on Safety of Sperm and Ova published by Health Canada, the purpose of the new regulations is to: “help minimize the potential health risks to individuals in Canada who use donor sperm or ova for the purpose of AHR [Assisted Human Reproduction] to help them build their families. This includes the risk of infectious disease transmission from the donor or during processing, to the recipient as well as to the child born of AHR, and the risk of genetic disease transmission from the donor to the child.”

The regulations may affect services offered to our patients. At a very high level, this is what our patients need to know:

  • The regulations do not affect patients undergoing fertility treatment where the egg or sperm provider is the spouse, common-law partner or sexual partner.
  • Patients who are using eggs and/or sperm from an egg bank or sperm bank can continue to receive donated eggs and sperm from the ‘Bank’ after February 4th, as long as the ‘Bank’ has registered with Health Canada and meets the new regulatory guidelines. Both Outreach Health Services (primary supplier of donor sperm) and Donor Egg Bank USA (supplier of donated eggs) have registered with Health Canada and we do not expect any interruption in care.
  • As a result of the new regulations, starting this February, Mount Sinai Fertility will not be offering treatments which fall under the new regulations. This includes patients using known egg or sperm donation or gestational surrogacy.
  • Like other clinics in Canada, Mount Sinai Fertility is evaluating the new regulations and is not yet licensed in this capacity. We are contacting patients who we know fall into this category and are offering them alternative solutions. Please contact your physician’s office if you fit into this category but have yet to be contacted. If these changes affect your fertility plans, we would be happy to provide suggestions of other clinics who are continuing to offer these treatment at this time.
  • Patients can obtain more information on Safety of Sperm and Ova Regulations by visiting Health Canada’s web site at: www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/programs/consultation-safety-sperm-ova-regulations/document.html.

Donor Eggs

What is egg donation?


Egg donation is a fertility treatment option for people who for various reasons are unable to become pregnant using their own eggs.


The use of donor eggs has become much more common, particularly in those over 40 years of age. This procedure has a very high success rate and it gives many people the ability to carry and deliver a child when they otherwise would have been unable to do so.


WHEN TO CONSIDER THIS SERVICE

One of the most common causes of infertility is low egg count or quality. You might consider donor eggs if you:



  • Have a low egg number (also known as a low ovarian reserve)

  • Have had cancer treatment that has damaged the ovaries

  • Have premature ovarian insufficiency

  • Have severe endometriosis

  • Biologically require donor eggs

  • Are in your 40’s


WHAT TO EXPECT DURING TREATMENT


At Mount Sinai Fertility, anonymous frozen donor eggs that can be imported from the USA. We work exclusively with California Cryobank, one of the world’s largest and most successful donor egg banks.


The eggs will be thawed and fertilized with sperm. The resulting embryo will be transferred into the uterus to achieve a pregnancy. Any additional embryos created will be frozen for future use.


WHAT INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE ON ANONYMOUS EGG DONORS?

Egg banks provide information on the egg donor’s race, height, weight, personal history, academic performance, and many other demographic details. Also, depending on your preference, you may choose to see photos of the donor and read an essay they have written about themselves.



Donor Sperm

What is donor sperm?

Some individuals or couples may require the use of donor sperm in order to achieve a pregnancy. Mount Sinai Fertility accepts donor sperm from several national certified sperm banks where donors are appropriately screened and the sperm is quarantined.


Donor sperm is commonly needed by:



  • Single people

  • Those who biologically do not have sperm

  • Those who have severe male* factor infertility


*This includes people who do not identify as male but who have conditions such as   abnormal sperm parameters or other urologic conditions


Canadian-compliant sperm distributors include:



SELECTING A SPERM DONOR

Sperm donors can be selected from the cryobank’s website. Sperm donors are anonymous, though some donors have consented to having their identity released to children conceived of their specimens when they reach the age of 21. Many donors provide a childhood picture. The donor database offers personal demographics (i.e., hair color, height, race, etc.), as well as essays written by the donor. In some cases, recipients can view if previous pregnancies have resulted from that donor’s sperm. While short profiles are open to the public, the extended profiles require a subscription.


AFTER DONOR SELECTION

After the donor is selected and/or the quarantine period for a known donor has passed, the cryobank sends the frozen sperm sample(s) directly to us, where we will thaw the sperm and analyze it in our Andrology Laboratory. From there, individuals undergo an intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle using the donated sperm.



Embryo Donation

People who have undergone in vitro fertilization (IVF) may have surplus or extra embryos that they wish to donate. At this time, Mount Sinai Fertility is not offering this service. However, patients who wish to consider embryo donation can speak to their fertility care provider about their options.