Oocyte Donation

Assisted Reproduction Treatment with Donor Oocytes

The use of donor oocytes is an increasingly common therapeutic alternative in Medically Assisted Procreation.

It is primarily indicated for women with low follicular reserve, a history of unsuccessful cycles of IVF/ICSI with their own oocytes, carriers of certain genetic diseases, or with a history of recurrent miscarriages.


Donor Selection

Donors, aged between 18 and 35, undergo medical and psychological evaluations as well as analyses that include genetic and infectious disease studies. Once eligible, they are selected based on the physical characteristics (phenotype) and blood group of the receiving couple.

Donor Ovulation Stimulation

Similar to cycles of IVF/ICSI with a woman’s own oocytes, the donor undergoes ovulation induction through the administration of injectable drugs and ultrasound monitoring to assess the number and size of follicles. When the follicles reach the desired size, follicular aspiration is performed.

Recipient’s Endometrial Preparation

Synchronized with the donor’s stimulation or in a subsequent unsynchronized cycle, the recipient may need to undergo hormonal therapy orally or transdermally to control the proliferation of the endometrium.

Sperm Collection

Sperm collection is done on the day of the donor oocyte retrieval. Previously cryopreserved sperm may be used, or, in indicated cases, donor sperm.

IVF/ICSI Technique

The obtained oocytes and spermatozoa undergo laboratory treatment following the same steps as in IVF/ICSI with the couple’s gametes to obtain embryos.

Embryonic Transfer

Embryo transfer takes place three or five days after the donor’s follicular aspiration in synchronized cycles. Surplus embryos are cryopreserved. Portuguese law allows the transfer of a maximum of two embryos per cycle.

The entire process follows safety and quality standards established by the National Council for Medically Assisted Procreation and recommendations of good medical practice, ensuring complete confidentiality.

Under Portuguese law, individuals born as a result of assisted reproduction processes using donated gametes or embryos can obtain genetic information from the competent health services. They can also obtain information about the donor’s civil identification from the CNPMA (National Council for Medically Assisted Procreation), provided they are 18 years of age or older. Under no circumstances can the donor be considered a parent of children born through the use of these techniques (Article 10(2) of Law No. 32/2006, of July 26).