Fertility Center

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Donation and Surrogacy Program

The Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center's Donation and Surrogacy Program offers sperm donation, egg donation and surrogacy options, including gestational carriers, for patients struggling to conceive.

About This Program

Whether you have already chosen a course of action or need guidance in making a decision, clinicians at the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center will support you in your journey, providing you with information and tailoring your treatment to best suit your needs.

As you explore donation or surrogacy options through our program, your primary fertility physician at Mass General will continue to help manage your treatments. As a result, each patient enjoys the comfort and convenience that comes with receiving all care in one location.

What to Expect: Sperm Donation

The Fertility Center is not involved in the process of collecting sperm for donation. Instead, we leverage our relationships with a select number of sperm banks.

We carefully screen all sperm donors to ensure patient safety. If the donor is anonymous, testing takes place at the sperm bank. If the donor is known, he undergoes testing at the sperm bank or Mass General. Once the patient is inseminated—or her eggs are fertilized and the resulting embryo(s) are transferred—she continues to receive most of her care from her primary fertility physician at Mass General.

What to Expect: Egg Donation

Women pursuing egg donation may select a known or anonymous donor. In the latter case, we can lend our insight to help the patient evaluate various egg donor agencies and screen potential donors.

Whether the egg donor is known or anonymous, a Fertility Center physician tests her in adherence with strict FDA requirements. The process of egg retrieval involves a minor surgical procedure for the donor. We then perform in vitro fertilization using the recipient's partner's sperm or donor sperm before transferring one or two viable embryos into the recipient's uterus.

Egg donation is a complex process. We have an egg donor coordinator on staff to handle the logistical aspects, such as interacting with agencies, educating the couple on potential costs, making travel arrangements for the donor and other tasks.

What to Expect: Surrogacy

Surrogacy entails many of the same steps as egg donation. One important distinction: With surrogacy, we protect the gestational carrier's health by screening the couple according to the same FDA requirements that apply to egg donation.

Success With Safety in Mind

At Mass General, we have superb donor-egg success rates. For details on these and other assisted reproductive technologies (ART) rates, please visit the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Our commitment to patient safety is evident throughout the process. We avoid overstimulating egg donors with excessive medication, which could help us harvest more eggs but also could lead to a host of illnesses. Our high level of technical skill gives us the advantage of using just a few eggs. And our preferred practice for single-embryo transfer protects the recipient from the risk of multiple births.

We also understand some couples' desire to have enough embryos to freeze and use at a later time. The line between getting enough eggs and making the egg donor very sick often is quite thin. However, advances in medication protocols and techniques in the embryology laboratory help us to walk that line carefully. Learn more about our cryopreservation program

About This Program Many women who encounter problems conceiving choose to explore alternative paths to parenthood. Some of these paths require a third party, which is why we have grouped together the following treatments under one program.

  • Sperm donation: The woman is inseminated (or has her own eggs fertilized) with previously frozen sperm from a man other than her husband or partner. Sperm can be obtained from a known or anonymous donor via a sperm bank

  • Egg donation: Assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization make it possible for a woman to receive an egg that has been removed from another woman and fertilized in a laboratory. Donated eggs are generally fertilized with the recipient's partner's sperm, although donor sperm is needed in some instances. Babies resulting from a donated egg and partner sperm carry the genetic material of the father and the biological mother but not of the recipient mother, who carries the baby to term

  • Surrogacy: An embryo can be created using the egg of a woman and the sperm of her husband or male partner. This embryo can be transferred into a "carrier" uterus, and the gestational carrier then gives birth to a baby for the couple

Our program welcomes:

  • Single women
  • Male/female couples
  • Same-sex couples
  • Discordant HIV couples (where the man is HIV-positive, but the woman is not)
  • All couples where natural conception may not be possible

An Emphasis on Continuity & Teamwork

Continuity of care is a hallmark of our treatment approach at the Fertility Center. When a patient chooses to explore donation or surrogacy, her primary fertility physician at Massachusetts General Hospital continues to take part in managing her treatments. As a result, the patient enjoys the comfort and convenience that comes with receiving all care in one location.

John Petrozza, MD, director of our donor-egg program, is board-certified in reproductive medicine and infertility as well obstetrics and gynecology. In addition to Dr. Petrozza, the Fertility Center includes a team of professionals with specialized expertise in treating a variety of conditions.

Support & Patient Education

We realize that all donation and surrogacy methods entail complex emotional and ethical considerations. We're here to provide support and education every step of the way.

Two members of our team are dedicated to assisting with these issues. All of our patients meet with clinical social worker Abigail MacDonald, LICSW, who specializes in fertility and family planning issues. Nurse coordinator Julie Gold, RN, also helps patients through difficult decisions and manages the often complicated logistics involved with egg donation.

The links below provide more information about conditions and diseases that might be treated within this program.

Infertility

Infertility is defined by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) as a disease of the reproductive system that impairs the body's ability to perform the basic function of reproduction.

Male Factor Infertility

Male factor infertility is defined as any condition impacting sperm function and its ability to fertilize an egg.

Pregnancy

A pregnancy is divided into three phases, called trimesters. Each trimester has its own significant milestones.

Fertility Center

Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care
Suite 10A
32 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-726-8868
Fax: 617-724-8882


Other Locations

Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care
104 Endicott Street, Suite 304
Danvers, MA 01923

Phone: 978-882-6767
Specialist voicemail: 978-825-6221
Fax: 978-882-6775