For the first time, researchers have shown how a key reproductive hormone suppresses follicle development and prevents ovulation in females.
Third Party Reproduction Program
Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care, Suite 10A
32 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114
Mass General Waltham
52 Second Avenue, Building 40, Suite 402
Waltham, MA 02451
Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care
104 Endicott Street, Suite 304
Danvers, MA 01923
Specialist voicemail: 978-825-6221
Mass General Brigham Reproductive Medicine Center at Newton-Wellesley Hospital
2014 Washington Street
Newton, MA 02462
Explore This Treatment Program
Many patients 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 services for both egg and sperm donation and gestational carries under one program.
- Sperm Donation: A patient is inseminated (or has their own eggs fertilized) with previously frozen sperm from a donor or partner. Sperm can be obtained from an anonymous donor via a sperm bank or from a known sperm donor.
- Egg Donation: Assisted reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization, make it possible for a patient to receive an egg that has been removed from an egg donor 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.
- Gestational Carrier: An embryo can be transferred into a gestational carrier’s uterus, who will then carry the baby until birth for the intended parents. The embryo transferred must have at least one genetic link to the intended parents (either the egg source or sperm source).
The Third Party Reproduction Program welcomes all couples where natural conception may not be possible, including:
- Single patients
- Male/female couples
- Same-sex couples
Support & Patient Education
We realize that all third party reproduction methods entail complex emotional and ethical considerations, so we provide support and education every step of the way. Our team includes a social worker who can provide counseling and support throughout your journey.
What to Expect in Third Party Reproduction
Whether you have already chosen a course of action or need guidance in decision-making, our Fertility Center clinicians will support you in your journey. We can provide you with information and will tailor your treatment to best suit your needs.
What to Expect: Sperm Donation
The Fertility Center is not involved in the process of donor recruitment or collecting sperm for donation. Instead, we leverage our relationships with a select number of sperm banks who screen donors to ensure patient safety and collect the sperm for use at our clinic.
If the donor is anonymous, testing takes place at the sperm bank. If the donor is known, testing may occur at the sperm bank or Mass General. Once the patient is inseminated—or the eggs are fertilized, and the resulting embryo(s) are transferred—the patient continues to receive care from their primary fertility physician at Mass General.
What to Expect: Egg Donation
Patients pursuing egg donation may select a known or anonymous donor. Our team can lend our insight to help you evaluate various egg donor agencies and screen potential donors.
Whether the egg donor is known or anonymous, she will undergo testing for communicable diseases required by the FDA. The process of egg retrieval involves a minor surgical procedure for the donor. We then perform in vitro fertilization using partner or donor sperm before transferring a viable embryo 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: Gestational Carrier
Using a gestational carrier entails many of the same steps as egg donation. If the transferred embryo was created with both intended parent’s gametes, both intended parents will undergo FDA testing. This helps to ensure that no communicable diseases will be transferred to the gestational carrier.
Success with Safety in Mind
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 have excellent 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.
We also understand some couples' desire to have enough embryos to freeze and use at a later time.
Continuity of care is a hallmark of our treatment approach. As you explore third party options, your primary fertility physician will help manage your treatments, so you will enjoy the comfort and convenience that comes with receiving all care in one location. Mary Morris, MD, PhD, director of the program, is board-certified in reproductive medicine and infertility. In addition, the Fertility Center includes a team of professionals with specialized fertility expertise.
- Medical Director, Clinic for Reproductive Health and Cancer
- Medical Director, Third Party Reproduction
Fertility Patient Resources
At the Mass General Fertility Center, we believe you are a vital member of the care team. These resources will help you and your partner stay informed throughout treatment.
- Patient Education
- Apr | 22 | 2021
Infertility is complicated and influenced by many factors, so diagnosing and treating it can be a complex process.
- Patient Story
- Apr | 9 | 2021
Mariya and Rado met in their native Bulgaria, after a career opportunity brought Rado to Massachusetts the two were married. This story follows their fertility story and experience with the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center.
- Mar | 3 | 2021
Episode #54 of the Charged podcast
- Patient Education
- Aug | 10 | 2018
Infertility is complex. Mary Morris, MD, PhD, shares advice for couples and individuals facing fertility challenges.
- Patient Education
- Mar | 15 | 2018
Infertility is complex, and it can't always be explained. However, these simple behavioral changes from the Mass General Fertility Center can help improve your fertility, no matter your gender.