Egg donation

Donors are people from all walks of life and ethnicities – there is no such thing as a ‘standard donor’. What they all have in common is their desire to help people and make a real difference to someone’s life.

Why are egg donors needed?

Some women are unable to produce their own eggs. This might be due to:

  • Cancer treatments
  • Premature menopause
  • Inherited disorders in the family
  • Poor response to IVF with their own eggs
  • Age related infertility

Can I help?

Potential donors should be generally healthy, aged 18-35 years, free of any serious medical problem, disability, congenital, family or hereditary disease and who are not severely overweight for their height. We need donors of all ethnicities.

We pay £750.00 per completed egg donation cycle. This will be paid to the donor after egg collection.

General health assessment

This can be done by a nurse or a doctor, over the telephone or at an appointment in the clinic. We will take a full personal medical and family history, in the form of a detailed health questionnaire. It is essential that that the potential donor gives accurate information and ensures that the Fertility Centre is aware of any relevant medical conditions. We will also ask for your written permission to contact your GP in order to confirm your health status.

Counselling

All potential donors will meet the counsellor and the effects of this procedure on the donor, her family and children are discussed. We also like to ensure that the donor’s partner is in agreement before we begin the donation process.

We encourage all donors to discuss their donation with their children when appropriate to their age. We make sure that the welfare of any potential children born from your donation is carefully considered during counselling with the recipient couple.

Screening and consent

At this appointment you will see a nurse and it will take approximately one hour.

You should bring a form of ID such as a passport or driving licence as we will need a copy for our records.

All details needed to register you as a donor with the HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority) will be taken and you will be asked to provide a brief description about yourself (you can take this part away with you to complete).

The paperwork and consent forms needed for the process will be explained and completed.

Blood samples will be taken for infective disorders, genetic disorders and to check that your ovaries are working well.

Vaginal swabs are also taken to test for infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea. The implications of having these tests are fully discussed before samples are taken. The results of the tests are confidential and the results are made known only to the donor. Without written permission, not even your GP can be informed.

Final appointment (before treatment begins)

This appointment will also last about one hour and is again with a nurse. The results of all tests will be discussed. The process of actually donating your eggs will be fully explained and further paperwork will be completed.

Start of treatment

You can decide which month to start the process of donating your eggs. Remember that the process will take approximately six weeks across two menstrual cycles. The process begins on day 21 of your menstrual cycle. This involves daily injections for two to three weeks to 'switch off' your own hormones, followed by approximately two weeks of further injections to stimulate your ovaries to grow eggs. All injections are given into the fat layer just under the skin. We will teach you to do these injections yourself. The nurses will do vaginal ultrasound scans to monitor your progress. You will then have a minor operation under general anaesthetic to collect the eggs. This takes place in our department and only takes approximately half an hour.

This completes the process. You will then go home when feeling well enough for a well-earned rest! You will need to organise for a friend or relative to take you home and be with you for 24 hours until you are fully recovered from the anaesthetic.

Egg donation law

Any child born as a result of egg donation will be the legal child of the recipient, not the donor. The HFEA keeps a register of all egg donors as well as all treatments using donated eggs. As the law stands, the identity of a donor remains confidential as far as the parents of donor-conceived children are concerned.

However, at the age of 16, children born as a result of donated eggs will be legally entitled to non-identifying information about the donor and other donor-conceived children to whom they are genetically related. Young people aged 16 who are entering a relationship may also find out whether they are genetically related. At the age of 18, they will be entitled to identifying information about the donor. They may also be given identifying information about donor-conceived genetic siblings if both sides consent.

Parents of children conceived using donated eggs are provided with non-identifying information about the donor. They may also ask the HFEA for information about the number, sex and year of birth of other children born from the same donor.

The donor is entitled to non-identifying information about their offspring, specifically the number, sex and year of birth.

Under regulations, donors may help to produce children for a maximum of ten families. However, women who donate in this clinic will be donating to a maximum of two couples in the process of one cycle.

Withdrawal of consent

It is important that donors only proceed if they are completely happy with the procedure and the possible consequences. Our counsellor is available to discuss any concerns and any such discussions are completely confidential. However, donors are free to withdraw consent at any time up until their eggs, or the embryos created using their eggs, are used in treatment (transferred into the womb of the recipient). If eggs or embryos have been frozen for future use, the donor may withdraw her consent to storage and future use at any time.

Can you give the gift of life?

For further information email us at bwc.eggdonation@nhs.net or call us on 0121 335 8270.