Egg Donation Information
Donor eggs are used to treat women whose ovaries are unable to produce their own eggs, or whose eggs are of poor quality
Who can be an egg donor?
To be an egg donor you must be less than 35 years of age, be in good health and not be a known carrier of any genetic or other medical condition(s) that could be harmful to any children born. You should also have a body mass index (BMI) less than 30.
Generally, you will already have children of your own. However, we do also consider women who have not had children.
What is involved?
As a first step you will attend an initial appointment with one of our medical team. This appointment is to discuss your personal and family medical history and to give you more information about the treatment required to enable you to become an egg donor.
You will have an appointment with a counsellor so that we are happy that you understand the implications of what you are taking on.
You will see a nurse for us to take some blood and urine for screening. The nurse will also take you through the timetable for the IVF process and teach you about the injections. She will also help you to complete the necessary consent forms.
You will have medication to stimulate your ovaries in order to produce several eggs. The treatment involved is very similar to that that a woman would undertake were she to have IVF for herself.
The development of the eggs is then monitored by ultrasound scans. These are vaginal scans (internal scans) and are safe, simple and painless. The scans enable us to see a picture of your ovaries with the developing follicles (follicles are fluid filled sacs; one follicle contains one developing egg).
You will also have some blood taken during this time to allow us to monitor your hormone levels.
When the follicles have grown big enough the eggs are collected. To collect the eggs an internal scan is first performed. Then, using the ultrasound to guide the way, a fine needle is passed into the ovary and the eggs are gently removed through the needle.
There are no cuts or stitches. You will have some sedation, local anaesthesia or a light general anaesthesia.
There is no need for you to stay overnight in hospital and you can go home later the same day.
What are the risks?
Occasionally, some side effects can occur whilst on medication.
The injections can produce some weight gain due to salt and water retention. Prior to egg collection there may be a sensation of extreme fullness and discomfort, very similar to pre-menstrual discomfort. However, these effects last only whilst on the medication and you will return to normal following your period.
There is a very small risk of bleeding or infection in the ovary with the egg collection procedure. However, this risk is extremely low and estimated to occur in only around one in 2000 cases.
Following egg collection, you may experience a small amount of bleeding. This is quite normal and will settle down within a few days.
Although the medication is carefully monitored, occasionally a woman can be extremely sensitive to the hormone injections. In these cases, the ovaries produce a large number of follicles (more than 20) and even after the eggs are collected the ovaries will remain swollen and tender.
Women producing a higher than average numbers of eggs are also at higher risk of complications such as OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome). This is the major side effect of IVF and further information is given in the treatment guide. In the rare cases that this does happen, hospital admission may be required.
During the IVF process, your ovaries may produce 8 to 12 eggs and most of these will be collected; however, we may leave one or two behind unintentionally, therefore your fertility potential in the cycle is increased. You will be asked to take precautions against pregnancy by either avoiding intercourse or using a barrier method of contraception during this time.
The HFEA have advised that patients should be aware of a theoretical risk that the stimulation drugs used in IVF could increase the chance of developing ovarian cancer later in life. However, a number of very large follow up studies have been reassuring and shown no actual increase, but further research is ongoing.
Do I get paid?
Egg donors are entitled to £750 compensation per cycle of egg donation. You are not obliged to accept this compensation if you do not wish to do so.
Do you offer egg share?
Yes. If you are planning to have IVF with us you may be able to donate half of your eggs in exchange for an IVF cycle at a reduced cost. Please contact us for more information.
What screening is required?
We need to be sure that we will not be putting the recipient or the child(ren) born at risk of any infection or genetic condition by using donor eggs. Therefore, all donors have the following screening:
- Hormone tests to ensure that your ovaries will respond to the fertility drugs
- Hepatitis B and C
- CMV (cytomegalovirus)
- Blood group
- Cystic fibrosis
- Karyotype (chromosome analysis)
- Occasionally, other screening tests will be required. These will be fully discussed with you at the time.
Who will receive my eggs?
For some people, receiving eggs from a donor is their only hope of having a baby. This may be because they are unable to produce their own eggs or that their eggs are of very poor quality.
Usually only one or two families are helped with each egg donation cycle.
Who would be the legal parent of a child born with my eggs?
Any child born as a result of donor treatment is legally the child of the husband, wife or civil partner of the patient unless he/she did not consent to the treatment. The egg donor is not the child’s legal parent and has no legal or financial responsibilities for the child.
Who would know that I am a donor?
All egg donors are registered with the HFEA and details regarding all treatment cycles using donor eggs, and their outcomes, are stored on a confidential register. In addition we will ask your permission to contact your GP. This is because we need to make sure that there is nothing in your medical or family background that would prevent you from becoming a donor.
Will the recipients of the eggs know who I am?
The prospective recipients of your eggs and the parents of children born with your eggs will be able to find out some non-identifying information about you. However, they will not be able to find out your name, or have any other information that they could use to trace you.
What information will the children born from my eggs be entitled to?
Jessop Fertility encourages openness to children born with donor eggs, but it is possible that such a child might go through life and not know that they were conceived with help from a donor. However, any children born as a result of your egg donation will be able to contact the HFEA in the future to find out your name and last known address. They will also be able to find out information that you will have provided such as your occupation and hobbies. You will also have an opportunity to provide a “goodwill message” for the child(ren).
Will I be able to find out anything about the children that are born with my eggs?
We can tell you whether a baby or babies were born. We can tell you how many, whether they are boys or girls, and the year they were born. We would not be able to tell you names. As one of our donors, our counselling service will always be available for you and your family to use, both now and at any time in the future. When finding out about children born from your eggs you may find counselling helpful.
Where can I get more information?
Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA): http://www.hfea.gov.uk/
The HFEA also publishes some useful "Lifecycle" leaflets for people thinking about becoming a donor: http://www.hfea.gov.uk/8350.html
The National Gamete Donation Trust: http://www.ngdt.co.uk/
Donor Conception Network: http://www.dcnetwork.org/
British Infertility Counselling Association (BICA): http://www.bica.net/
Infertility Network UK (INUK): http://www.infertilitynetworkuk.com/
What do I do now?
If you think that egg sharing is for you then please contact us.
Thinking of becoming an egg donor?
We’d love to answer any questions you may have. If you would like find out more please click on one of the boxes below or send and email to Valerie.Kitcheman@sth.nhs.ukFor more information Free open day place
Alternatively you can call us on: 0114 226 8050
Monday to Friday: 8.00am - 5.00pm
Saturday: 8.00am - 3.30pm
The Jessop Wing
Tree Root Walk, Sheffield S10 2SF