Egg Donation FAQs

Can I find out if my egg donation has been successful?

Yes, you can find out whether your donation has been successful once your recipient has a pregnancy confirmed. You can also request information about gender and year of birth of any children born as a result of your donation.

Will the egg donation process be painful?

The daily injections may be a little uncomfortable and the stimulation hormones may produce side effects, however many patients do not experience any side effects at all. This will all be carefully explained in advance by the clinic staff. During the egg collection procedure, you will be under sedation so you will not explain any pain or discomfort. After the egg collection, you might experience some tummy cramps for a day or two following the procedure but it shouldn't be any worse than period pain.

How many times will I need to attend the clinic?

Throughout the egg donation process, you will need to visit the clinic between 6 and 10 times. This will depend on how you respond to the hormonal stimulation and how long it takes for your eggs to become mature enough for collection.

How will my eggs be collected?

Your eggs will be collected during a surgical procedure inside an operating theatre. You will be given sedation. A probe attached to a tiny needle travels through the vaginal wall where the eggs are carefully extracted, in what is known as a transvaginal ultrasound aspiration procedure.

How long does the egg collection procedure take?

The whole procedure should take 20 - 30 minutes. After the procedure, you will need to rest for 1 - 2 hours until the effects of the sedative have worn off.

Are there any limitations on how my eggs are used?

Yes. Your donated eggs can be given to up to 10 families. If your recipient gets pregnant while there are still frozen eggs or embryos remaining, then they can preserve these in order their child biological brothers or sisters, all from your generous donation.

What personal information will be kept about me? Where will it be stored and who will see it?

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and your clinic will safely store your personal information. It is strictly confidential. Any identifiable information (such as your name) will only be revealed to any child born as a result of your donation when they reach 18 years old and decide to request this information.

I have recently visited countries outside of Europe. Can I still donate?

All egg donors must have blood tests for infectious diseases before as part of the screening process before they are accepted as donors. Some countries are affected by specific viruses, such as malaria, which mean you cannot donate while you are infected. It is important that you tell your clinic about any travel within the last six months.

I have received donated blood/organ/bone marrow. Can I still donate?

All egg donors must have blood tests for infectious diseases before as part of the screening process before they are accepted as donors. If you received a blood transfusion, then you can be reassured that the blood was screened and totally safe. If you have received an organ transplant, then you may need to take long-term medication which could prevent your clinic accepting you as a donor. In this case, it is best to discuss this with the clinic staff who can advise on the best course of action.

Do I need to tell someone if I am diagnosed with an illness which could have affect any children born from my donation?

Yes. It is vital that you keep in touch with your clinic. If you develop an illness that could be genetic in origin, you must contact your team and let them know straight away.

I have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Can I still donate?

One in five women are affected by polycystic ovaries and most have normal fertility. However, severe PCOS is associated with ovulation problems. Your clinic will be able to advise you about the impact of your medical history on your desire to donate.

Will the recipients of my donation tell their children that they are donor-conceived?

Our staff and counsellors will encourage recipients to tell their children that they are donor-conceived, but there is no legal obligation to do this.

I have endometriosis. Can I still donate?

Severe endometriosis may make it difficult for you to become a donor as your egg reserve may be reduced. Your clinic will be able to advise you after they have reviewed your medical history as well as performed some simple tests to assess how you will respond to the treatment.

Can I donate anonymously?

Under UK law, all egg donors need to supply identifiable information which can be accessed by any child born as a result of their donation when they are 18 years old. It is the decision of the donor-conceived individual whether they request information about their donor. In these situations, there is no obligation on either side to make contact. If they do make contact, the interaction between donor and don0r-conceived individual is carefully mediated by the HFEA.

Will donating my eggs affect my fertility?

The process of donating eggs is very safe, but like any medical procedure, there are always risks that need to be taken in account. We will will discuss these in detail with you beforehand and by monitoring you closely, we are able to greatly minimise any possible risks. Although some clinics prefer to accept donors who have already completed their own families, IVI is able to welcome all women who are keen to become donors because of the high safety levels of our procedures.

What happens if my screening tests show I have a medical condition affecting my general health or fertility?

If your screening tests reveal an unexpected medical or genetic condition, the clinic doctors will explain the implications of the test results, arrange counselling and put you in touch with other specialists if necessary.

I'm overweight. Can I still donate?

Women with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or over are less likely to respond well to the medication that is used during an egg donation treatment cycle. Your clinic will be able to advise you about your ideal weight and provide support and advice if you need to lower your BMI.

I have recently had a piercing/tattoo. Can I still donate?

All egg donors must have blood tests for infectious diseases before as part of the screening process before they are accepted as donors. If you had a tattoo or piercing at a reputable salon with sterile conditions, you should have no reason to worry about contracting an infection that could stop you becoming a donor.

I'm over 35 and would like to donate eggs to a friend or family member. Can I still do this?

Although altruistic egg donors usually need to be under 36 years of age, donating eggs to a someone you know, such as a friend or family member, is more flexible. This is called known egg donation and it is very common. Our clinic can provide plenty of help and support if this is something you would like to do.

I don't have children. Does this affect whether I can donate?

We welcome all women who are keen to become egg donors, so not having children will not affect your ability to donate. However, if you have been trying to conceive for a while, we will run some simple tests which will assess your level of fertility and make sure there are no possible problems.

I've had one or more miscarriages. Will this affect whether I can become an egg donor?

Often, miscarriages very sadly happen by chance and do not indicate an underlying fertility problem in most cases. If you have experienced recurring miscarriages, our medical team will discuss this with you in detail and give you advice about becoming an egg donor.

Do I have to change my lifestyle to donate?

A healthy lifestyle, such as keeping a balanced diet, not smoking and drinking less alcohol, will be best for your health and will contribute to better outcomes for the recipient of your donation. If you're considering becoming a donor, taking steps to live healthier is a good idea.

I drink alcohol. Can I still donate?

Women who are trying to get pregnant or are pregnant are advised not to drink alcohol. For egg donors, we ask that you adhere to our 'healthy drinking rule', which is no more than fourteen units a week.

I am adopted. Can I still donate?

If you are adopted, there is no reason why you cannot donate eggs. However, you may be asked about your medical history, including that of your birth parents. It is very important that donors give as full an account as possible of their medical history in order to be matched with the most suitable recipient.

Will my sexual orientation prevent me from being a donor?

There are no restrictions to the right to donate on the grounds of sexual orientation.

My partner and children do not want to donate eggs. What should I do?

Becoming an egg donor is a wonderful and generous thing to do, but it has implications for your family. Your children may have half brothers and sisters they may never know, while your partner may have fears and concerns about unknown ‘genetic’ children. This is very normal. Our team of in-house counsellors will be able to discuss and process these issues with you and your family.

Is there a limit on the number of times I can donate eggs?

Your donations can be used to create up to ten families, including your own family if you have one now or plan to have one someday. Each generous contribution may be split between two recipients so you would be able to help twice as many people become parents. If there are frozen embryos left from your donation after a successful transfer, your recipient may use these in the future to give their children biological siblings. This may mean that more than then babies are born. Your clinic can tell you about the number of families you have helped to create and how many more times you may donate.

Will I be paid for donating?

A payment of £750 is made to egg donors to reimburse for their travel, time-off-work expenses and convenience. The gift that donors give is priceless, and most donors say that they are delighted just to be able to help complete families.

I smoke/vape. Can I still donate?

Smoking has been shown to reduce the chance of a successful pregnancy and birth during IVF treatment by up to 40%, so it is always best to quit before you donate eggs. If you need help quitting, please discuss this with your clinic team or with your GP who can provide help and support.

Can I donate if I am using contraception?

Yes, but you cannot use it during the egg donation treatment. During the ovarian stimulation stage of treatment, hormones stimulate your ovaries to produce more eggs and contraception can interfere with this process during the course of your treatment. Don't worry, we'll tell you exactly when you need to stop using contraception, and when you can resume.

Can I have sex whilst donating my eggs?

Yes, you can have sex during your egg donation treatment cycle. However, it is very important you use contraception.