Can I find out if my egg donation has been successful?
- Yes, clinic staff can tell you if your donation has been successful once your recipient has a pregnancy confirmed. You can also request information about the number, sex 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 fertility drugs may produce some side effects. Some patients do not experience any side effects. All of this will be carefully explained in advance by the clinic staff.
The egg collection procedure may be uncomfortable however you will have sedation during the procedure and pain relief after the procedure. You may experience some tummy cramps for a day or two following the procedure but it should not be any worse than a period pain.
How many times will I need to attend the clinic?
- You will need to attend the clinic between 6 and 10 times. This will depend on how you respond to the fertility drugs 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 in an operating room under sterile conditions. Eggs are collected by a trans vaginal procedure. The doctor will insert a probe with a needle attached into your vagina and will use ultrasound to visualize your ovaries and extract your eggs. There will be no incision or suturing.
How long does the egg collection procedure take?
- The whole procedure should take 20-30 minutes and you will rest and recover in the clinic for 1-2 hours afterwards.
Can I find out whether my donation was succesful, and when?
- Egg donors can be told the number of babies born as a result of their donation, their gender and what year they were born.
Are there any limits on how many children can be born from my donations?
- Your donations can be used to create up to 10 families and so if there are frozen embryos left after a successful fresh transfer, then your recipient may be able to have siblings (brothers or sisters) from your generous donation.
Will any information 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 store the information about you. It is strictly confidential and identifiable information will only be revealed to any child born as a result of your donation when they are 18 years old and request information.
I have recently visited countries outside of Europe. Can I still donate?
- All egg donors must have blood tests for infection screening before they are accepted as donors. Some countries are affected by Zika virus and malaria, and so 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 infection screening before they are accepted as donors. If you received a blood transfusion, then you can be reassured that the blood was infection 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.
Do I need to tell someone if I later discover I have some form of illness that could affect any children born from my donation?
- It is vital that you keep in touch with your clinic and update them about the change of address etc. If you develop an illness that could be genetic in origin, you must contact your clinic and advise them.
I Have polycystic ovary syndrome, can I still donate?
- One in five women have Polycystic Ovaries, and most have normal fertility. Severe Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (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.
Do the recipients (have to) tell their children they are donor conceived?
- The clinic staff and counsellors will encourage recipients to tell their children that they are donor conceived but they are not legally obliged to and we know that many recipients choose not to.
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 your medical history and have done some tests to see how well you will respond to the treatment.
Can I donate anonymously?
- Under UK law egg donors do need to supply information that would allow any children born as a result of their donation to contact them when they are 18 years old if they have been told by their parents that they are an ‘egg donation’ baby.
Will donating my eggs affect my fertility
- Fertility treatments like egg donation are very safe, but there is a small risk that your future fertility could be affected. The clinic will discuss these risks with you and will monitor you closely to minimise the risks. Some clinics prefer to accept women as donors who have already completed their families because this demonstrates their fertility, but women without children who are keen to become donors are very welcome.
What happens if the screening and testing reveals I have a medical condition affecting my general health or fertility?
- If the screening tests reveal unexpected medical or genetic information, the clinic doctors will explain the implications of the test results, arrange counselling and put you in touch with other specialists if necessary.
I am overweight, can I still donate?
- Women who are significantly overweight : have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 30,are likely to respond less well to the drugs used in 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 reduce your BMI.
I have recently had a piercing/tattoo/acupuncture. Can I still donate?
- All egg donors must have blood tests for infection screening before they are accepted as donors. If you had procedures such as tattoos or piercing at a reputable salon, you would have no reason to worry about having picked up an infection that could stop you becoming a donor.
I'm over 35 and would like to donate to a friend or family member, can I still do this?
- Although egg donors usually need to be under 36 years, for ‘known’ donation clinics can be a little more flexible and are very supportive where friends or family members want to help by becoming an egg donor.
I don't have children, does this affect whether I can donate?
- Every egg donor is special so if you have tried to become pregnant and not been able to the clinic will discuss your history with you and arrange some tests. Egg donation is very safe, but there is a small risk (1%) that your future fertility could be affected. The clinic will discuss these risks with you and will monitor you closely to minimise the risks. Some clinics prefer to accept women as donors who have already completed their families because this demonstrates their fertility, but women without children who are keen to become donors are very welcome.
I've had one or more miscarriages, will this affect whether I can be an egg donor?
- Most miscarriages are sadly just down to chance, and they do not usually mean that you have a fertility problem. Your clinic will discuss your medical history in detail with you and will advise you about becoming an egg donor.
Do I have to change my lifestyle at all to donate?
- A healthy lifestyle such as balanced diet, no smoking and little or no alcohol will be best for your health and be most likely to result in a positive outcome for your recipient.
I drink alcohol, can I still donate?
- Women who are trying to get pregnant or are pregnant are advised not to drink any alcohol. For egg donors, clinics ask that you adhere to the ‘healthy drinking rule’ which is no more than fourteen units a week.
I am adopted. Can I still donate?
- Adopted people can donate as nowadays they often know the medical history of their ‘birth parents’. It is very important that donors give as full an account as possible about their medical history.
Will my sexual orientation prevent me from being a donor?
- All egg donors must have blood tests for infection screening before they are accepted as donors and their sexual partners will also be screened. There is no restriction on the right to donate on the grounds of sexual orientation and all would-be donors are welcome to apply.
My partner and children don't want me to donate, so can I still go ahead?
- 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, and your partner may have concerns about your ‘genetic’ child wanting to get in touch in many years’ time. The clinic counsellor will be able to discuss these issues with you and your family.
Is there a limit on the number of times I can donate my eggs?
- Your donations can be used to create up to ten families including your own family if you have one now or plan 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 after a successful fresh transfer, then your recipient may be able to have siblings (brothers or sisters) from your generous donation. This may mean that more than ten 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 their travel and time-off-work expenses. The ‘gift of life’ is priceless and most donors say that they are just delighted to be able to help a couple fulfil their dream of becoming parents.
I smoke/vape, can I still donate?
- Smoking has been shown to reduce the chance of birth from IVF treatment by up to 40%. If you need help with smoking-cessation therapy then talk to the clinic or see your GP.
Can I donate if I am using contraception?
- Yes, but you cannot use it during the treatment cycle. The ovarian stimulation treatment consists in making it possible for the ovary to produce more eggs, thanks to the medication you are taking and that is why, during the course of your treatment, you cannot use contraception. We will tell you exactly when you have to stop using it.