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May 25, 2021

Egg donation – FAQs

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Are you thinking of becoming an egg donor? If you are considering the wonderful gift of egg donation, these FAQs might help you with your decision.

What’s the process after a scan and blood test?

We have to wait a week for the results of the AMH blood test, and then if you are a suitable donor, we would see you for an initial consultation with one of our doctors. This would be to go over your medical history and explain the process fully. At the same time, you would have various blood tests to rule out any chromosomal abnormalities or infections. The results for these blood tests take up to 15 working days, and in that time, we would start looking for a recipient to match you with. We do not collect eggs unless we have a recipient matched to you.

How long does the donor matching process take?

We cannot say for sure how long the matching process will take as it depends on your characteristics and those of the recipients who are ready to proceed, but once you have been matched, egg collection will generally happen within the next 6-8 weeks.

Will my expenses be reimbursed?

Yes, you will be paid £750 per donation cycle to cover your expenses.

How often can you donate?

You can donate to create 10 families, some of whom may have more than one child. This may also mean that you can donate more than 10 times, especially if you donate again to the same couple or if one couple does not conceive. You must wait a minimum of 3 months between donations and still meet the donor criteria.

How are my eggs collected?

We stimulate your ovaries (with medication) to grow more follicles than in your natural cycle. During egg collection, the fluid from each follicle is drained using a needle attached to the scan probe, and the procedure is similar to the scans you will have. During the egg collection, you will be given sedation and pain relief so whilst you will be awake for the procedure, you won’t feel any pain or remember it once the sedation has worn off. You may even fall asleep during the procedure due to the sedation. The embryologists will look to see if the follicle fluid contains an egg which is later mixed with the recipient’s sperm and placed in an incubator overnight to allow fertilisation. You’ll wake up feeling rather tired and perhaps a little queasy. You will need to take at least 24 hours of rest following egg collection and will need someone to pick you up from the clinic and take you home as your car insurance won’t be valid for 24 hours after sedation. We advise you not to take public transport unless you have a chaperone.

Will more than one egg be collected?

Yes. We aim to collect a minimum of four eggs per donation, but this can be a much higher number. We cannot guarantee how many eggs will go on to fertilise, create embryos, achieve an ongoing pregnancy or result in a live birth for the recipient.

How soon after giving birth can I donate?

You must be a minimum of 6 months post-delivery and finished breastfeeding, if applicable, prior to embarking on a donation cycle.

Can I donate if I am breastfeeding?

No, you must wait a minimum of 3 months after your last feed before donating. If you have recently given birth, you must wait a minimum of 6 months post-delivery.

Can you donate if you have been sterilised but still ovulate?

Yes, as long as you meet the rest of the egg donation criteria.

How many families will my eggs be donated to?

Usually, you will donate all of the eggs from a single donation to one family. Occasionally, if there are more than 20 eggs collected, we may share them between two recipients.

Can I specify how many children my recipients can have when using my eggs?

No; you can specify how many families you wish to create (a maximum of 10 families), but you cannot specify how many children each family could have. Each donation may result in recipients having embryos to freeze and then use in future cycles for siblings. A single embryo transfer may still result in a multiple pregnancy so we are unable to limit a family to one child.

Can I use contraception whilst donating?

Yes, but there are restrictions. You can donate if you are taking a combined oral contraceptive pill (such as microgynon) or if you have the copper coil. Donation whilst you have a Mirena coil is possible, but only if you have regular bleeds (ie every 28-32 days). If you do not bleed with the Mirena coil, you will need to have this removed prior to treatment. You cannot donate if you are taking the progesterone only mini pill, have the implant or have regular depo injections. These types of contraception would need to be removed and/or replaced.

Will donating my eggs affect my own fertility?

No. We only collect the eggs which would naturally be produced with your monthly cycles. You will still be able to have your own children after donating your eggs should you wish.

Can I be flexible with appointments?

Yes and no. There are some appointments, such as scans, which will be dictated by your body’s cycle. For example, baseline scans must be done on day 1-3 of your cycle, so whilst we may be able to be flexible with times, the scan must be done within the first three days of your cycle. Initial consultations can be booked at your convenience, as can consenting appointments (provided that the consenting appointment is prior to starting your stimulation cycle). The egg collection day will be confirmed when the follicles are big enough to contain a mature egg and cannot be delayed. The time of the egg collection can be varied a little during the morning. We do not do egg collections in the afternoons or at the weekend.

Will I have to attend all of my appointments in Southampton?

No. There are some procedures that can only be done in Southampton, such as egg collection, but scans, blood tests and consultations can be done at any of our satellite clinics in Poole, Basingstoke and Portsmouth. Please note that the satellite clinics run only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Can I donate if I was adopted?

You could donate if you are able to find out about the medical history of your biological parents. If you were adopted and have contact with your biological parents and are able to establish their family medical history, then you would be eligible to donate if you meet the rest of the egg donation criteria.

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- Crystal -

It's not a lot of effort for such a massive gift. The feeling you get when you have done it is amazing because you cannot put a price on it. It's the biggest gift you can give someone but the process of doing it is not that big a deal. It's more than worth it.

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