Paramedic Nay has a busy life, travelling extensively and working abroad.
Donating eggs has been fulfilling – and she’s keen to demystify it, so other women know it’s an option.
When Nay now 33, met her husband Luke, 37, they were keen to have children. But as time went on, they both changed their minds.
With a large family and busy careers as paramedics, the couple felt their lives were complete.
Nay works as a medic on film sets, looking after the cast and crew. Her portfolio includes Enola Holmes and The Diplomat.
She and Luke also work as locums for the NHS, plus are on call to respond to natural disasters around the world.
Back at home, though, they were aware of friends struggling to conceive or who had experienced miscarriages, and they understood the emotional pain this caused.
Nay says: “I’m already a blood donor and registered as a stem cell donor. I thought I should also consider egg donation.
“I really wanted to help, so I decided I’d give away as many eggs as I could.”
Aged 27, Nay had been rejected as a donor because her anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) levels, which indicate egg count, weren’t high enough.
But later, when Luke decided to become a sperm donor, she thought she’d try again.
She approached TFP Oxford Fertility, as it was so close to her home.
“When I had this same blood test done again, everything was fine,” she says.
Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) is measured using a blood test to predict how many eggs you have (ovarian reserve). Your levels can fluctuate naturally during your menstrual cycle and are also affected by your weight, smoking status and overall health.
“They did have to investigate whether my poor blood circulation was due to an autoimmune condition though. Luckily, this was ruled out and we could proceed.”
A TFP counsellor then talked to the couple about the implications of donating Nay’s eggs and also Luke’s sperm.
In both cases, the law now says that a genetically linked child can request un-identifying information about their donor parent at 16 and then full information at 18.
The couple were relaxed about all the possible outcomes.
“In fact, I’d be happy if a child of mine turned up at 18,” says Nay.
It was time to prepare Nay’s body for the egg collection.
On day one of her period, she started a 14-day course of injections, which she administered herself at home.
She also visited the clinic for routine scans to monitor the growth of the follicles which would produce the eggs.
“Luckily, they were brilliant at Oxford for fitting my scans around my hectic life,” said Nay.
Normally a keen runner, Nay reports feeling bloated and unable to exercise.
“During your period you grow one egg,” she says.
“And my body was being artificially stimulated so that I’d grow around 40.”
Despite feeling so ‘full’, Nay remained cheerful and wasn’t affected emotionally by the medication.
After a final scan, the TFP Fertility team used a fine needle to remove Nay’s eggs.
“Was I asleep or was I awake? I was heavily sedated and totally unaware of the procedure,” says Nay.
Thirty-nine eggs were collected, following which Nay returned home to recover.
She was back to running three days later.
So far, Nay has donated 84 eggs and helped several families.
Following her first donation, a couple having IVF received Nay’s eggs, which they fertilised and froze as embryos to be safely stored in case they’re needed in the future.
To everyone’s surprise, the recipient couple fell pregnant naturally.
It’s too early to know if any pregnancies have resulted from the other donations, but Nay is hopeful.
Egg donors can reach out to their clinic or the HFEA at any time to find out whether their eggs resulted in children, including the sex and year of birth.
“I’ve got my fingers crossed,” she says. “With so many eggs, I really wanted someone to have them.”
“We get asked why we don’t want children a lot. We are quite open,” she says.
“Other families are so desperate to bring children into the world and if I can help, that’s what I want to do.
“When Luke and I told our own families, my mum said she was sad she’d have no grandchildren. But, biologically, they will be out there!
And she does already have other grandchildren.”
She adds: “I’d be a bit disappointed if no one contacted me in the future. I’d love to get to know them and see whether they love Harry Potter as much as I do.
Just little things like that. What is nature and what is nurture?”
She concludes: “Donating eggs is not something women know is an option.
They feel funny about it. I want to demystify it. It isn’t that much of an issue.
“If you want to help other people you can.”