In all likelihood you know what egg donation is, but at RHG we regularly receive queries about how donor egg IVF works, the process involved, choosing egg donors and importantly what it costs.
So our team at RHG have put their heads together following patient feedback and answered the most frequently asked questions on egg donation to help you with your decision process.
What are the key benefits to egg donation?
A chance at a healthy pregnancy
Many women unfortunately cannot conceive on their own, but still want the experience of pregnancy, carrying a baby and giving birth to a health child. This can be due a number of causes, including:
- Premature menopause
- Ovarian failure
- Lack of egg production
- Poor quality egg production
- Loss of ovaries due to previous surgery or treatment
- Being at risk of passing on genetic conditions
Egg donation offers the chance for a woman to enjoy a health pregnancy even if she cannot have a baby who is biologically her own.
Flexibility and control over the process
Approaches to IVF with donor eggs varies, but at RHG we ensure that you’ll have as much flexibility and control as possible. Firstly, you can choose your own egg donor, provided that certain criteria – age, satisfactory ovarian reserve, good general health and no viral diseases – are met. In the UK, egg donation can be through a ‘known’ or ‘unknown’ donor.
A chance to preserve embryos for a future pregnancy
You can also decide what to do with additional embryos. We provide a comprehensive embryo freezing service at our state of the art clinic in Daresbury, Cheshire, where we can preserve embryos for future use. Embryos are frozen using a fast freezing technique known as ‘vitrification’. This involves rapid cooling to avoid the formation of any ice crystals and helps to preserve the cells in the embryos, giving a better chance of a successful outcome once they are thawed for use in a frozen embryo cycle. This allows you to have multiple cycles should you wish from the same egg donor.
What is the process of receiving donor eggs?
First of all an initial consultation will be required to see if egg donation is a suitable treatment for you. Your medical and reproductive history will be thoroughly reviewed and any investigations or tests organised. Following this the IVF process takes place and your donor’s eggs will be fertilised with sperm to create embryos which are then either frozen or transferred into your uterus.
What information can a donor-conceived child find out?
A child conceived through donor treatment performed at a licensed HFEA clinic is entitled to contact the HFEA to obtain the following information about the donor once they reach the age of 16:
- a physical description (height, weight, eye and hair colour)
- the year and country of birth
- their ethnicity
- whether they had any children at the time of donation, how many and their gender
- their marital status
- their medical history
- a personal description and goodwill message to any potential children (if they chose to write one at the time of their donation).
Once they reach 18, they can approach the HFEA for details of the donor’s name, date of birth and last known address.
Can an egg donor change her mind about donation?
Yes, an egg donor can withdraw consent up to the point of embryo transfer.
What support is available to me as a patient using a donor egg?
Recipients of egg donation are asked to attend counselling with our independent fertility counsellor to ensure they are fully aware of all the implications of using donated eggs. We also have an ‘IVF Buddy’ available for support and advice on any aspect of treatment. The national charity Fertility Network UK also offers support to anyone experiencing fertility issues.
How do I prepare for IVF with donor eggs?
Before embarking on treatment with donated eggs it is important to prepare yourself both physically and emotionally. Physically make sure you are in the best health possible and look at any potential lifestyle changes you could make to improve your chances of success. Ensure that you are aware of the legal implications and have fully understood the consent forms that you will be asked to sign. Meet with our counsellor to talk through the emotional implications of the treatment you are about to undergo. Our experienced team are always on hand to help explain anything you are uncertain or unsure about.
How much does IVF with donor eggs cost?
£5950 using a known donor, £7750 if using an unknown donor – excluding consultations, screening bloods, medications, freezing and storage.
Do you have another question for our team?
Although we’ve answered quite a few questions, we know you may have more questions unique to your personal situation. Why not contact our specialists on 01925 202 180 or contact us online to speak to a specialist and start your egg donation journey with Reproductive Health Group.