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City Fertility Centre operates a comprehensive egg donor program to give women who are unable to produce eggs, or can’t use their own eggs, the chance to become pregnant and have children. It assists infertile women and couples to have a family – something they are unable to achieve on their own.

We offer in-depth information regarding our egg donor program, and our expert nurse coordinators are able to answer any questions about the program and the steps involved.

 

Who Requires Donor Eggs?

For some women, donor eggs offer the only chance they have to turn their dreams of motherhood into a reality. There are many reasons why women need donor eggs to have a baby, including:

  • Premature menopause.
  • They are unable to use their own eggs due to genetic causes.
  • They have been repeatedly unsuccessful using the IVF program.
  • They were born without ovaries.
  • They have undergone treatment for cancer.

 

Who can be an Egg Donor?

Healthy women of all backgrounds are able to donate their eggs, on the condition that they meet the following criteria:

  • Aged 21-32 if clinic-recruited. Egg donors over 32 will not be accepted for clinic-recruited donation. The suitable age of a known egg donor must be discussed with your specialist.
  • No history of inherited disease. Donors will not be accepted if they suffer from an illness, disease or genetic condition that can be passed on to a child conceived from the donation.
  • Women who are adopted cannot donate unless genetic family history is known.
  • If married or in a de facto relationship, the husband/partner must consent to the donation. Where a married couple is separated but not divorced, it is recommended that the husband consent to the procedure.
  • Clinic-Recruited donors must have a permanent address and be contactable for follow-up medical tests. They are required to provide three identifiers and proof of a permanent address, e.g. driver’s licence, photo ID and passport.
  • Clinic-recruited egg donors must be eligible for full Medicare benefits in Australia.

 

Types of Donors

Known Donation

When the recipient and the donor know each other and have an existing relationship, this is referred to as a known donation. A sister, relative or friend undergoes IVF procedures to provide the eggs, offering the benefits of knowing the genetic origin of the eggs as well as a reduced wait time for treatment.

If a known donor is over the age of 35, the recipient is informed of the increased risk of problems, including miscarriage and chromosomal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome. If the recipient chooses to have eggs from a donor in these circumstances, this will be at the clinician’s discretion.

 

Clinic-recruited Donation

When a woman chooses to undergo IVF procedures to provide eggs for another woman who she has never met, this is referred to as a clinic-recruited donation. In this case, the recipient does not know the donor, and the donor has the option to remain unknown to the recipient. However, the donor is required to consent to the release of identifying information (name, date of birth and address) to any child conceived by the donation.

As a result of a reduction in clinic-recruited donations, recipients are encouraged to find a known donor.

 

What is Required to Become an Egg Donor?

*The order of these steps/requirements may vary depending on your circumstances.

 

Egg Donor Treatment

You will be given a combination of medications, possibly including the oral contraceptive pill and a nasal spray, for a few weeks. Daily injections of follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) into the abdomen over a course of approximately 10 days are necessary in order to stimulate the ovaries to produce a number of eggs.

We monitor the response of the ovaries through ultrasounds and blood tests, and adjust medication dosage and combinations accordingly.

The starting date and the dosage of your medication will be instructed by the specialist and nurse coordinator. The medications are administered daily until your doctor or nurse coordinator advises you to cease.

Egg-Collection Procedure

The typical technique for egg collection is the ultrasound-guided trans-vaginal egg pick-up (EPU), which is usually completed under a mild general anaesthetic. A probe is inserted into the vagina, and the ovaries and follicles are monitored by ultrasound. A fine needle is passed through the vaginal wall and into the follicles, draining them of their fluid. The fluid is then collected in a test tube and emptied into a small dish, and the scientist examines it under a microscope for an egg. This procedure is repeated until all the follicles have been drained, taking 20-30 minutes.

This medical procedure usually involves a hospitalisation of half a day. You will be unable to drive home and must organise someone to look after you at home overnight. Your regular activities can be resumed 24 hours after discharge from hospital.

Risks and Side Effects

The medications used in egg donation may cause minor symptoms, such as breast soreness, nausea, fatigue and swelling of the abdomen. These will subside once your treatment is complete.

Women contemplating donating oocytes should be aware of the risks, some of which are comparable to those of elective surgery. We encourage you to discuss these with your treating specialist.

Questions for Consideration

If you are considering becoming an egg donor, it is important to consider these questions:

  • What is the current state law regarding donation of oocytes?
  • Who are the legal parents of the child?
  • Are records kept of the donor and recipient couples?
  • How would you feel if the donor and the recipient could be identified and the child would be able to contact the donor?
  • How is the recipient woman matched to me?
  • Is fertilisation and pregnancy guaranteed?
  • How many times can a woman donate?

Legal Implications

City Fertility Centre encourages all individuals and couples to seek independent legal advice before attending the donor program. Please visit our Legalities and Requirements page for more information.

 

If you would like further information regarding our egg donor program, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly and helpful staff. Contact us today.

 

 

 

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