City Fertility operates an egg donor program to give recipients (and their partners if applicable) who cannot produce eggs, or are unable to use the eggs they produce, the opportunity to fall pregnant and have a baby. Donated eggs can also be used in surrogacy for gay couples or single men.
The decision to use donated eggs is life-changing, and we strive to share as much information about the process as possible. Our fertility nurses provide ongoing support throughout the process and are available to discuss any issues or answer any questions you may have about our egg donor program and the procedures involved.
Individuals and couples who experience infertility turn to donor eggs in the hopes of achieving pregnancy. You may require donor eggs due to factors such as:
Donors can donate their eggs if they meet these criteria:
If the recipient already has a relationship with the donor, whether they are a sister, relative or friend, this is called a known donation. Having someone you know undergo IVF procedures to provide the eggs offers several benefits, including knowing the genetic origin of the eggs and reduced wait times.
When a known donor is over 35 years of age, the recipient is advised of the increased risk of medical issues, including miscarriage and chromosomal abnormalities If the recipient chooses to use an egg from a donor in these circumstances, this will be at the clinician’s discretion.
When a donor makes the decision to provide eggs ton individual or a couple not known to them, this is known as a clinic-recruited egg donation. In this situation, the recipient has never met the donor, and the donor has the choice to remain unknown to the recipient. However, it is mandatory for a donor to agree to release identifying information (name, date of birth, address) to a child conceived as a result of her donation once the child turns 18 or younger with counsellor approval.
Due to a decrease in the number of volunteer clinic-recruited donors, we encourage recipients to find a known donor.
For use of donated eggs in surrogacy, please refer to the surrogacy section.
You (and your partner, if applicable) will need to attend an initial medical consultation with our fertility specialist. Here you will have your medical details assessed and any required screening tests, such as blood tests, will be arranged.
Before beginning treatment, you will be required to partake in our routine screening process. You (and your partner) will have your blood and urine tested, and the results will be sent to your fertility specialist.
Before beginning your treatment, you will also be required to have a patient education presentation. This presentation may be self-directed or done by the clinic fertility nurses. Information will be provided about your treatment cycle, medications and their side effects, and any day-to-day requirements. You (and your partner) will be given consent forms to fill in and sign. Consent forms are required to be returned before the commencement of the treatment and require a witness signature.
It is compulsory for all individuals and couples who are considering using donated eggs, to attend counselling sessions. This provides the chance to discuss your treatment on a more personal level. It also gives you the opportunity to raise issues that are more private, such as individual concerns, relationship difficulties or current circumstances that may affect your treatment experience. If you are using a known donor, a joint session with the donor (and their partner) is required.
A “cooling off” period of a minimum of 14 days (between the first and the second counselling session) is required prior to commencing treatment. This ensures that you have had enough time to consider all facets of the donation program.
Before the treatment begins, our fertility specialist and fertility nurses will perform a final review of the counselling reports, blood tests and consent forms to ensure everything is organised.
A healthy lifestyle is advised prior to and during the donation of eggs. This includes a healthy diet, regular exercise and a sensible approach to alcohol. You will be directed to stop smoking and restrict your alcohol consumption before treatment. The fertility nurse will notify you of the starting dates for you and the egg donor.
Egg donors are required to undergo an IVF cycle to retrieve the eggs.
Six-month quarantine period applies to all clinic recruited donated eggs.
All egg donors are screened for infectious diseases before the donation. It is recommended (but not compulsory) that the known donated eggs are fertilised and then stored for a quarantine period of six months before they are transferred to the recipient. We understand that some patients regard it as important enough (for their own reasons) to have the embryos transferred immediately and they are willing to accept this risk of infection. Should you decide to have the eggs or embryos transferred “fresh” in this way, you will be required to sign a waiver stating that you accept this risk and responsibility for your own decision.
At the end of the quarantine period, all egg donors are rechecked for the following transmissible viruses:
For use of donated eggs in surrogacy, please refer to surrogacy section
Egg recipients who do not have ovaries, or have ovaries that do not produce eggs, will require hormone treatment to prepare the uterus for a pregnancy. This is because the endometrium (lining of the uterus) needs to be prepared before the embryo will implant in the uterus .
The two female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, prepare the endometrium for implantation. If you take these two hormones in the correct amounts and in the correct order, it is possible to mimic what would happen in a normal cycle, even if you do not have functioning ovaries.
Your fertility specialist will tell you when to start taking the medications, the required dosage and when to increase it. You will also be advised when to make an appointment for an ultrasound scan to measure the thickness of your endometrium.
Monitoring begins two or three days before we estimate you would normally ovulate. This can be done by blood tests to measure estrogen, luteinising hormone (LH) and progesterone until one day after ovulation, or by ultrasound scan to measure the size of the follicle and thickness of the endometrium.
Egg recipients with apparently normal ovarian function may be advised to have a hormone treatment cycle (as described above).
It is important for you to be aware that treatment will vary from person to person and it can be misleading to compare your treatment with others.
Embryo may be transferred from the culture dish into the uterus at different stages of embryo development.
The embryo transfer is a simple procedure that does not require a general anaesthetic. However, you may find it helpful for your partner or a support person to be present for this procedure, to support you and be part of the experience. The transfer itself is similar to a pap smear and the same instrument (speculum) is used to open the vagina. A fine tube containing the embryo is passed through the cervix and into the uterus to place the embryo inside.
You will be able to go home shortly after the embryo transfer . You will be encouraged to limit strenuous activity for 24 hours. Your activity can be gradually increased over the next following days, provided it is non-strenuous and non-aerobic. You should avoid becoming overheated with saunas, hot spas and sunbaking. You will also be required to refrain from smoking and drinking alcohol during this period where pregnancy is not confirmed.
The fertility nurse will give you specific instructions after the transfer. A pregnancy test is performed 14-16 days after embryo transfer.
This procedure can be performed if:
Here are some questions you may wish to consider before committing yourself to treatment:
City Fertility encourages all individuals/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 contact us.