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Becoming an Egg Donor

City Fertility Centre operates a comprehensive egg donor program to give egg donor recipients  who are unable to produce eggs or can’t use their own eggs, the chance to become pregnant and have children. It assists infertile individuals  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 fertility nurses are able to answer any questions about the program and the steps involved.

 

Who can be an egg donor?

Healthy donors  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.
  •  Able to provide a family medical history If married or in a de facto relationship, the partner must consent to the donation.
  • 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 egg 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. In this case, 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 donor chooses to undergo IVF procedures to provide eggs for a recipient who they have 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 once the child turns 18 or younger with counsellor approval.

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

Who requires donor eggs?

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

  • Premature menopause.
  • Unable to use their own eggs due to genetic causes.
  • Repeatedly unsuccessful using the IVF program.
  • Born without ovaries.
  • Undergone treatment for cancer.

Donated eggs can also be used in surrogacy for gay couples or single men.

What is required to become an egg donor?

 

Egg donor treatment

What to expect during an egg donor treatment cycle?

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 fertility nurse . The medications are administered daily until your doctor or fertility nurse  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 associated with egg donor treatment

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.

Individuals 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.

Things to consider

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

  • What are the current state laws or regulations 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 you ?
  • How is the recipient woman matched to me?
  • Is fertilisation and pregnancy guaranteed?
  • How many times can a woman donate?

Legalities

City Fertility 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.

 

We hope the information above provides you with a comprehensive introduction to becoming one of the exceptional people interested in egg donation; you will be giving another person the opportunity to fulfil their dream of having a baby.

 

Contact Us Today!
Call 1300 354 354 | Email contactus@cityfertility.com.au.

 

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