City Fertility 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.
Healthy donors of all backgrounds are able to donate their eggs, on the condition that they meet the following criteria:
As a result of a reduction in clinic-recruited donations, recipients are encouraged to find a known donor.
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:
Donated eggs can also be used in surrogacy for gay couples or single men.
You (and your partner, if applicable) will be required to attend a consultation with the specialist, where you will learn about the donation and have your relevant medical details checked to ensure you are a suitable candidate for egg donation. A vaginal ultrasound may be performed to examine the ovaries and uterus.
Routine screenings and medical tests are required prior to treatment. You (and your partner) will need to have your blood and saliva tested, and the results will be sent to your specialist.
Some of the blood tests required by the donor include:
(Extended carrier screening will be completed via a saliva test and genetic counselling will be offered for positive results. Partners if applicable will not require this test.)
The blood tests required by the donor partner include:
Before beginning your donation, you will also be required to have a patient education presentation. This presentation may be self-directed or done by the clinic fertility nurses. This presentation will give you information will give you the opportunity to discuss any concerns and ask any questions you may have about the process, increasing your knowledge and giving you further insight into what you can expect from the procedure donation.
It is compulsory for you (and your partner) to attend a counselling session before becoming an egg donor. This gives you the chance to discuss treatment on a more personal level. It also gives the opportunity to raise issues that are more private, such as any individual concerns, relationship difficulties or current life situations that may affect the experience of treatment. You will also learn about the rights of any child conceived by your donation to know their genetic background. If you are a known donor, a joint session is required with your recipient(s).
You will receive a minimum of 14 days (between the first and second counselling session) as a “cooling off” period prior to beginning treatment. This gives you time to consider all aspects of the donation program.
Prior to treatment, the specialist and fertility nurses will perform a final review of your counselling reports, medical tests and consent forms to confirm everything is in order.
We strongly encourage a healthy lifestyle prior to and during the process of donating eggs. A healthy, balanced diet, regular exercise and a restriction on alcohol are all recommended. Smokers will also be asked to quit before and during the donation process. Your fertility nurse will advise you of the specific dates.
*The order of these steps/requirements may vary depending on your circumstances.
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.
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 or mild sedation.
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 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 the hospital.
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.
If you are considering becoming an egg donor, it is important to consider these questions:
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.