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.
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:
Healthy women of all backgrounds are able to donate their eggs, on the condition that they meet the following criteria:
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.
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.
You (and your partner, if applicable) will be required to attend a consultation with the specialist, where you will learn about the procedure 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 tested, and the results will be sent to your specialist.
Some of the blood tests required by the donor include:
The blood tests required by the donor partner include:
Prior to your treatment, you are required to attend an interview with a nurse coordinator. They will explain the process of donating, including cycle treatment, medications and their side effects, as well as inform you of any day-to-day requirements. You (and your partner) will be given consent forms to fill out and sign.
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 couples the opportunity to raise issues that are more private, such as any individual concerns, relationship difficulties or current life situations that may affect the couple’s experience of treatment. You will also learn about the rights of any child conceived by your donation to know their genetic background.
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 nurse coordinators 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 nurse coordinator 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 nurse coordinator. The medications are administered daily until your doctor or nurse coordinator 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. 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.
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.
If you are considering becoming an egg donor, it is important to consider these questions:
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.