Egg donation is the process whereby a woman uses oocytes from a donor to fulfil her desire of becoming a mother. The oocytes from the donor will be combined with spermatozoa from the recipient couple to produce embryos; these will be transferred to the recipient in order to achieve the longed-for pregnancy. As such, oocytes donation makes the miracle of life possible for women who would not be able to have children any other way.
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You may require egg donation as part of your fertility treatment. This may be because of medical complications or the female partner’s maternal age. There are three ways to access this treatment at IVI:
A patient may choose to use an oocyte donated from a relative or another known person. These eggs would undergo medical screening as part of the process and counselling would be necessary.
Patients can use a UK donor. Due to the current UK law, at the age of 16 the child (or parent on their behalf) can access the donor’s non-identifiable information. When the child reaches 18 they may contact the donor if they wish, but this doesn’t change the legal status of the donor.
Using a donor from IVI in Spain
IVI have a network of clinics across Spain that for many years have been working with UK patients who require egg donation. Egg donation is anonymous in Spain. IVI in Spain has the largest frozen egg bank in the world. We therefore have access to egg donors with all characteristics, with no waiting list.
The woman receiving the embryos must undergo treatment to prepare her endometrium prior to embryo transfer. The clinic counsellor will arrange to talk with you about what donating your eggs means to you and your family. It will be an opportunity for you to explore and consider the implications of egg donation.
Recipient women are given medication to prepare their uterus for transferred embryos implantation. While they are waiting for a donation, they must keep in close contact with their IVI centre so that they can be located.
As soon as there would be a suitable donation for the particular case, patients will be informed with enough advance warning to proceed to oocytes fertilisation in time.
The semen can be obtained on the same day as the oocyte donation, following a period of sexual abstinence. It is prepared in the laboratory in order to remove certain components and to select the most suitable spermatozoa for fertilising the donated oocyte. Semen can also be cryopreserved in advance of donation, and on the day when there is a compatible oocyte donor the previously frozen sample can be used.
The spermatozoa and oocytes are brought into contact through the technique of in vitro fertilisation or sperm microinjection. Once the embryos have been fertilised, they stay in the in vitro fertilisation laboratory until it is time for them to be transferred. Once fertilisation has been achieved, the number of embryos to be transferred into the woman’s uterus is selected. The perfect moment for this transfer, as well as the number of embryos to be transferred, will be decided by the doctors based on the medical history of the couple, the number of embryos obtained and their characteristics, and the individual circumstances of the present treatment cycle.
The best moment for embryo transfer, as well as the number of embryos to be transferred, will be decided and explained by our doctors based on couple’s medical history, characteristics and number of embryos obtained, and individual circumstances of the cycle.
Egg donors often want to know about the legal aspects of their ‘gift of life’. Under UK law egg donors have no legal rights or responsibilities for children born as a result of their generous donation.
Women who wish to receive donor eggs have counselling about the desirability of telling their child about their genetic origins, but there is no legal obligation to do so. Children who are born from your donation will be able to contact the donor when they reach 18 years of age if they have been informed. This is a decision for their parents, and none of the medical professionals involved could influence their decision.