There are several reasons why women would use eggs donated from another woman. Examples include; having early menopause, infertility after cancer treatment, a genetic mutation, choosing to have a family later in life or there is some other reason why their eggs will not let them develop an embryo. Even if they cannot produce a child using their own eggs usually their wombs are perfectly capable of maintaining a pregnancy through to a healthy childbirth. Modern science can help these patients by implanting an embryo created from an egg from a donor and sperm from the patient’s own partner, or another donor, using a variation of standard IVF.
The Egg Donation Process
The process involves firstly selecting your donor. You may have a donor you wish to use or else we can usually arrange one. If you have your own donor she will have to be fertility-assessed, screened and counselled before being accepted or rejected. Donors from the programs we use will already have been through this process. Then your menstrual cycle is synchronised with the donor’s, after which you are medicated to ensure that your endometrium is properly receptive to implantation, whilst the donor is medicated to ensure she produces the right number of good quality eggs. After this, the eggs are collected, fertilised and grown in the lab for 3-5 days, and an embryo transferred into you. It is effectively an IVF cycle split over two women.
Egg Donation in Spain
Many of our egg donation patients travel to Spain for treatment where we have an arrangement with a clinic in Malaga. Assessment and diagnostics take place here in London, along with preparation of the patient (ultrasound, blood tests, medications and any necessary medical procedures) and treatment co-ordination. Then the patient just has to travel to Spain for the fertilisation (from the patient’s partner) and the implantation of the embryo, which usually takes place three days later with a very simple procedure which does not require anaesthetic or any onerous medical processes.
The male partner can travel earlier if he wishes and leave sperm to be frozen. That way fertilisation can take place when the female recipient is still elsewhere and she just needs to travel for embryo implantation. In fact, this is the process which takes place when donor sperm – which is free of charge – is used, where the woman either does not have a male partner or he has been diagnosed as requiring donor sperm.
Because of our close relationship with this clinic, and because we have agreed protocols, our doctors and nurses can guide you through the whole process.
Many patients choose their own egg donation centre overseas and just need a fertility centre in London for diagnostics such as Aquascans or HyCoSys, or to perform blood tests and monitoring ultrasound scans. We are happy to help. However you should be aware that different doctors and clinics have different protocols. For that reason, and because we will not know the history, treatment and protocols followed we cannot give a second opinion on your treatment unless you have a full consultation with us and supply all information. Only with our own partner clinic in Spain are we able to give full cycle support and coordination. We do understand that people may prefer certain clinics, perhaps if they originated in that country, but we urge people to consider the support they will need before they start treatment. We get many calls for help from patients who feel that they have been left stranded by their clinics.