How can I find an egg donor?
Some clinics have donors available, so speak to your clinic first. If your clinic is unable to help, it may be worth considering contacting other clinics to see if they can help you. Donors are out there, so be proactive and spread the word that you are looking for a donor! Here at the NGDT, we can help support you in your search for a donor and we are happy to provide free posters and to work with you if you contact the local media. We also have up-to-date information on clinics which are successfully recruiting donors and which may have donors available.
We are thinking of going abroad for treatment. Is there anything we need to be aware of?
There are some things that are worth considering if you’re thinking about having egg donation treatment abroad. Visit our Going abroad for treatment page for more details.
My friend/family member has offered to donate her eggs to us. How do we go about doing this?
This is called ‘known donation’ and many clinics will be able to help you. Your friend or family member should be aged between 18 and 35, and be in general good health. Ask your clinic for a joint initial appointment to be able to talk through the process and the implications involved. Counselling will be offered to all parties and most counsellors would recommend at least one counselling session with all parties and partners.
Apparently our donor is an egg sharer. What does this mean?
It’s possible that your donated eggs might come from someone who needs IVF treatment themselves for factors unrelated to female egg quality. Some women agree to take part in egg sharing schemes at their fertility clinic in return for subsidised IVF treatment for themselves.
Will our egg donor be exclusive to us or will her eggs be shared with other people? How can we make sure we get the best eggs?
Whether you have exclusive use of your donor’s eggs depends on the agreement you have reached with your clinic or egg donation agency. Egg donors can share their eggs with up to three women in an egg donation cycle. Egg donors might be altruistic donors or they might be sharing their eggs with you during their own IVF treatment cycle. Which eggs you receive is also something you will agree in advance of treatment with your clinic.
What does treatment involve for the egg donor and for me?
You can find out more about what treatment will involve for you and your donor on the egg donation treatment process page.
Can I use an anonymous egg donor?
Anonymous donation no longer takes place in the UK (it stopped in 2005). All donors in HFEA-licensed treatment centres now have to agree to be identifiable when the donor-conceived person reaches 18. If you have treatment with donated eggs, sperm or embryos abroad then depending on which country you go to might mean that your donor is anonymous.
I’ve heard egg donors get paid a lot of money to donate. Is this true?
Egg donors can claim up to £750 compensation for each cycle of egg donation. Your egg donor is not being paid for donating eggs but for the inconvenience she may have incurred. So, the payment covers expenses for things like childcare, travel expenses, time off work.
Do I have to tell my child they are donor conceived?
Like all aspects of family life, how any family handles the subject of donor conception is unique to that family. While all donors now have to be identifiable, there is no law that says all donor-conceived people must know of their genetic origins. Some families are very open with their children about their genetic heritage while other families don’t tell at all.
Many families join Donor Conception Network, a highly experienced charity offering an extensive range of help, support and guidance to potential and actual parents of donor-conceived people, and to donor-conceived individuals.
Is there a shortage of egg donors?
While the number of donors has increased in this country so has the number of patients needing treatment with donated eggs. This means that demand for donated eggs can outstrip the number of available donors.
Will I have to go on a waiting list for an egg donor?
Many clinics are proactive recruiting their own egg donors and their waiting lists are generally shorter. Contact us here at the NGDT as many clinics contact us when they are looking for recipients because they have donors available.
How much information will we receive about our egg donor and when?
You can find out more about the information available to you and your donor-conceived child about your donor on the Donation and The Law page.
How do we know that our egg donor is healthy?
The UK is one of the most heavily regulated fertility sectors in the world. Donors have to undergo rigorous physical and emotional health screening and testing to be accepted as a donor. This includes checks on current and previous health. Details of the donor prerequisites can be found on the Donor Criteria page.
Will our egg donor already have children?
Not necessarily. Having their own children proves fertility, but many clinics accept non-parents as donors.
Will our egg donor know that we have a child/children? What information will our egg donor receive and when?
At any time an egg donor can ask the clinic to let them know:
- if a pregnancy has resulted following their donation
- if there have been any live births
- the number of children born
- years of births
- gender of any children.
Your donor will not be given any identifiable information about you or your children.
I’m not sure if using an egg donor is for me. Is there anyone I can talk to about this?
All clinics will offer counselling as part of the treatment. This counselling is with an independent trained counsellor and will give you the opportunity to talk through any issues and questions you may have.
Many families join Donor Conception Network, a highly experienced charity offering an extensive range of help, support and guidance to potential and actual parents of donor-conceived people, and to donor-conceived individuals. The charity also runs workshops that provide you with a safe space in which to meet other people who might be considering egg donation and to explore your own issues around using an egg donor.
How can we meet other families who have used donors and have donor conceived children?
One way of meeting other families who have used donors and have donor-conceived children is to join Donor Conception Network, a highly experienced charity offering an extensive range of help, support and guidance to potential and actual parents of donor-conceived people, and to donor-conceived individuals. Donor Conception Network also organises conferences and workshops, and provides other informal opportunities to meet up with other families in your local area.
I already have one child from an egg donor. Is there any way I can ask the donor to donate again so I can try for more children?
Yes. You can ask your clinic to approach your donor directly to ask them if they would be willing to donate again.
If I want more than one child should I use the same egg donor or different donors?
This is a personal choice. You and your clinic counsellor could explore the options and implications with you. It’s possible to ask the clinic to approach the same donor to ask if she would donate again.
Is there an age limit on having treatment with an egg donor?
Most clinics will treat women up to the age of the natural menopause, so around 50 years old. In exceptional circumstances clinics may consider women who are older than this.
In The Media
Over the last ten years there’s been an increase in egg and sperm donors coming forward in the UK. This didn’t happen by accident. Media coverage, in whatever way, shape or form, has an important role to play. The more media inches, the more awareness, the more donors come forward.
It is as simple as that.
National Fertility Awareness Week is 30 October – 5 November.read more
Donor stories needed for article for the Sun on Sunday on sperm donation…read more
10 Years since the Ending of Donor Anonymity. What now?read more