Egg Donation - Information for RecipientsEgg donation offers new hope for some women whose ovaries do not produce eggs. This may occur because of premature ovarian failure, or because the ovaries have not developed properly (chromosomal problems such as Turner’s syndrome), or due to previous surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy. In some women, poor ovarian response is unexplained. Premature menopause affects 1% of women under the age of 40 and well over 100,000 women are affected in the United Kingdom alone. Also, some older women need donor eggs because they are carriers of genetic disorders (e.g. Haemophilia and Muscular dystrophy) and have a high risk of passing such disorders to their children.
How are Egg Donors selected?
Potential donors are aged 18 years or more and not over 36 (unless there are exceptional circumstances) and preferably of proven fertility. She may be a relative, friend or anonymous to you.
All donors will have blood tests to check their chromosomes, and also for HIV antibodies (AIDS), Hepatitis B & C, CMV and Cystic fibrosis.
Will I have to pay the Egg Donor?
No. Donors will have all transport expenses as well as other reasonable expenses reimbursed, but will receive no financial remuneration for the actual donation.
Does the clinic have an upper age limit for Egg Recipients?
Yes, the clinic does not accept a patient for treatment if she is aged over 52 years.
Will I get to meet the donor?
If the donor is not a relative or friend, she will remain anonymous to you. Clinics have a legal obligation to record a donor’s name and some details about her, but only non-identifying information will be passed on to you. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 requires that the names and details of all donors must be registered with the HFEA. It also makes the unauthorised disclosure of these names a criminal offence. In general, the only people allowed to know a donor’s name are the members and employees of the HFEA, and staff covered by an HFEA licence at a clinic. In the same way the names of the woman treated and any resulting child are confidential and cannot be passed to the donor.
Note that the HFEA has a legal duty under the HFEA Act to tell adults who ask whether they were born as a result of treatment using donated eggs or sperm. People aged 16 or over, who ask, can be told whether they could be related to someone they want to marry.
Be aware that since 1 st April 2005 a new law came into effect which allows children conceived through donation to find out who the donor was, once they reach 18.
Does the Egg Donor have any legal claim to the child born from the donated eggs?
No. Donors have no relationship in law with any child resulting from treatment using eggs that have been donated and no obligations to or rights over the child. At the time of donation they relinquish all legal rights and claims over any offspring which may result from the donated eggs, and all duties towards it.
Will I receive counselling?
The HFEA guidelines state that skilled and independent counselling by someone other than the medical practitioner involved in the procedure, must be available to you. We encourage you take up the offer of counselling, however, it is not compulsory. You should ensure that all your questions are answered and that you understand all the issues involved and that you have sufficient information to make an informed decision.
Can the Egg Donor change her mind half way through treatment?
Donors are free to withdraw consent to the egg collection at any time before the procedure.
How successful is IVF using donor eggs?
IVF using donor eggs is usually associated with a good success rate given that the egg donor is less than 36 years old and usually of proven fertility.