Egg Donation & Sperm Donation

Donor conception is the use of sperm, eggs or embryos donated by someone else in your fertility treatment. Around 2,000 babies in the UK are born each year using donated sperm, eggs or embryos. The experience of people who have had donor-conceived children shows that this can be a very positive way to create a family. Usually a clinic recommends donor conception because treatment would be unlikely to be successful if you were to use your own eggs or sperm.  

Egg Donation

Egg Donation is used in IVF/ICSI treatment. It involves stimulating the donor's ovaries to produce a number of eggs which are retrieved and then fertilised by your partner's or donor's sperm. The embryos that are created this way can be transferred into your womb so you can carry and deliver the baby. 

  • Egg Donation can be considered in women with ovarian failure or in cases of repeated IVF/ICSI failure due to poor quality eggs.
  • Egg donation involves stimulating the donor's ovaries to produce a number of eggs which are retrieved and then fertilised by your partner's sperm. The embryos that are created can be transferred into your womb so you can conceive and deliver the baby. 
  • Egg Donation may be considered for women with ovarian failure or in cases of repeated IVF/ICSIfailure due to poor quality eggs.

GENNET City Fertility has several options to help couples find an egg donor and enable you to have treatment without a long waiting period. This includes having treatment at GENNET City Fertility using a UK egg donor or eggs from our vitrified egg bank. GENNET City Fertility recruit altruistic egg donors on a regular basis.

We are also proud to be able to offer egg donation using our sister unit, GENNET Archa in Prague, Czech Republic.

Anonymity

It is important to be aware that at the time of donation, the donation is anonymous, i.e. you will not meet or know the donor. Since April 2005 the UK regulations state that your child will have access to the identity of the donor when he/she reaches the age of 18 and some basic information at 16. In contrast to the UK, in the Czech Republic donation is completely anonymous and your child will not have access to the identity of the donor at any point.

At times couples elect to have treatment using a known donor. This may be a member of the family or a close friend. Obviously, under such circumstances the donation cannot be anonymous.

Parenthood issues

Whether in the UK or overseas, egg donors have no parental rights or commitment to the donor-conceived children. If the woman who is treated has a husband or a civil partner who gave his consent to the treatment or a female civil partner, he/she is considered as a legal parent. In the absence of a civil partnership or a marriage certificate the appropriate parenthood HFEA documents are required before embarking on treatment.

Withdrawing consent

Although highly unlikely, an egg donor can change her mind at any time about the use of her donated eggs up to the point of embryo transfer. This applies to any additional embryos resulting from the egg donation that you will have frozen for your future use.

Egg Donation in the UK

If you choose to follow GENNET City Fertility’s UK egg donation programme, we offer you:

No waiting time prior to treatment

GENNET City Fertility currently has no waiting time prior to treatment for egg donation. There is a short period of a few weeks for preparation of the recipient for treatment and synchronisation with the most suitable donor. If you opt to have treatment using donor eggs from our vitrified egg bank there will be no need for synchronisation and you will be able to start your treatment even sooner. Our Egg Donation Co-Ordinator will help you find a suitable altruistic egg donor in the UK.

Information given to recipients

Recipients are given as much non-identifying information about the donor as is possible. This usually includes physical and personal characteristics and a profile written by the donors themselves.

Assessment and screening of donors

Donors who give eggs through our clinic must answer a series of questions designed to ensure that they are suitable. Counselling is routinely offered. We will check donors’ family history to assess their eligibility in terms of inherited medical conditions. Donors have a hormone profile taken to ensure that there are no difficulties in stimulating the ovaries. The donor’s blood group is obtained. All donors go through stringent screening checks to ensure they are not carrying infections, such as HIV, HTLV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis and gonorrhoea.

We will perform a basic genetic screening which includes a karyotype and cystic fibrosis gene mutation screen. Other genetic tests will be done based on a donor's individual risk to specific conditions.

The infectious and genetic screenings are aimed at minimising the risk of a transmission of a genetic or infectious disease following the donation. However, the process cannot eliminate the risk completely.  

There is a limited number of 10 families created by each donor as a result of donation. We will check the family slots available for each donor before matching you with one.

Treatment

You will have a treatment planning consultation and nurse consultation to talk through the details of your specific treatment protocol. You will also sign the required consent forms and attend GENNET City Fertility for ultrasound scans and blood tests to monitor the development of your endometrium (lining of the womb). The exact number of scans depends on your specific treatment plan and your response to the medication. Your donor will also be receiving medication and careful monitoring to assess her response to the medication.

Your male partner (if applicable) will provide a sperm sample on the day of your donor’s egg collection. You will be contacted and informed of the outcome of the donor’s egg collection, fertilisation and embryo development.

Embryo Transfer

Fertilised eggs, now called embryos, are transferred to the uterus between day 2 and day 5 after egg collection and any remaining good quality embryos are vitrified (frozen).

Approximately 14 days after egg collection, you will do a pregnancy blood test. You will continue to receive aftercare and support from GENNET City Fertility throughout your treatment. Two supportive counselling sessions are included within the treatment package.

Please be aware that donors have the right to ask centres at any time how many children have been born as a result of the donation, the gender of the children and the years of birth.

OVERSEAS EGG DONATION

Should you decide to have egg donation treatment with one of our affiliated units, you can expect:

Waiting time prior to treatment

We have no waiting list. There is a time period for the preparation of the patient for the treatment and synchronisation with the most suitable donor. This period takes approximately 3 months.

Success rates and guarantees

Success rates are now approximately 69% across all age groups. We guarantee a minimum of 6 mature eggs from your egg donor. We guarantee at least 2 good quality embryos on the 3rd day of cultivation ready for transfer. If the sperm quality is good and we do not achieve this, your next cycle is free of charge.

If no pregnancy occurs (detection of a foetal heart beat) after 2 cycles having had attempts with all available embryos from these treatment cycles, and the sperm quality is good, you will get a 3rd cycle for free.

Who are the egg donors?

GENNET currently has over 1,000 donors in its database, most of whom are young mothers or university students (18 – 32 years) from the Czech Republic. Donors are matched to recipients using our unique matching software programme that compares and matches physical features. All our donors undergo extensive physical and gynaecological examinations, repeated tests for sexually transmitted diseases as well as genetic screening and implications counselling. We are able to share information with the recipient that might have a direct impact on the health of any child born (particularly genetic information). However, no other specific information about the donor can be shared apart from the donor´s blood group and age.

In the rare circumstance when no eggs are available and this is caused by the donor (she does not take her medication properly, terminates the stimulation etc.), you will immediately be offered a backup donor, if she meets your requirements and the treatment will continue without interruption.

Matching and synchronisation with the donor

We match the donor with the recipient according to the recipients’ requests, blood groups and physical characteristics (including eye colour, hair colour, height, weight, etc.) using our unique specialised matching software programme. You will be asked to provide a photo of you and your partner for this purpose.

Confirmation of the date for your treatment

Our coordinator will give you possible dates for your treatment (depending on your preferred range of dates for the treatment). After you confirm your preferred date, you will be asked to pay a deposit to book. As soon as possible after receiving your payment we will confirm the exact date of your treatment.

Embryo Transfer

You will be informed of your proposed date for embryo transfer before you start any treatment, enabling you to make arrangements for your trip, including flights and accommodation as early as possible. We recommend that you plan staying for at least 5 days around the proposed embryo transfer date as the precise transfer date will depend on the development of the embryos. Transfers usually take place on day 5 of the embryo development and you may travel home the same day.

Sperm Donation

Sperm donation is the provision of sperm for the purpose of inseminating a female who is not the provider’s sexual partner. Sperm donation is most commonly used for single women, same sex female couples. Heterosexual couples withsevere male factor subfertility may also use donor sperm.

The recipient may select donor sperm on the basis of the donor’s characteristics, such as looks, personality, academic ability, race and many other factors. A sperm donors have no parental rights or commitment.

GENNET City Fertility screen potential sperm donors for common genetic diseases, chromosomal abnormalities and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that may be transmitted through sperm. The screening procedure also includes a quarantine period, in which the samples are frozen and stored for a period of time after which the donor will be re-tested for STIs. This is to ensure that no new infections have been acquired or have developed during the period of donation. When the test results are all verified, the sperm samples can be released from quarantine and used in treatment. 

Sperm donation can be considered in the following circumstances:

  • single women who wish to conceive without a partner
  • female same-sex couples
  • in cases of azoospermia (lack of sperm in the ejaculate)
  • for avoidance of genetic diseases which may be passed on from the male partner 
  • after recurrent ICSI treatment failures with poor quality sperm

Siblings

Donor sperm can be stored for future use when the recipient wishes to conceive with additional children by the same sperm donor. The advantage of having more children by the same donor is that thesy will be full biological siblings, having the same biological father and mother. 

Anonymity

It is important to be aware that at the time of donation, the donation is anonymous, i.e. you will not meet or know the donor. Since April 2005 the UK regulations state that your child will have access to the identity of the donor when he/she reaches the age of 18 and some basic information when they 16.

At times women/couples elect to have treatment using a known donor. This may be a member of the family or a close friend. Obviously, under such circumstances the donation cannot be anonymous.