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.
Donated sperm (sperm not from your partner) can be used in many types of fertility treatment. The donated sperm is used to fertilise an egg either inside the woman's body (IUI) or outside the body (IVF).
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
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.
Many IVF/ICSI cycles result in surplus embryos. Couples who have such embryos in storage with us may ellect to donate their embryos for the treatment of others. Embryo Donation is suitable for couples who have male and female subfertility and other approaches have been unsuccessful or are not recommended.