Sperm, Egg and Embryo 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.  

Sperm donation

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

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.

Embryo Donation

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.

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.