Could you donate your eggs?
If you are thinking about donating your eggs, thank you. Donating your eggs to help someone achieve their dream of having a family is an amazing thing - you can change someone’s life.
At CARE Manchester want to make the journey to donation as straightforward as possible and to make your health, wellbeing and happiness our absolute priority.
Donors tell us that they get a great feeling but on rare occasions we do sometimes have to make a difficult decision not to accept the offer of donation. This can be really disappointing and so I wanted to explain why this sometimes happens;
- Age: Women are having babies older and older – that’s what the papers tell us. Unfortunately though as a woman ages then the (small) risks of her eggs having a genetic abnormality increases and for this reason you have to be aged 36 or less to be an egg donor. We’re not being ageist, I promise. We know that lots of older women go on to have healthy pregnancies and babies but the experts that drafted the law decided that this was for the best.
- BMI – the dreaded body mass index: like lots of other women I have struggled with my weight all of my life but was lucky enough – even at my heaviest – to have a family without any serious complications. When it comes to donors though we really can’t accept a donation from you if you have a BMI of 35 or above. This is because although the risks of donation are small they are higher in women with a BMI of 35 or more and we can’t let you take that risk for someone else’s benefit. We have to put you first.
- Family history: when I had children with my partner we already knew each other’s family history – the good and the bad! When someone receives the gift of donor eggs they don’t have that background so we have to think about it for them. We ask all of our donors to fill in a family history questionnaire - all clinics have to do this, again it’s the law. Sometimes we see that there is a family history of an illness that might be inherited and when this happens we might not be able to accept the offer of donation. The questionnaire is easy to fill in and we wouldn’t want this to put you off donating. If we did see something in your family history we’d discuss it and our genetics expert would explain what it means.
I worked in research for a long time and was truly touched when patients who had finished their IVF treatment donated embryos so that I could study ways of making IVF more effective. When I had a child of my own and knew the joy of being a parent I wanted to give something back and say thank you to those IVF patients by donating eggs. Sadly I left it too late and was too old but knowing the reasons why I wasn’t accepted meant I didn’t feel rejected.
If you are reading this then you are thinking of doing something amazing. Call us at CARE and we’ll support you every step of the way.