IVF with donor eggs
Professor Charles Kingsland, FRCOG answers some of your most commonly asked questions
Donor egg treatment, for women who are unable to use their own eggs but can still carry a child, is one of the most successful forms of treatment at CARE Fertility. Through an anonymous or a known egg donor, an individual or couple can receive the precious gift of life.
When a woman discovers that she needs donor eggs to have a baby, she may experience a range of emotions and also has lots of questions. We looked to one of our own experts, Professor Charles Kingsland FRCOG, Group Clinical Director at CARE Fertility, to answer some of the most commonly asked questions.
What is the success rate for IVF with donor eggs?
Success rates using donated eggs are high. This is largely because of the fact that anonymous egg donors have to be under 36 and our donors have undergone extensive screening. You can be assured that your egg donor has good fertility and this is one of the key factors in achieving strong results for anyone who needs IVF with donor eggs.
What does CARE look for when screening potential egg donors?
We look for all types of healthy women who are aged 35 or under. Whilst there is no “perfect” type of donor, each donor who applies is given equal consideration during evaluation and prescreening. The overall goal is to help people who need a donated eggs to build healthy families. We have a team of Consultants, Donor Co-ordinators and our donation support team dedicated to evaluating potential donors and helping our egg recipients move forward to achieve their dream of having a baby.
There are basic criteria which an egg donor needs to meet in order to donate, not only to adhere to the guidelines set by the HFEA but also to protect her own health. The criteria for egg donation is strict and includes factors such as age, body mass index (BMI) and genetic history. We know that our donor egg recipients want a healthy donor and we try to make sure all of our donors have followed a healthy lifestyle before proceeding.
Why is prescreening important?
All of our egg donors undergo a rigorous prescreening process before being accepted as egg donors. They go through both medical screening and counselling to help determine their eligibility to donate. Medically, we look for healthy ovaries and hormone levels but we also consider the emotional and psychological aspects of donation. We want to make sure that our donors understand how their generosity makes a tremendous impact on both their life and that of the recipients, and we are dedicated to supporting them emotionally with counselling.
Professor Kingsland said ”Our intensive screening process is a key factor in helping us achieve high success rates for our patients who need donor eggs“
What fertility tests are egg donors given?
One of the most important things we want to find out about egg donors is how good their potential egg supply is, known as the ovarian reserve, and how responsive they are likely to be to the drugs that stimulate egg development. We can use a combination of tests to give us this information:
- Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) levels (a blood test). The hormone is measured by a simple blood test taken at any time in the menstrual cycle and gives a good indication of the ovarian reserve.
- The Antral Follicle Count (AFC). AFC is a scan which helps in assessing a donor’s ovarian reserve and her potential response to ovarian stimulation.
Is egg donation regulated in the UK?
We believe that by finding altruistic egg donors in the UK we are providing the very best for you and your family. A key element of this is the strong and well thought out regulatory structure in place through the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which makes egg donation in the UK so safe for both donors and recipients.
Information about your egg donor
We aim to give you as much information as we can about your egg donor, but it is all non-identifying. When you have been matched with a donor, we can give you the following information about her:
- Her physical characteristics
- A personal profile. Each donor is asked to complete a more extensive personal profile, written in her own words, giving a greater insight into her personality. Your donor will probably include the reason why she has decided to become an egg donor
- A Goodwill message that she will have written for any children born as a result of her donation
What will your egg donor know about you?
Egg donation in the UK is done anonymously. If your donor wishes they can find out if a child has been born as a result of their donation, what sex the baby is and the year of birth. Many of our donors like to know that their donation has been successful.
Do egg donors receive compensation?
We know that our donors’ time is valuable and we make sure we compensate them for all of their time with us as an egg donor. The HFEA allow us to pay donors compensation of £750. We have found though that most of our donors do it for more than money.
Professor Kingsland agrees, “The money helps, but the fact that they are helping another woman with this incredible gift is the driving factor.”
Matching you with an egg donor
We understand that for some people an important part of coming to terms with egg donation is feeling that care has been taken to match you with the right egg donor. You won’t ever meet or know her, so it is even more important for us to do the best for both you and your donor.
We understand that you are unique and we will do our best to find someone who fits really well.
What does IVF with donor eggs involve?
IVF using donor eggs is much the same as regular IVF treatment. We collect eggs from your donor and fertilise them, using the sperm of you, your partner, or another donor, and we’ll then monitor the embryos and choose the best embryo to place back in the womb. We can freeze any additional embryos for future treatment.
Why CARE Fertility?
CARE Fertility is the leading egg donation programme in the UK. Our teams have been helping people to have treatment successfully with donor eggs for many years and we work proactively to attract egg donors who are healthy, informed and want to help another woman have a baby.
Having your donor egg IVF at CARE Fertility not only offers you the best chance of getting pregnant but gives you peace of mind that we’ll look after you throughout every stage of your treatment.