Donor Fertility Treatments

Some patients who come to us need the help of donor eggs or sperm to conceive.

We therefore help these patients by offering donor insemination using donor sperm or donor egg cycles for patients looking for treatment using a donor egg.

Egg, Sperm or Embryo Donation

Many people cannot use their own eggs or sperms to produce a child, or they just don’t have a partner who can provide the missing gamete (egg or sperm). Modern medical practices allow a solution for this problem through donation from another person of their eggs or sperm or even embryos.

The donors are screened to minimise the chances of them passing on a virus or genetic defect. It is impossible to guarantee perfection but donors have a consultation and a family history taken and are tested for the more common viruses and genetic conditions.
Secondly, the law does not allow the donor any access rights to the child, nor does he/she have any financial obligations. In Britain, the donors are also non-anonymous, which means that they are not identified to the recipient but the child has the right to find out the identity of the donor when he/she turns 18. The central health authorities keep a register of donors to allow this and also to allow contact if there is any medical need. A variation on this applies, of course, in cases of known donors – where the recipient finds their own donor who may be a family member or friend.

Thirdly, there are rules about how many families are permitted to be formed from any particular donor. This is mainly to reduce the possibility of consanguinity.

The techniques behind gamete donation are well established. The first child born through egg donation was born in 1983 and sperm donation rose to prominence in the 1980s but the first medically-reported case actually dates all the way back to 1790.

Genetic Parents

People should be aware when thinking of producing a child through gamete donation, that one of the people who raise the child will not be its genetic parent. Modern society does generally consider the person who raises the child to be the “real” parent although there is no genetic inheritance, and in the case of women there is also some evidence that carrying the child through a pregnancy actually can affect its gene expression, if not the genes themselves. Another important consideration is whether or not to tell the child that a donor was involved. Whilst every case is unique, the general consensus is that the child should be informed when it is quite young because it can deal with this much more acceptingly than if it finds out itself at a later stage and feels betrayal that it has been misled.

Information from HFEA:

Giving consent: A guide for donors

Before you donate eggs, sperm or embryos, you must fill in one or more of our consent forms. This leaflet is for people donating to another person or for training purposes. It explains more about consent and why you need to complete these forms, what you should consider when giving your consent and how your clinic should support you.

HFEA leaflet - Giving consent: A guide for donors
Download Giving Consent Leaflet

6 Steps of the IVF Treatment Journey

Step 1

Initial Consultation & Scan

Come in for an initial consultation and scan where one of our IVF Consultants will assess you and devise a personalised treatment plan which will give you the best chance of success.

Step 2

Treatment Consultation

Two weeks before the start of your period you will come in to meet with a fertility nurse who will talk you through your treatment plan and go through the consent forms with you.

Step 3

Scan & Blood Tests

You will have two or three monitoring scans usually spaced says apart; each takes 20 minutes. The doctor may perform blood tests at these appointments.

Step 4

Egg Collection

This procedure is performed in the theatre under sedation and takes around 45 minutes.

Step 5

Embryo Transfer

The embryo transfer is a quick and easy procedure which does not need sedation and feels similar to a smear test.

Step 6

Pregnancy Test

We will invite you back to the clinic for a pregnancy blood test and give you the test results by the end of the day.

Learn more about IVF Treatment