Treatment using donor eggs
Egg donation is a treatment used when the patient is unable to produce her own eggs. This is often used when the ovaries store of follicles is beginning to run out. The tell-tale signs are irregular – and even absent – periods. For some women, this can happen in their late 30s and early 40s, or even earlier.
For these women, egg donation is the only possible fertility treatment. Donor eggs can also be used if other medical conditions have impacted fertility. or to avoid passing a genetic disorder.
Male same-sex couples can also consider donor eggs to start their family.
Treatment is the same as IVF except that the eggs are sourced from a friend or relative (known egg donation) or from an anonymous donor. Patients receiving ‘fresh’ donor eggs from a donor must have hormone therapy to ensure that their own menstrual cycle matches the donor’s and is ready to receive an embryo for implantation. For patients using frozen eggs, all eggs are stored in a frozen state and are only thawed for fertilisation and transfer when needed by the recipient patient.
For all patients considering treatment using donor eggs, counselling is necessary to ensure they are fully aware of the legislation on using egg donors. All children born as a result of donor eggs in the UK have the right at the age of 18 to know the donor’s identity.