Egg Donation Programme

What Is Egg Donation?

Egg donation is a special process whereby a female patient uses another woman’s eggs to become pregnant. There are times when egg donation is offered as an option to our patients. These include when a female patient is undergoing radiotherapy or chemotherapy treatment, and also when the woman’s eggs are not able to produce a baby.

Additionally, egg donation offers an alternative option to women who are carriers of genetic disorders and do not want to pass the condition to their baby.

Donated eggs can be fertilised using a partner’s sperm or a donor if necessary.

Who Needs Egg Donation?

Sometimes women who are unable to conceive due to a condition called premature ovarian failure (POF) will use egg donation. POF is when the ovaries have stopped working before the age of 40. Some women with POF still have occasional periods but, unfortunately, they cannot conceive.

Methods Of Egg Donation

The Fertility & Gynaecology Academy Egg Donation Programme: The Fertility & Gynaecology Academy has the very best resources for those who require donor eggs to become pregnant. We are one of the few clinics to offer high quality donor eggs right here in London, with minimal wait times and good success rates.

Patients who wish to use international donors will need to travel there for embryo implantation, however The Fertility & Gynaecology Academy can help facilitate this process.

We take care to try to match the physical features of the recipient and the donor. Egg donors must not be older than 35, and are usually in their twenties or early thirties. Additionally, they have a clean bill of health and fertility.

We try to match height, weight, skin colour, hair colour, eye colour and ethnic background as close as possible. You may request certain criteria but must bear in mind that being overly prescriptive can result in longer waiting times for matches.

Fresh Egg Donation: With fresh-egg donation, timing is key. The release of eggs in the donor has to correspond with the fertility cycles of the donor. For this to occur, the donor needs to have her ovaries stimulated while the recipient is using hormone tablets or patches to build up the lining of her womb for egg implantation. Once healthy eggs are taken from the donor and fertilised with sperm they are placed in the recipient’s womb within a five-day period.

Frozen Egg Donation: Because of the difficulty in recruiting a donor at just the right time, frozen eggs are sometimes implanted instead of fresh ones. The egg-freezing process involves a quick cooling method known as vitrification.

Once frozen, the eggs are stored at extremely low temperatures in liquid nitrogen. The eggs can be frozen for any length of time. However, the statutory storage period for eggs as recommended by the Human Fertility and Embryology Authority (HFEA) is up to 10 years. This period can be extended for up to 55 years in exceptional circumstances.

Using a donor’s frozen eggs is a viable method which has shown proven results over the years – but it is important to bear in mind that not all the eggs will survive the freezing process.

When the recipient is ready, the eggs are thawed and fertilised. The embryos are then implanted into the womb.

We know you may have questions and we look forward to answering them. Please call us on 020 7224 1880 to book a consultation where we'll carefully and thoroughly talk you through the process in detail to ensure you feel completely informed every step of the way.