What is egg donation IVF?
This is a fertility treatment where a woman achieves a pregnancy using eggs donated to her by another woman (the egg donor). This egg donor can be known to her or can be an anonymous egg donor.
A woman might need donated eggs for a variety of reasons, e.g:
- She has gone through an early menopause (before the age of 40) and has no eggs
- She has had her ovaries removed during surgery and has no eggs
- She has a very low egg number or poor quality eggs. This can be due to a genetic problem, previous surgery, an environmental cause and in some cases is unknown
- She is over the age of 42 years – a time when all women have very low egg numbers and very few of their eggs are normal and can make a baby
Who can become an egg-recipient (someone who receives donated eggs)?
An egg recipient is usually a woman who is in good health, single or in a stable relationship and under the age of fifty. Not all patients are eligible to enter the programme and each case is assessed on an individual basis. In some circumstances, cases may be referred to Trinidad IVF & fertility Centre’s Ethics Committee for review.
Who can donate their eggs?
Many women would like to donate eggs to help someone who cannot have children. Egg donors are either anonymous, and provided by the clinic, or someone known to you that you bring along for assessment (a known-donor).
Sometimes women who are undergoing IVF treatment can donate eggs as an egg-share donor. This means that during their IVF cycle they will give away half of the eggs collected during that cycle to an anonymous recipient couple.
Egg donors at our clinic must:
- be aged 35 years or less
- have been a non-smoker for at least three months
- have a normal FSH and AMH hormone blood test
- be free of transmissible diseases and inheritable disorders
- be free from severe endometriosis
- never have had previous hyper-stimulation of the ovaries
- have a BMI (body mass index) below 33
All egg donors are required to undergo initial screening tests before they can be accepted onto the programme. Generally these tests include HIV, Hepatitis B & C, Syphilis and sickle cell screening. Everyone accepted on the programme will be required to discuss their own and their family’s medical history with the doctor.
Do egg donors get payment for being a donor?
Anonymous egg donors provided by the clinic are paid a small fee for providing eggs. If you bring along your own egg donor, then the clinic does not make any payment to your egg donor. For women who are already going through IVF and are egg share donors, they receive a reduction in the cost of their IVF treatment.
In egg-share IVF, how are eggs shared out?
If six or more intact eggs are collected, the egg donor shares her eggs with the recipient. If an even number of eggs is collected, both receive half. If an odd number is collected, the extra egg is kept by the egg donor.
If the egg donor produces five or less eggs, splitting the number will not give either the donor or recipient a good chance of pregnancy, in which case there are two options:
- the egg donor gives the recipient all the eggs and is then able to go through another cycle and keep all of her eggs from this second attempt at no additional charge
- the egg donor keeps all of the collected eggs and has no additional charge and the recipient’s cycle is cancelled
Trinidad & Tobago IVF & Fertility Centre makes every effort to ensure a good response from the egg donor, but cannot guarantee that the minimum number of eggs will be retrieved.
How are egg donors and recipients matched?
We will match, as closely as possible, the following characteristics of the donor and recipient:
- eye and hair colour
- skin tone
- height and build
If you choose an anonymous donor, will you know the identity of your egg donor?
You will not be told the identity of the woman who donates eggs to you and you will also remain anonymous to her. You will receive a description of her physical characteristics and ethnicity. If you wish, you may be informed whether your donor achieves a pregnancy if she is an egg- sharer, but no further information can be supplied.
We keep safely protected records on all egg donors and recipients. At all times these records will be kept confidential and anonymous. In the future should any child born as a result of egg donation (either the donor or the recipient’s child) ask for identifying information this will not be given, however we will be able to confirm or deny any potential genetic relationship to a partner.