IVFAustralia provides egg donation services for women who are unable to conceive using their own eggs, where the donor and the recipient are known to each other. In most cases our patients come to see us with a family member or friend who is willing to donate her eggs.
If you are unable to find your own donor, we can provide advice and support on ways to advertise for a donor, but we cannot recruit one for you.
Very rarely, a woman will contact us to offer their services as an egg donor, and we can put them in touch with one of our patients, if suitable. However, this does not happen very often.
Can egg donation help me?
You may be considering using donated eggs if you are unable to use your own eggs, for example:
- if you are going through premature menopause
- if there is a risk of passing on genetic disease
- if your ovaries have been affected by chemotherapy or serious illness, or
- if you have had IVF treatment but repeated cycles have indicated poor egg quality
The success rate using donor egg treatment is directly related to the age of the donor, and the number and quality of donated eggs.
Who can be an egg donor?
Ideally, donors should be aged between 23 and 33, with no medical or genetic conditions.
As a donor, you should be prepared to discuss your medical history, and provide details about your lifestyle and physical descriptions with one of our fertility specialists. Your identifying details will be forwarded to the NSW Health Central Register kept by the New South Wales Department of Health, once a child is born from your donation.
Before proceeding with donation, all potential egg donors will have screening blood tests and complete a Genetic and Medical Health Questionnaire. If this indicates a family history of genetic conditions, a clinical geneticist assesses the donor’s suitability.
The egg donation process
1. Donor counselling
After an initial consultation with your fertility specialist, counselling is scheduled for the recipient and donor. This is an opportunity to consider the legal, social, genetic and moral aspects of being involved with the donor program, and helps everyone make an informed decision. The critical principle is that everyone involved should make decisions that they will look back on as the right ones for them.
The donor will then undergo the required medical checks.
2. Donor IVF cycle
Being an egg donor involves going through an IVF cycle to have the eggs collected.
The IVF treatment is co-ordinated to synchronise the recipient and donor cycles. This allows the eggs to be collected from the donor and transferred to the recipient at the best possible time.
The managing fertility specialist will monitor the donor as she undergoes vaginal ultrasounds and blood tests to determine when to collect the eggs. The egg collection procedure is usually performed under a light sedation or general anaesthetic at one of our day hospitals.
At the time of egg collection, the sperm is collected and the eggs are fertilised in the laboratory. Three to five days after the egg collection, one of the resulting embryos is transferred into the recipient and any other viable embryos are frozen, or all are frozen, for potential future transfer. After two weeks, a pregnancy test is carried out.
What costs are associated with egg donation?
In addition to any fertility treatment costs you should expect to cover the following additional fees when using an egg donor:
The recipient is responsible for the donor’s out of pocket costs. This includes the counselling and genetic/diagnostic testing ($935). This figure does not include medical consultations, or other tests requested by the specialist e.g pelvic ultrasounds.
Single women and same-sex couples are welcome to seek treatment with donor sperm, egg or embryos, although it should be noted that there is no Medicare rebate for fertility treatment unless there is a medical cause for the infertility.
NSW egg donor laws
IVFAustralia has extensive experience in helping create families through our donor program and we regard the interests of your future child as paramount.
It is up to the parents of the child to explain, when they feel it’s appropriate, the way in which the child was conceived. Our experience shows that the more openly available this information is, the more successful the outcome for everyone.
IVFAustralia adheres closely to the national Australian Health Ethics Committee guidelines when providing any fertility treatment. In Australia, it is illegal to buy or sell any human tissue, including sperm, eggs and embryos.
Under current NSW law, a child born from a donated egg, sperm or embryo is deemed to be the child of the birth mother. Donors are under no legal or financial obligation to the child.
In 2010 the NSW Health Department established a Central Register for donors and donor-conceived offspring. The NSW Health Central Register contains information about donors and children born as a result of ART treatment using donated gametes.
Once a child conceived using donated gametes turns 18, they will be able to access certain information on the Register if they wish.
IVFAustralia does not offer a donor service for women beyond the natural age of menopause (51 years of age) or to someone whose health could be compromised by a pregnancy.
Video: Finding & using an egg donor
To get the process started...
If you are considering using donated eggs or becoming an egg donor please call our experienced donor team on 1800 111 483 or book an appointment with a fertility specialist. Appointments are available in the next couple of weeks.