Egg Donation - Using Donor Eggs
IVFAustralia provides egg donation services for those who are unable to conceive using their own eggs.
We understand that for many women considering using donor eggs to conceive, it can be a daunting decision. Although the decision to use donor eggs never comes easily, in our experience, women who have successfully conceived using donor eggs are every bit as fulfilled as any other mother.
Our comprehensive donor program includes experienced counsellors who can walk you through the process and provide support as you consider your options.
Read more about the process of using donor eggs below.
And if you want to learn more about the process for becoming an egg donor, visit our egg donation page here.
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
- if you have had IVF treatment but repeated cycles have indicated poor egg quality
- you need egg donation in order to grow your family, for example, same sex male couples
The success rate using donor egg treatment is directly related to the age of the donor, and the number and quality of donated eggs.
How do you find an egg donor?
This can happen when the recipient and donor are known to each other, for example, our patients come to see us with a family member or friend who is willing to donate her eggs.
Sometimes, a woman connects with us to generously offer donating their eggs, and we can put them in touch with one of our patients, if suitable.
If you are unable to find your own donor, we can also provide advice and support on ways to advertise for a donor.
Who can be an egg donor?
Ideally, donors should be aged between 23 and 35, with no medical or genetic conditions.
Potential donors should be prepared to discuss their medical history, and provide details about their lifestyle and physical descriptions with one of our fertility specialists. Donors’ 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 their 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.
Find out more about the process of becoming an egg donor here.
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 psychological 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 are the costs associated with egg donation?
In addition to any fertility treatment costs there are also costs involved in the preparation of egg donors. Read more about the costs of fertility treatment.
Please note Medicare will only provide a rebate for fertility treatment if there is a medical problem. If you are considering accessing the donor program, it is recommended that you consult a Fertility Specialist for full investigation to understand if you are eligible for a rebate and to understand the fertility treatment costs.
World Egg Bank
IVFAustralia has recently entered into an arrangement with the World Egg Bank to import eggs from the United States for people who need to use donated eggs. The arrangement complies with NSW egg donor legislation. If you would like to find out more information about this option please contact our donor team.
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 follows 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.
To get the process started...
If you are considering using donated eggs 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.
Complete the form below for more information about egg donation.