For many women with age-related infertility, egg donation is the only possible treatment, as there simply aren’t enough eggs of good quality to provide a reasonable chance of conceiving. Until recently, there has been a great shortage of donor eggs in Britain. The result was that many UK patients faced long waiting times for donor eggs at home - and some went abroad (to Spain, Cyprus, USA) where donor eggs were more plentiful.
The good news is that this problem is rapidly being resolved. New regulations allow greater compensation to donors, and the introduction of more efficient freezing techniques have finally make egg banking as feasible as sperm banking. As a result, egg donation is now much more straight forward than ever before: waiting lists have been reduced and the need to travel overseas is no longer necessary. And leading this march of progress is the London Egg Bank, a partner clinic of the Bridge Centre.
There are several ways in which donor eggs can now be made available.
- Altruistic (registered) egg donation provided by donors who are unrelated and anonymous to the recipients – they donate their eggs for altruistic reasons. Altruistic egg donors are not paid but can claim expenses incurred in coming for treatment, such as child care and travel costs.
- Partner to partner with egg sharing, in which one partner donates some eggs to her female partner (as above) and some to an anonymous recipient in return for heavily subsidised IVF treatment.
- Known egg donation is when a friend or relative is brought to the clinic by the patient to donate her eggs specifically to that patient.
Find our more about egg donation via the London Egg Bank