Becoming a donor

As someone who’s interested in becoming an egg donor, here’s what you can expect to happen following your first contact with a fertility clinic (although there might be some slight variations between clinics).

  • Find and then contact your fertility clinic of choice online or by phone to express your interest in becoming an egg donor.
  • Have an initial conversation with the fertility clinic, receive a named clinic contact and complete the clinic’s egg donor application form.
  • If the fertility clinic thinks you are a suitable egg donor from your application form you will be invited for an appointment with the Egg Donor Coordinator. This will give you an opportunity to discuss the egg donation process in more detail.
  • A blood test and a transvaginal scan will be performed to give an idea of your ovarian reserve. These tests will indicate how many eggs you have, how likely your ovaries will be able to produce eggs and how well you might respond to the egg donation medication.
  • You will be invited to a medical history appointment which will be an opportunity to talk about your health and your family’s health. More screening tests will take place. These will include blood tests and urine samples.
  • The clinic counsellor will arrange to talk with you about what donating your eggs means to you and your family. It will be an opportunity for you to explore and consider the implications of egg donation.
  • You will be asked to sign the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) egg donation consent forms.
  • Your details will be added to the clinic’s egg donor database.
  • With the help of clinic staff you will be encouraged to write a personal description and goodwill message which will be read by your recipients and any children conceived from your egg donation.
  • You will be matched with your recipient.
  • Treatment starts and you will be registered with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.

If your application or tests reveal any issues that indicate you might not be suitable as an egg donor, you will be informed sensitively and discreetly, and given further information of where you might find additional appropriate support.

If you need IVF treatment yourself for factors unrelated to female egg quality then there’s a way to receive significantly discounted private fertility treatment: egg sharing.

By agreeing to share your eggs with women who need them, not only do you receive cheaper fertility treatment yourself but you will also become an egg donor.

By taking part in the egg sharing scheme:

  • you must meet the key egg donor criteria
  • your legal parenthood status will be the same as other egg donors
  • the information you shared with your clinic and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) will be stored and shared with donor-conceived offspring in the same way as other egg donors
  • your identity can be made known to your donor-conceived offspring once they turn 18, regardless of whether your own treatment was successful
  • you will be required to have implications counselling
  • your IVF treatment cycle will go ahead as a typical IVF cycle except around half of your eggs will be kept for treatment for you and the other half will be given to your matched recipient.

If you’re considering donating your eggs to a friend, family member or someone else known to you then there are a few things you need to be aware of:

Discussing the implications of donating in this way with a clinic counsellor both individually and as a group will help you to identify and consider the benefits and challenges to you, your recipients, and your current and future families.

The key donor criteria and process of donating are the same for you as an egg donor donating in a clinic to an unknown recipient although, in some circumstances, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority(HFEA) might waive some of the key criteria.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has set up a group called Lifecycle which brings together donation experts. They have put together some ‘best practice’ leaflets about donation and what you might expect from your clinic – although practice is likely to vary from clinic to clinic. Click here to download the leaflet »