Who are the donors?

‘After a stranger helped us, I wanted to give something back.’

My husband and I have a three-year-old daughter born following IVF with the help of a kind and generous sperm donor. After our daughter was born I wanted to be able to help other people experiencing infertility so I began investigating egg donation. I knew I had responded well to the medication during my IVF cycle and I knew what it would feel like physically to inject myself and to have my eggs collected so donating felt like a logical and good thing to do. It was also a way of showing our gratitude to the sperm donor who had helped us. Although I was fairly certain I wanted to donate, my husband and I did spend some time talking through different issues with the clinic counsellor about how donating might affect us all emotionally, particularly our daughter. My donation treatment cycle went smoothly and we recently discovered that our recipient couple is pregnant with twins! I am so proud that out of our own infertility as a couple we as a family have been able to help other people experience the joy of becoming parents.Abi

‘A magazine story inspired me to help someone have a family.’

I was at the hairdresser’s flicking through a magazine when I stumbled on an article about a woman in her twenties who had donated her eggs to a woman who’d had breast cancer. The lady had needed them because sadly the cancer treatment that had been designed to save her life left her infertile. I couldn’t help but be mesmerised by the photo of this woman, who had been through such loss and heartache, looking so happy with her husband and new son. I thought to myself, ‘I’m going to do that. I want to help someone have a family.’ That evening when I got home I started looking on the internet for everything I could find about egg donation. I discovered that there were two fertility clinics in the city where I worked, one of which was an NGDT ‘Donor Centre of Excellence’. About a week later I plucked up the courage to call the Donor Centre of Excellence clinic and arranged to meet with the Egg Donor Coordinator to discuss things in a bit more detail. After that, I also chatted with close friends and family about what I was thinking of doing. Most people were really interested and supportive. It took about six months for me to go through the testing, counselling and matching process and then I was all set to start. The donation cycle was much easier than I had anticipated and I didn’t find injecting myself as difficult as I thought it might be – even with a fear of needles! In the end, I produced 14 eggs which were donated to two women. I know one of the women went on to have a baby following my donation. The clinic has contacted me recently to ask whether I would be willing to donate to that same person again so she can try for a brother or sister for her child. I agreed and am about to start another treatment cycle. Donating my eggs has been the most rewarding and fulfilling thing I have ever done.Beth

‘Donating my eggs to my best friend is the best thing I have ever done.’

My best friend, Emma, and I have done pretty much everything together since we met on our first day at school. Like all good friendships, there have been lots of ups and downs but we’ve always been there for each other. We’ve always had each other’s backs. From first boyfriends to drunken nights out, our first holiday away from our parents to visiting each other at university and then being bridesmaids at each other’s weddings. We took it for granted that our children would be born around the same time and that they would become mischief-makers together. When I got pregnant on my honeymoon I excitedly shared my news with Emma. She was so happy for me. She’d got married six months before me but had only recently started trying for a baby so we both figured it would just be a matter of time. But another six months came and went. And then another. And then another. By which time I was pregnant with my second child. Emma was understandably upset when I told her we had another baby on the way and she was more anxious that ever that there might be a problem with her or her husband’s fertility. They had lots of tests. Neither of them were expecting to discover that in her early thirties Emma had such low ovarian reserve that her only option to become a mum was to adopt or use donated eggs. She was devastated. I was so sad for her and I felt so guilty that I’d got pregnant twice. She had always been like a sister to me and watching her go through this heartache was so difficult. I wanted to help. I wanted her to experience becoming a mum. So, one night, over many tears and tissues I offered to donate my eggs to her. It seemed like such an obvious thing to do. I’m not sure why I hadn’t thought of it earlier. She didn’t say yes immediately. We all spent a few months talking about it between ourselves and what it might mean for our friendship and our relationships with our husbands and children. When we were all ready, we booked an appointment at Emma’s clinic and got things started. All of my tests came back OK and the counsellor was happy for us to proceed. I didn’t find the process difficult at all – Emma even helped me with some of the injections! Egg collection and the two-week-wait were nerve wracking for all of us but it was well worth it as now I get to see Emma and her bump! Donating my eggs to my best friend is the best thing I have ever done. I can’t wait to meet her baby and see her become a mum.Clare

‘I feel so fulfilled after becoming an egg donor but even better is knowing that I have given other people hope and a chance to become parents.’

I always wanted to be a mum and am very fortunate to have three children. Two years after I’d had my third child, I saw an advert in my local newspaper – a fertility clinic was looking for egg donors and was holding an open evening to give potential donors the chance to find out more. It was not something I’d ever considered before but I like to think of myself as a kind person and as someone who is willing to go out of their way to help others. I also believe in Karma! I knew my family was complete and I suspected I had it in me to give my eggs to people who so desperately wanted to become parents. With that in mind, I went along to the open evening. It was fascinating. I had the chance to meet clinic staff, talk to women who’d donated before and meet patients who’d already made their families with help from an egg donor. By the time I got home I was buzzing! The next day I booked my initial appointment at the clinic and about eight months later I started my first donation cycle. Becoming an egg donor has fulfilled something in me but even better is that I have given other people hope and a chance to become parents.Liz