7 FAQ's About Egg Sharing

If your PCT has cut the funding for fertility treatment programme and you can't afford to get IVF privately, consider sharing your eggs with another infertile woman. This can be an excellent way to fund your own treatment as the clinic can give you a discount on the cost of your IVF treatment.

Why Is There An Egg Shortage?

Because of the strict rules in Britain regarding payment for donating eggs, there is a severe shortage of eggs available to help women who aren't able to get pregnant using their own eggs. As a result of this shortage, in order to encourage women to donate their eggs, the HFEA (Human Fertility & Embryology Authority) allows clinics to offer you subsidised treatment in exchange for your some of your eggs.

How Can I Share My Eggs?

When you have IVF clinics often retrieve more eggs than they need to help you get pregnant. If you are under 35 and have healthy eggs, you can donate some of these extra eggs when you go through IVF to help another towards fulfilling their dream of having a family. Normally the clinic expects you to donate half of the eggs that they retrieve from your ovaries so they can use them to help another woman. Some clinics also offer the possibility of donating your eggs for research. Exactly how much of a subsidy you will get towards your own treatment depends on the clinic and on your own fertility treatment requirements.

Can I Donate Even If I Don't Need IVF?

If you don't need fertility treatment but are willing to offer some of your eggs to help infertile women get pregnant, the clinic will pay your out of pocket expenses and will usually pay you for your loss of earnings up to a certain amount, currently £250. Also, as an altruistic donor you can donate your eggs to a specific person if you wish, for example a friend or relative.

Why Do I Need Counselling?

There are a lot of implications involved in egg donation and it's important to have counselling to make sure you really understand what is involved. One of the most important reasons for counselling is because any child born from your egg is genetically related to you. Since 2005, any child born from your egg will be able to contact you if they wish once they reach the age of 18. You therefore need to think about how this might affect you in the future.

What Is Involved?

As part of the screening process for donating or sharing eggs, you will have to endure various tests to make sure that your eggs are healthy. If you are participating in the egg-sharing scheme you may have to pay for these tests and may not get reimbursed if the clinic isn't able to use your eggs. You also need to register with the HFEA as an egg donor and sign an agreement with the clinic offering the egg-sharing scheme.

What Happens If I Don't Have Enough Eggs To Share?

This depends on which clinic you choose as individual clinics have their own policies.

How Do I Find Out More?

Many clinics have an egg-sharing scheme to help women who are unable to use their own eggs for treatment. If you are already investigating IVF treatment, ask your fertility specialist if the clinic runs an egg-sharing scheme. If you just want to help another woman have the opportunity of having a baby, ask your local fertility clinic if they run an egg donation scheme.

The HFEA also has a list of licensed clinics available.

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