EGG DONATION: WHAT IS IT AND WHO IS IT HELPFUL FOR?

I was working at a clinic in Harley Street, my first job in this field and there was so much to learn! IVF and all that comes with it; in those days it was ultrasound scans and 24-hour urine collections. Yes, women had to collect all their urine throughout the day and bring it to the clinic so we could test it for various hormones. We were very glad when blood analysis became the norm instead! Then I was told about another form of IVF where a woman could donate those eggs collected to another who didn’t have any. Wow! What an amazing thing one woman can do for another whether they know them or not. To help someone else experience being a mother must be one of the most life-affirming things you can do.
So, who is egg donation suited for:

  1. Those who suffer from primary ovarian failure (never had periods so never had eggs to achieve a pregnancy with) or premature ovarian failure (menopause happened way sooner than is normal).
  2. Those who want to achieve a pregnancy later in life (mainly in their 40’s but in some cases, 50’s) when their own egg quality is compromised, and the use of a younger egg gives a much higher chance of success.
  3. Those who know they have a high chance of passing on a genetic condition should they use their own eggs.
  4. Those who have had cancer or autoimmune diseases, have undergone chemotherapy or radiotherapy, and have caused irreparable damage to their ovaries.

Compared to IVF the preparation in most cases is a whole lot easier with the use of medication as follows. Clinics will often use the combined contraceptive pill to regulate hormones and help plan treatment dates. Some will then use a down-regulation injection such as Lupron or Prostap to fully suppress the hormones before making a bleed happen and then starting on the estrogen preparation. This is done with either tablets or patches to give the body estrogen and create a freshly thick womb lining (endometrium). Five days prior to the embryo transfer progesterone is started in the form of pessaries or injections to give the second hormone that the body needs to support the womb lining and possible pregnancy. These medications continue through till the pregnancy test and then if we get the positive pregnancy test result, for a further 6-8 weeks.
Whatever is needed we will provide detailed treatment plans to follow through treatment.

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