Egg donation

Some women cannot produce eggs, usually because their ovaries are not functioning or have been removed. If you are in this situation, you may wish to consider receiving egg donation – that is, using another woman's eggs – to get pregnant.

You should be offered this option if:

  • your ovaries have stopped working early, or after chemotherapy or radiotherapy or

  • you have a chromosome abnormality, such as Turner syndrome or

  • your ovaries have been removed.

You may also be offered this option if you have not had success with IVF or there is a high risk of passing on a genetic disorder to your children.

If you are considering receiving egg donation, you should be offered independent counselling to talk over what the treatment will mean for you, any children you already have, and any children you might have as a result of treatment.

Donating your eggs

If you are considering donating your eggs, your doctor should offer you information on the risks associated with ovarian stimulation and egg collection. All potential egg donors should be offered the chance to see an independent counsellor to help them think about the implications of donation for themselves, their own children and any children they may have as a result of donation.

Occasionally a woman having fertility treatment can choose to donate some of her eggs in return for a benefit such as discounted IVF. Her eggs are then donated to a woman who is unable to produce her own eggs. This is sometimes referred to as 'egg sharing'. Anyone who is considering taking part in such a scheme should be offered the chance to see an independent counsellor to talk over what it will mean for them.

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