Being an egg donor

Egg donors are unique and remarkable women. Their kindness and generosity allows many childless couples to achieve their ultimate dream of having a family.

These women undergo ovarian stimulation and egg collection to produce eggs and donate to one or two women on our waiting list.

Since 1988, more than 1000 women have altruistically donated at The Lister Fertility Clinic. Our dedicated IVF egg donation team has over a decade of experience in assisting donors through the process.

Things to consider before egg donation

Women considering egg donation should be aware that egg recipients will be provided with non-identifying information such as height and ethnicity. However, at no point will the egg donator's name be revealed to the recipient.

Since 2005, children born as a result of egg or sperm donation have the right to access identifiable information about their donor once they reach 18 years of age. An egg donator's details will be kept on the HFEA Register, where they are carefully protected and are not available to the general public. Only those with a right to this information by law, namely donor-conceived people aged 18 or over, will have access to it. If they contact the HFEA, they will be told:

  • The donor's name.
  • The donor's date of birth.
  • The donor's place of birth.
  • The donor's address at the time of treatment.

The Lister Fertility Clinic does not currently hold information about how often children seek out their donors as the first generation of children born under this law will not turn 18 years old until 2023.

Donors have no legal rights to children born as a result of their donated eggs.

If donors would like to know the outcome of their cycle they can contact The Lister Fertility Clinic at any time. The clinical team can tell a donor whether any children were born as a result of their egg donation as well as the sex of any such children and/or the year they were born.

We cannot provide donors with the names or other identifying information about donor conceived children.

What information will my egg recipient be given about me?

All information given to the egg recipient will be non-identifying. We try to match egg donor and recipient physical characteristics as closely as possible.

Who can be a donor?

Ideally, an egg donor should be between the ages of 21 and 35 without any history of inheritable conditions.

Will I have to pay for treatment?

No, all medical expenses will be covered by The Lister Fertility Clinic. Expenses such as public transport / petrol and reasonable childcare will be reimbursed.

What information will I be given about the egg recipient?

We can inform the egg donor whether a live birth has resulted from their egg donation and, if so, the number of children born.

Will the donation be anonymous?

Yes, neither egg donor nor egg recipient will meet. However, information about the donor will be held at the central register with the Human Fertilisation and Embryo Authority (HFEA). At the age of 18 a person born as a result of sperm, egg or embryo donation will have access to identifying information about their donor. This will not apply to donation treatment received before 1 April 2005.

What tests will be done before I am accepted?

All donors will be tested for HIV antibody, hepatitis B and C, syphilis, haemoglobin, blood grouping, chromosome studies and cystic fibrosis. Two HIV tests will be carried out; the first test will be on the day of the initial consultation and the second will be 12 weeks later. With your consent we will write to your GP to obtain your past and present medical history.

How many visits will I have to make to The Lister Fertility Clinic?

Under normal circumstances, an egg donor will make five and occasionally six visits to the clinic. The first involves a consultation with the doctor, nurse, counsellor and ultrasonographer and allows you to find out more about egg donation. It does not commit you in any way to becoming an egg donor.

If you decide to donate, your next visit will follow commencement of your treatment cycle: an ultrasound scan will be carried out to determine your response to fertility injections.

What will happen if I change my mind?

You are free to withdraw consent to your egg donation at any time until the embryos are used, without threat of financial penalty or fear of recrimination. If you are undergoing sterilisation or other related surgery, those procedures will still be performed on the terms already agreed.

Will I have counselling?

You will be seen by a counsellor on your first visit to discuss the ethical, legal and social aspects of egg donation and to ensure you fully understand the procedure and the ethical aspects involved in donation.

Our free counselling service is available to all patients before, during and after treatment.

How many times can I donate?

This will be a joint decision between you and your doctor (however, the law states that no more than 10 families should be born from any one donor).

Will being a donor affect my fertility?

Many of our donors have donated several times and have continued to have children of their own.

What support is available?

If you have any questions before, during or after your donation, please feel free to call The Lister Fertility Clinic team, who will be glad to help. Our counsellor is available at any time during or after your treatment.

General enquiries

The Lister Fertility Clinic
The Lister Hospital
Chelsea Bridge Road
London SW1W 8RH

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