Being an egg sharer
Egg sharing is a unique programme designed to benefit two groups of women, those who need IVF treatment and those who need anonymous egg donation. Conventional treatment is not an option to those women who are unable to produce their own eggs. They rely on other women to donate their eggs and although we have the largest egg donation programme in the UK, many couples are still waiting for their chance to have a child.
The woman receiving standard IVF treatment chooses to share her eggs with another woman who is unable to produce or use her own eggs. The woman sharing her eggs will not be charged for her own standard IVF treatment, apart from the HFEA licence fee.
Our egg sharers have a live birth rate of over 50% per fresh attempt, significantly higher than the national average of 38.1%
Things to consider before egg sharing
Women considering egg sharing 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 sharer'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 sharer'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 sharer's name
- the sharer's date of birth
- the sharer's place of birth
- the sharer'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.
Sharers have no legal rights to children born as a result of their donated eggs.
If sharers 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 sharer 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 sharers with the names or other identifying information about donor conceived children.
Who can be a sharer
Ideally, an egg sharer should be between the ages of 21 and 35 without any history of inheritable conditions, have a BMI of less than 30 and markers suggesting a normal egg reserve.
Will I have to pay for treatment?
You will NOT be responsible for the costs of any investigations, standard IVF costs, blastocyst transfer or drug costs.
You will be responsible for the £75 HFEA license fee.
Some additional costs such as ICSI (if required) or embryo freezing will also be charged but often at a lower fee than normal.
What information will I be given about the egg recipient?
We can inform the egg sharer whether a live birth has resulted from their egg donation and, if so, the number of children born.
Will my donation be anonymous?
Yes, neither egg sharer nor egg recipient will meet. However, information about the sharer 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 sharers will be tested to ensure they have a good egg reserve and 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.
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 sharing 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.
What will happen if I change my mind?
You are free to withdraw consent to your egg sharing at any time until the embryos are used, without threat of financial penalty or fear of recrimination. Obviously, you will not eligible for egg sharing in the future.
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.