Egg donation

Help those unable to have children by donating eggs

Do you have a big heart?

Then help those who can’t have children by donating eggs

Introduction

Most people imagine that one day they’ll be parents. For the majority of people, this eventually becomes reality. Others may have to explore alternative routes until they’re successful – or not, as the case may be. Since 1 January 2007, healthy women below the age of 36 have been able to donate eggs to women who are unable to produce their own healthy eggs. Do you have a big heart? Then you can help those who’re unable to have children by donating eggs.

Egg donation – what is it?

Some women don’t produce eggs that can be fertilised and result in pregnancy. This can be due to hereditary defects in the woman’s eggs, damage to the ovaries following medical treatment or radiotherapy, or due to the early onset of the menopause. The only chance these women have of becoming pregnant is by means of egg donation, i.e. they receive an egg from another woman. The egg is fertilised by their own partner’s sperm, after which the embryo is transferred to the uterus. The chances of becoming pregnant through egg donation are generally good; however, not many people are familiar with the concept of egg donation, as a consequence of which egg donors are scarce in Denmark today.

What’s it got to do with me?

There are many couples on the waiting list for egg donation in Denmark, but unfortunately only relatively few egg donors. Couples undergoing egg donation treatment must therefore be prepared to wait for a period that can last up to several years. This is where you can make a difference by registering as an egg donor or simply by spreading the word amongst friends and family.

Of course, you’re well within your rights to ask why it’s any of your business; but it would mean everything in the world to the couple or those couples you’d be able to help become pregnant.

About the treatment

If you wish to donate eggs, you have to embark on a mild course of hormone treatment once you’ve been given thorough information about the treatment. This treatment lasts about 10 days and stimulates your ovaries to produce more than the one mature egg that a woman would normally produce each month. The medicine is administered as a daily injection and contains the same hormones that you already produce naturally to create eggs. You need to be scanned regularly in order to ensure that the medication is correct. When the eggs are mature, they’re retrieved from your ovaries. This is carried out with a needle that is led through the vaginal wall out to the ovaries. It’s a relatively simple, painless and quick procedure that for the majority is associated with minimal pain and discomfort.

You can register as an egg donor irrespective of whether you’ve had all the children you want or you’re yet to have children. However, you must be less than 36 years of age.

Risks

Hormonal stimulation by means of egg donation can cause side-effects in the form of slight headaches, tiredness and/or slight tenderness in the pelvic region. In extremely rare cases, bleeding or infection after egg retrieval can occur.

Legislation

Earlier, only women who themselves were being treated for an inability to have children were permitted to donate eggs. However, since 1 January 2007 Danish law has allowed anonymous egg donation. Today, all fit and healthy women under the age of 36 can donate eggs in Denmark either anonymously or openly. You decide yourself whether the recipient may contact you, in addition to which you can donate eggs to people you know. Egg donation is possible in both public and private clinics at several places throughout the country.

Who can become an egg donor?

In order to become an egg donor, you must be:

  • 18-35 years of age
  • fit and healthy
  • without any hereditary diseases in the family
  • negatively tested for: HIV, Hepatitis B and C and syphilis
  • normally fertile or undergoing treatment for infertility using the test-tube method

Frequently Asked Questions

– Does egg donation reduce my own chances of becoming pregnant?

No. Egg donation doesn’t affect the number of eggs in your ovaries. From birth, you have around 2 million egg cells in your ovaries. After puberty, one egg matures each month; the others are lost. In the case of egg donation, hormonal stimulation causes more than one egg to mature – and it’s these eggs that are donated. When the course of hormonal stimulation ends, your menstruation will return to normal.

– Is there a risk that I’ll hit the menopause earlier?

No.

-Do I need to have my coil (IUD) removed before I can donate eggs?

No, you can receive hormones and carry out donation with both a copper coil and a hormonal coil.

-What about contraceptive pills?

You begin hormonal stimulation in the break between taking contraceptive pills and can begin taking the pill when bleeding begins 10-12 days after retrieval of the eggs. You’ll then need to use a condom as prevention for about one week around the time of retrieval of the eggs.

– Can I become sterile from being an egg donor?

No, there are no consequences of being an egg donor.

– How big is the problem?

There are currently a lot of couples on the waiting list for egg donation. However, there’s no complete overview in Denmark that can determine the exact number.

– What do I get out of becoming an egg donor?

You should do it because you have a big heart and wish to help others. According to current legislation, we may pay you DKK 7000 per egg donation.

Further information

If you have any questions concerning the subject or you just have a big heart and want to help, then please contact IVF-SYD Fertility Clinic or another fertility clinic near you.

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Fertilitetsklinik IVF-SYD
Skærbækvej 4
DK-7000 Fredericia

Tlf.: +45 76 24 50 20
E-mail: info@ivf-syd.dk