There are a number of reasons that an egg donor may be required. A woman may be capable of carrying a pregnancy, but there may be a problem with the quantity and/or quality of her eggs the prevents conception from occurring. Reasons for using an egg donor may include:
- Premature menopause
- A history of chemotherapy treatment
- A history of surgical removal of both ovaries for a medical reason, such as ovarian cancer, borderline ovarian tumours, ovarian torsion
- Low ovarian reserve caused by surgery to the ovaries, medical conditions or of unknown aetiology
- A genetic condition that the mother does not want to be passed on to her child (which either cannot be avoided through the use of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis or due to a low ovarian reserve which results in an insufficient number of embryos suitable for biopsy being available)
- Poor egg quality (whilst this is usually associated with women over the age of 40 years, it can occasionally occur in younger women)
Egg donors may either be known donors (a friend or family member) or anonymous donors (usually sourced from an egg bank).
It is important to know that Australian law dictates that children conceived through the use of donor gametes (sperm, eggs, embryos) are able to access identifying information about their donor when they turn 18 years of age. In order for an Australian IVF company to be able to use access donor eggs, the women donating the eggs must consent to having their name and details entered on a donor registry, to facilitate any children conceived through the use of their donated eggs being able to contact them at a later date.
Australian law also regulates against the payment of gamete (sperm, egg, embryo) donors. All donations must be provided altruistically.
It is possible to access donor eggs through Genea.
The first step is to arrange a consultation with me. At this consultation, I will arrange a full fertility assessment to ensure that there are no obvious issues that would preclude you from conceiving.
You will then be placed in contact with the donor co-ordinator at Genea. As part of the process, you will be required to undergo a counselling session with the Genea counsellors. If you are using a known donor, the donor will also be required to undergo a counselling session. The counselling sessions are important to ensure that everyone involved in the process has a good understanding of their rights and obligations, and forethought is given to any situations that may arise in the future and how these situations will be handled.
All donors undergo serological testing (including testing for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV) prior to providing the semen specimen. In order to produce the required eggs, the donor will need to go through a process of ovarian stimulation plus an egg collection procedure.
The legal and logistical situation regarding donor eggs changes, so whilst the above information is correct as at the time of publication (Sept 2019) it may change. If you would like further information, you can contact the donor co-ordinator at Genea at firstname.lastname@example.org.