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Egg Donation - What should I expect?(9 Posts)
I've recently been in touch with a couple of clinics near me regarding donating my eggs.
It's something I've been thinking of since having my son 4 years ago and finally now after thinking long and hard I've decided it's something I really, passionately want to do.
I've had an application form through in my emails today from the London egg bank, and also one from Altrui.
I think I'm just confused as to which one to go with, or are they all part of a larger company clinic so it doesn't matter, or should I go to both?
Can anyone help?
Hi eggyoptimist - firstly, thank you. What an amazing thing to want to do. It truly is. I’m the other side of the coin in that I’m waiting for Altrui to find a donor match, following 4 failed rounds of IVF due to a low ovarian reserve and low quality after surgery to remove a couple of endometrial cysts a few years back.
I didn’t want to read and run, particularly as what you’re wanting to do is so fantastic.
The difference between the egg bank and Altrui options are that with Altrui, they match you to a recipient / recipient couple, whereas with an egg bank, you’d be donating to the bank itself rather than to an individual - if you see what I mean.
At an egg bank, the eggs are frozen when collected - then at whatever point a recipient contacts the egg bank - they would be matched to (hopefully) an egg or set of eggs from one donor, that matched them. The egg would be thawed, then they’d hope to create an embryo which would then be transferred to the recipient.
With Altrui, they work with people to understand your requirements - but also background/ why you’re looking for a donor - medical background etc - in addition to the regular height/ hair and eye colour and so on. Essentially their services are like a dating agency with the matching of donor to recipient.
DH and I looked at both options and decided on Altrui as it seemed more personal. But that’s from a recipient perspective!
Whatever you decide to do is truly amazing and gives people like me hope to have a family. Good luck and thank you!
I donated eggs with Altrui and have only great things to say about them (and Alison). However, I will say that my first match fell through as the couple decided against using an egg donor which meant I ended up waiting a little longer than expected to be matched again and go ahead with the egg collection. I imagine if I'd gone with a clinic that didn't match donors with recipients in such a detailed way, the process would have been much shorter for me. Alison and the team were always willing and happy to answer any questions I had, including one conversation I had with Alison whilst she was sat in an airport on the way to a conference! I certainly wouldn't hesitate to recommend them and the only reason I didn't donate a second time was because of the huge time commitment required to go into central London multiple times over a few weeks (doable whilst I was a student, not doable once I was working again!). One thing to note though, whilst you are compensated for your time (£750), once you've added up all the costs of petrol, parking and train fares you actually pretty much break even. So it's definitely not a money maker!
And to answer your final question - Altrui is a stand alone independent organisation that ONLY matches egg donors and egg recipients, not part of an IVF clinic (though it obviously has established relationships with a number of IVF clinics). You then go to whichever IVF clinic your recipient is registered with for the egg ripening and collection process.
I did find that the clinic I went through weren't accustomed to egg donors though. After my first visit I received a bill in the post asking me to pay £800+ for the various blood tests (I contacted Altrui who sorted it for me) and then again when I went in for the egg collection I was taken into an office in the waiting area and asked how I was intending to pay..... Fingers crossed you won't have these issues but very very few egg donors are altruistic so it's best to be prepared for that to happen!
@EggyOptimist it is a amazing thing you want to do. I am forever grateful to our wonderful donor who enabled us to have a baby after 5 unsuccessful rounds with my eggs. There are no words which can adequately express how amazing people who do this selfless thing are.
The other important thing about going to an egg bank vs going via Altrui, is that if you donate through Altrui, you get matched with a recipient and your eggs are made into embryos straight away. If you donate to London egg bank your eggs are frozen as eggs and then if a recipient wants them, they are thawed and fertilised.
Freezing eggs to be fertilised at a later date has a lower success rate than if you go via Altrui and have the eggs collected and made into embryos straight away (even if those embryos are then frozen) which might be worth considering when it comes to making a decision about where to go.
Ps if you donate altruistically through a clinic, often this means your eggs will be shared between 2 potential recipients, whereas through Altrui you’d be an exclusive donor for one recipient. I don’t know whether that is important to you, but just wanted to point out the possible difference between the 2 things. I specifically wanted an exclusive donor as one issue we had when using my eggs was low numbers of eggs and I couldn’t face having the same situation with donor eggs.
Ps if you donate altruistically through a clinic, often this means your eggs will be shared between 2 potential recipients, whereas through Altrui you’d be an exclusive donor for one recipient. I don’t know whether that is important to you, but just wanted to point out the possible difference between the 2 things. I specifically wanted an exclusive donor as one issue we had when using my eggs was low numbers of eggs and I couldn’t face increasing my chances of having the same situation with donor eggs by sharing the eggs with someone else. I realise this probably sounds quite selfish, but I was desperate for things to be successful and am not sure I could have coped with another failure.
Thanks for all your lovely replies!!
I've decided to go with Altrui, I like pretty much everything about them, plus Alison is a DREAM. Wish me luck!!
Good luck Eggy - that’s fantastic news!