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On the Mumsnet Donor Conception forum, you can discuss sperm and egg donation with people in the same situation.

Donor conception

Donor eggs - choosing characteristics?

25 replies

LemonChickenThyme · 04/11/2018 17:14

Hi. Folllowing 3.5 years of fertility assessments and 3 unsuccessful ICSI cycles my husband and I are considering receiving a donor egg to conceive and we’ve been told you can indicate or choose features and attributes of the egg donor? What kinds of experiences have people had please? How detailed does it get? Any comments welcome.

OP posts:
Didyeeaye · 04/11/2018 17:18

My friend went through this process last year and she spoke about it as a physical choices I.e eye and hair colour, skin tone and height etc. She selected a donor with similar colouring and height as her

LemonChickenThyme · 04/11/2018 18:03

Thanks @Didyeeaye that level of detail I was aware of, but is it correct that other charceteristics like personality and level of educational attainment can be considered. I’m finding it a bit strange to get my head around?!

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Lauren83 · 04/11/2018 18:32

If you are in the UK using a UK donor you will be matched on the physical characteristics, it's not common to have hobbies, education or occupation disclosed however donors are encouraged to write pen portraits about themselves which can often contain more of an insight into the type of people they are, it's likely if they contain too much info it would be redacted. You can usually find out if they are proven too, but it wouldn't show you how so it could be from a previous donation or through having children herself. Frozen imported eggs from a bank often have a little more info attached to them

LemonChickenThyme · 04/11/2018 19:17

Thanks @Lauren83 so do you flick through a brochure of donor profiles, or do the clinics find a potential donor based on your list of preferences?

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LemonChickenThyme · 04/11/2018 19:21

When you say ‘proven’ do you mean that the donor is someone who has successfully had her children or that her previously donated eggs have successfully become babies for other egg recipients. Is it therefore the case that your child(ren) may have half brothers and sisters?

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Lauren83 · 04/11/2018 19:24

You will be offered a match usually one at a time, all clinics will differ slightly in procedure but for fresh eggs there's usually a waiting list and each donor has a family limit so they can't have multiple recipients viewing profiles at the same time incase a few people want the same donor at once, for frozen egg banks you may be able to view more profiles as the eggs are already banked ahead of time. Most clinics in the uk will have a waiting list ranging from 1 month to 3-5 years depending on the type of donor you want, once a donor has been given the OK to donate they will usually be offered to the person on the wait list who has been on the longest who's criteria they meet, then if they decline they work their way down. I have a baby from donor eggs myself but all I specified was brunette and proven, it was my third egg donor

Gonzoo · 04/11/2018 19:31

If you do it in the us you can see photos and even their grades. You can interview them if you want. It depends on how much detail you want.

Lauren83 · 04/11/2018 19:36

Proven could mean either but they won't usually disclose which, most donors will already have children or will have donated before so it's likely there will already be partially genetically related 'siblings' already and the donor may go on to make further successful donations. The 10 family limit is in place to limit this.

LemonChickenThyme · 04/11/2018 20:07

Thanks @Gonzoo and @Lauren83 ok, so if you have selected, or are ‘matched’ to a donor based on xyz characteristics they then are scheduled to go through a stimulation cycle and you get the eggs retrieved from that cycle?

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Lauren83 · 04/11/2018 20:10

Yes you would either be matched to an altruistic donor who donates all her eggs to you or to an egg sharer who donates half her eggs, the donors will be synced to you often using the pill and whilst they stim you do your lining preparation

LemonChickenThyme · 04/11/2018 22:22

Thanks for these notes @Lauren83 best wishes to you.

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Binglejellies · 05/11/2018 21:37

At IVI they prioritised blood group to match mine.

LemonChickenThyme · 05/11/2018 23:03

Thanks @binglejellies do you know why?

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Lauren83 · 06/11/2018 01:03

There's no medical reason to but for those planning on not telling the child they can match blood groups if preferred

Binglejellies · 06/11/2018 06:41

I have no idea why OP, to be brutally honest we had been undergoing fertility treatment for the best part of 20 years so by this point I was all questioned-out.

We did stipulate hair colour and type eg straight, skin tone and height of donor.

Not telling our child is not an option. I grew up with deceit and lies and refuse to put my chioin the same toxic situation. In fact, age 3 she already has various books and conversation is open.

At IVI, your donor is allocated just for you, her eggs go to no-one else.

Lauren83 · 06/11/2018 07:06

I agree with PP my child will know he is donor conceived, there's a good age appropriate book called the pea that was me that's recommended, he is only 9 months so haven't told him anything yet obviously but I will even when I don't think he can understand. I'm actually pregnant naturally too now so will have to tell them both how they came about in very different ways

LemonChickenThyme · 11/11/2018 21:04

Thanks @Lauren83 and @Binglejellies

Really appreciate you sharing your experience. Did you have any counselling either through the clinic or privately?

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Binglejellies · 11/11/2018 21:20

I had a lot of counselling at the hospital, in the end it was so much that I felt embarassed and pretended to DH I had stopped when I actually hadn’t.

The first initial session about 20 years ago was ‘free’ (the cycle back then was £900) and the counsellor (I assume) felt so sorry for me - I was an absolute mess - that the next 4/5 sessions I wasn’t charged when I should have been and some went way over the 60 minutes she had allocated me Blush

For our very last cycle which was our very first one at IVI, our satellite clinic in the UK involved an obligatory 1 hr session. The counsellor was the same one after all this time and basically said ‘I know what you’re about, I know you don’t need assessing, let’s just have a coffee together!’ I was worried she’d spill the beans that I had been seeing her without DH’s knowledge. She was so lovely, very professional.

FWIW, a very close friend of mine has had 7 miscarriages (natural conception) and been offered no counselling on the NHS. She is paying privately.

Lauren83 · 12/11/2018 07:31

I only had the 1 hour implications counselling session that you have to have to receive or donate gametes, it covered the changes in the law and info on resources that would help tell the child if I decided to. I was offered support counselling if I felt I needed it

Claudine13 · 15/11/2018 09:50

Hi
Myself and my partner are about to complete our characteristics form and using CRGH clinic. I'm mixed race (Caucasian and Afro Caribbean) and my partner is Caucasian. Obviously we're keen to find a donor egg as close to myself but it seems that there are very limited options. Does anyone have experience of this or know of any clinics that have better options to choice eggs from?
Thanks

Claudine

LemonChickenThyme · 15/11/2018 11:00

Hi @Claudine13 great question! My partner and I are also a mixed race blend of Caucasian and Afro Caribbean Smile

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Claudine13 · 15/11/2018 11:59

Thanks @LemonChickenThyme it's such a mind field to know what to do, I just hadn't realised how limited it would be. Have you found a clinic or egg bank that have a more diverse range of donors?

Cutesbabasmummy · 17/11/2018 21:32

Hello! I'm.an IVI Alicante mummy! We also had a satellite clinic in the UK. We got given a choice of 2 donors that matched in terms of my height, build, eye colour etc. In terms of personality my son is quite like me probably because I spend the mist time with him. In Spain there is no waiting list for donor eggs as there are a lot already frozen. But they are anonymous x

LemonChickenThyme · 18/11/2018 14:33

@cutesbabasmummy thanks for your message. Can I ask how you chose between the two options and also what the costs were (if you wouldn’t mind sharing) x

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Cutesbabasmummy · 18/11/2018 18:38

We had two rounds with the second being the successful one. All our initial scans and drugs and scans fur the womb lining were done in the UK. We flew out to Spain once to freeze my husband's sperm and then again for the first transfer. As that was unsuccessful (It was a day 3 embryo) we flew out again for our frozen embryo transfer. That embryo had made it to day 5. Total cost was around £10k including flights. We chose the donor because she was 23 and the other option was from a 28 year old. Xx

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