It is such a fantastic and selfless thing that these amazing women are doing and we want to ensure that all our egg donors are fully informed and to make the whole experience as pleasant as possible for them.
One of the questions we often get asked is who can be a donor. There are rules about who we can recruit as egg donors. The HFEA states that egg donors must be between 18 and 35, fit and healthy with a BMI between 18-30, free of infectious or genetic conditions. They need to have a decent knowledge of their family medical history so we can check that there is nothing genetic in there to be worried about. We also don’t let women who smoke donate as we want to ensure that there is no risk of damage to the eggs.
All of our donors are asked why they donated and it is clear what a wonderful group of women our donors are and that they have thought a lot about the process. Our donors feel a huge sense of pride and achievement, knowing the joy they have brought to people who could not otherwise become parents. Many of our donors are: students or young professionals who have been exposed to fertility problems by family/friends and want to help, young mums who, after having a child of their own, believe that every woman should be able to experience the joy of being a mother, or young professionals who don’t want children of their own but understand that other people do. They believe they are wasting their eggs/fertility and would like to help someone else become a parent.
The average age of our donors is around 24/25. The characteristics that we have on the catalogue at any one time are diverse as we try to recruit a range of different women as we know that our recipients come from a range of different backgrounds and we pride ourselves on trying to get good matches.
As it is an invasive procedure we only want to recruit women who will respond well to stimulation and therefore we carry out some medical tests to look at their fertility. The welfare of all our donors is really important to us so if we find that their fertility is not what we were expecting then we offer them counselling as we know that it can be a shock to find that you have suboptimal fertility, especially at a young age.
We get asked a lot about the money. We are looking for altruistic donors i.e. that is women who are doing it as a selfless deed and not for financial gain. There is a set limit of compensation of £750 available and this amount is set by HFEA and designed to cover expenses such as the time off work, travel and childcare.