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Using Donor Eggs

Many women become pregnant
and deliver healthy babies
using donor eggs


Some couples are infertile because the female partner is unable to produce any eggs (oocytes). For these women, an IVF cycle using donated eggs offers them a chance to become pregnant. Many women are able to become pregnant and deliver healthy babies having used donor eggs.


A woman’s inability to produce eggs can occur for several reasons including poorly developed ovaries, low ovarian function, ovarian failure (premature menopause), previous surgery or cancer treatments, such chemotherapy and radiotherapy can all have an impact on her fertility.


We will help you get started in the egg donor process unless you already have a donor in mind. You will begin by reviewing egg donor profiles which enables you to select which donor may be the best ‘fit’ for you and your family. Information provided can include; Age, Ethnicity, Height and weight, Eye and hair colour, Education and hobbies, family history and her reasons for choosing to be an egg donor.

Unless you have chosen to provide your own donor (who may be a close friend or relative), the identity of the egg donor provided through IVF London will not be made known to you, likewise; your name or any details regarding your identity will not be disclosed to the donor.

IVF London only use donors who meet the stringent HFEA criteria. This means that donated eggs will usually be provided by women between the ages of 18 and 35 who have undertaken certain health tests to ensure that they do not pass on any serious diseases or medical conditions to you or your baby.


The treatment itself involves synchronisation of both the recipient’s and the donor’s cycles if you are using fresh eggs from either an altruistic donor or from someone you know. This is achieved through carefully timed medication regimes. The egg donor receives daily hormone injections over 2 weeks, at the end of which, her eggs are collected. During these 2 weeks the egg recipient takes oestrogen to thicken her womb lining in preparation for receiving embryos.

Both the egg donor and the recipient will have ultrasound scans at regular intervals during the 2 weeks. In the donor’s case these are to monitor the growth of the egg follicles and in the recipient’s case to measure the thickness of her womb lining. On the day that eggs are collected from the donor, the egg recipient’s partner is asked to produce a semen sample so that the eggs can be fertilised in order to make embryos. The embryos are normally ready to be transferred 3 -6 days after they have been collected. Any excess good quality embryos can be frozen for later use after a full discussion and risk analysis of how many embryos should be considered for transfer.


On the day of the embryo transfer the embryo(s) are introduced into the womb vaginally by means of a fine catheter (tube) under ultrasound control. The egg recipient will continue to take medication until a pregnancy test is performed sixteen days later. This medication will also continue for several more weeks if pregnancy is achieved.

If you are a recipient of frozen donor eggs you will be given medications to thicken the lining of your womb, and to have scans to monitor this. Once the desired thickness of endometrium is reached the eggs are thawed and fertilised with your partner’s sperm. The resulting embryo(s) are closely observed by our laboratory staff before being transferred back to the recipient. Any excess good quality embryos can be frozen for later use after a full discussion and risk analysis of how many embryos should be considered for transfer.


It is our policy at IVF London that suitable opportunities are provided for counselling and we encourage all couples considering egg donation to avail this opportunity to discuss implications with our counsellors. This will help you to understand what is involved in receiving donor eggs and the implications of this procedure to enable you to make a fully informed decision on whether to progress with this treatment.

Withdrawing and changing Consent

The donor has a legal right to withdraw or vary her consent up to the point when her egg(s) is used in treatment, even if she has already signed a consent form.

Egg Donation and The Law

IVF London is licensed and regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority under the terms of the HFEA Act 1990 to offer treatment using donated eggs. It is the law that the woman receiving treatment, and her partner being treated with her, will be the legal parents of any child born as a result of donated eggs. Although the egg donor will be the genetic parent of any child born, she will have no legal relationship to any child born nor will she have any legal rights over or obligation to any child born. In the same way any child born will have no legal relationship to, nor rights over and no obligation to any egg donor.

Egg Donation and The Law ...

By law, the donors identifying details must be provided to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to be maintained on its confidential register. This also applies to donors who are from overseas. In April 2005, a new law came into force to remove anonymity from sperm, egg and embryo donors. This means that children conceived after this date as a result of such donation may, if they so desire, contact the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) when they are 18 years of age or older to receive identifying information about the donor.  An egg donor is allowed to create a maximum of 10 families in the UK.  Once you have a livebirth using donor eggs, you would be entitled to use this donor for any future treatments should her eggs be available. If you have frozen embryos derived from donor eggs then you would be able to use these embryos in treatment till they have been used.

Why Choose Us?

Here are some facts about your fertility journey with us that we’d like to share with you:

Every evaluation and treatment plan is uniquely tailored to meet your individual needs

You will have access to leading professionals, with over 35 years combined expertise, providing you with confidence and reassurance in your fertility diagnosis and subsequent treatment

Our multidisciplinary team includes specialists in fertility, urology, nutrition, counselling, genetics, endocrinology, haematology and weight management to provide a comprehensive range of support as and when you need it

We will work with you closely to understand your individual circumstances, identify any problems and agree with you, the best course of action to help make your dream a reality

We will always be honest and open about your chances of success with treatment.

Your comfort and care is always our top priority

Our focus remains entirely on you as an individual, your unique needs and your wellbeing

All investigations and treatments are provided within our new state-of-the-art clinic based in Elstree which offers a spacious environment with comfortable surroundings, to enhance your care and experience. We offer investigations and scans at our satellite locations too.

Our friendly consultant-led team is here to support you at every step throughout your fertility journey

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