Egg Share Programme

Egg Sharing is a process in which a woman (the sharer or donor or provider) going through IVF treatment (because she needs IVF to get pregnant), elects to give away (donate) half of her eggs to another woman who needs donor eggs because the recipient woman is unable to produce her own. By doing so the egg provider not only helps somebody to become pregnant, but she gets her own IVF treatment at a substantially reduced cost.

Why would a woman going through IVF treatment give away half of her eggs?

Some women produce many more eggs than are necessary for their own treatment and would like to be able to help another woman who is unfortunate enough to be sub fertile because she has no eggs. Egg sharing provides this opportunity, enabling two couples to be treated during one IVF treatment cycle. Unfortunately NHS funded IVF treatment is not available to many couples and because funding an IVF  treatment  can be very expensive; the sharer has the advantage of receiving a substantial reduction in the cost of their own IVF treatment.

The disadvantage to the couple who provide the eggs (not embryos)  is that they will give away half of the eggs that they would otherwise have used for their own treatment. In order to safeguard the interests of both the egg provider and the recipient (the woman receiving the eggs) we will only accept women for the egg share programme who have a very good chance of producing sufficient eggs to give both the sharer and recipient a reasonable chance of pregnancy.

The process

Since there are psychological, social, moral and ethical implications of egg sharing e.g. the act of giving away eggs may result in the recipient achieving pregnancy egg sharer (provider) not becoming pregnant and to ensure that the interests of all parties are looked after, both the recipient and donor couple are counselled regarding the implications of using/donating eggs. The minimum number of eggs for sharing is 6 to optimise the chances of pregnancy for both the donor and the recipient couple. The criteria for entry to the egg share scheme are:

  • women aged between 18 and 32 years old
  • to have both ovaries
  • to have normal ovarian reserve as tested by pelvic scan and blood tests
  • to undergo counselling
  • to have a body mass index of less than 30 (please telephone the Unit with your height and weight and we will calculate this for you)
  • to be screened for viral diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, CMV, test for syphilis
  • Screened for genetic disease by testing chromosome and test for cystic fibrosis
  • to agree to complete a genetic questionnaire in order to rule out the possibility of an inherited condition being passed on

Please see the egg donation section for further information on this and our price list for up to date costs.

Our egg donation coordinator or one of the medical team would be happy to discuss with you further about this treatment. If you wish to speak to someone, please telephone 024 7696 8879.