Survey reveals 71 per cent of women would donate their eggs to help another woman have a baby

Monday, 4 April 2011

A survey of women aged between 18 and 35 has revealed 71 per cent would consider donating their eggs to a couple who could not have a child.

The survey, carried out for the Bristol Centre for Reproductive Medicine (BCRM) at Southmead Hospital, asked 113 women what their thoughts were on egg donation.

The findings were:

  • 29 per cent of women surveyed said they would never consider egg donation.
  • 71 per cent said they would consider donating their eggs.

Of those 71 per cent:

  • 23 per cent said they would only do so for a family or close friend.
  • 7 per cent said they would only consider donating their eggs to a stranger.

The reasons why women would not consider donating their eggs were because they don’t know enough about the process, think it would be painful or because of a biological attachment to the child.

The BCRM carries out around 24 donor egg treatments a year with a success rate of 50 per cent. 

The process involves collecting eggs from the donor which are then fertilised in a laboratory using sperm from the recipient’s partner.

Some of these will become embryos which are then transferred to the recipient’s uterus.

The BCRM currently has more than 50 women who enquire about donating their eggs each year but not all are suitable and only half actually proceed with the donation. 

With more than 50 couples currently waiting for a donor, the waiting list can be 2 to 3 years.

Judy Gosmore, egg donation nurse at the BCRM, said: “Each week we get around two new enquiries from potential egg donors but less than half go through to donation.

“Donors would be helping couples where there is the presence of early ovarian failure or genetic risks as donated eggs are one way to avoid passing on gender-linked diseases. 

“Some of our recipient couples would make wonderful parents but didn’t meet until later in life – egg quality declines in older women.

“Couples who seek a donor are so grateful just to be given a chance, even if the donation is not successful.

“Donors overwhelmingly tell us that they want just want to help another woman to have a baby, and they find it a very rewarding experience.”

The BCRM opened in 2008 and carry out more than 1,000 IVF treatment cycles each year.

It is one of the top 5 fertility clinics in the UK for its pregnancy rates and offers a full range of fertility services to both NHS and self funding patients.

The centre takes patients from across the UK, primarily the South West region as well as Wales, and offers services for male and female infertility including IVF, ICSI, IUI as well as donor sperm and egg treatments and surgical sperm recovery.

The BCRM are looking for more egg donors.

Find more information about egg donation.