Mr El Toukhy, Consultant at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS, talking at one of Altrui’s information evenings for egg recipients, explains what happens in the clinic during egg donation.
Good evening everyone and thank you for giving up your time to come to this open meeting and it’s my pleasure actually to be here and talk about the clinical aspect of egg donation.
So of course after Anthony has mentioned counselling, once the recipient couple and the donors have completed the counselling process and they’re ready to start the clinical side of egg donation they come and see us in the clinic and the first thing we do is to see the recipient couple first, if they hadn’t been to the clinic before, and we give them a very good debrief about how the cycle will unfold and what to expect, including the screening that they have to go through before starting the clinical cycle and what to expect during the stimulation phase and at the time of providing the sperm sample, at the time of doing the embryo transfer, what are the expectations. But we also go beyond that and talk about the pregnancy that hopefully will ensue after every transfer and what to expect during the pregnancy, what are the precautions that will need to be taken throughout the pregnancy, how to handle the antenatal care in the best possible way, what to expect during the antenatal care process and so on. And of course if we have any embryos to freeze we talk about that, and how to handle that in future after delivery of the first child hopefully.
And then we see the donors and I have to say Anthony talked about independent counselling, when I see a donor in the clinic the first thing I ask her is, you know we take history and everything, and then you ask her what you know about egg donation and try and find gaps where I can actually give her some more information, but by the time they’ve had the discussion with Altrui, they’ve read all the resources and the leaflets, There are hardly any gaps that I try and explain, so they come to us with very good prior knowledge, understanding, the counselling really is just to put the icing on the cake, make sure that they have received independently and this is exactly what they want to do.
Then we proceed with some baseline screening test for the donors, we screen a lot of conditions including infections, including viruses, genetic conditions, chromosomal analysis. And we explain to them right at the outset that how long the screening results will take to come back and also the possibility that sometimes those results are not a hundred percent as one would expect because we’re all human, even donors believe it or not, they’re all human like you and me, and we have to make sure that they are prepared for all sorts of results, some most of the time I would say ninety-nine, ninety-eight percent of the time they’re good results.