April 13, 2015

Thinking about the numbers in egg donation

ZygoteSo how are you feeling about your eggs? Most women don’t even think about this, especially if we’ve already had children.

Move into the world of donation, though, and you quickly notice that it can be dominated by numbers. How many follicles were there? How many eggs were collected? How many embryos developed, and how many were fertilised? Did your couple get pregnant? How many embryos are left for them to have another try?

When you’re going through something as emotional as egg donation, especially for the first time, it’s easy to look at those numbers and check with other donors to see if you’re ‘normal’, and maybe feel a bit ‘less than’ if you don’t seem to measure up.

But it’s not as simple as that. Women are individuals. We come in different shapes and sizes, are a bit older or a bit younger, are genetically that bit different, respond slightly differently to the treatment. All these factors can make a small difference to how many eggs are collected and their quality.

The doctors do everything they can to make the treatment as effective as possible, including choosing healthy, fertile donors like you, but in the 32 years since the first child was born from a donor egg, we haven’t reached the point where there’s a guaranteed outcome. Nature always has a say in whether the perfect embryo implants or not.

Every donation is important and valued. So if you’re starting to get caught up in worrying about the numbers, remember that out of around 9 million UK women who could donate, you’re one of less than 2000 each year who actually does it. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that this is about you and your couple, not about everyone else. Your couple would never even have had a chance to get pregnant if it wasn’t for you. You made that decision to be a donor, took the step of getting in touch, and had the courage to go forward with treatment.

Your kindness and generosity as a donor is precious, regardless of how things turn out during the donation cycle, or whether the couple get pregnant.

You’re doing something to be really proud of.


Three-parent babies

The House of Lords has approved controversial IVF procedures aimed at preventing inherited mitochondrial diseases. Over the last couple of months we have heard a lot of different views regarding the use of “three-person IVF” in the UK. Some people are all for it and others against it. What about you? Yes? No? Or maybe […]

Read the full article: Three-parent babies »

Stay privacy-aware – egg donation and social media

At Altrui we’ve recently started putting pregnancy and birth announcements online – it’s wonderful to share positive news and everyone who reads it feels good. But it’s got us thinking about how we can publicly celebrate donors’ amazing gift while protecting your privacy online. We follow HFEA guidelines on anonymity, meaning we only let donors […]

Asian Infertility

An Altrui egg donor explains why she can’t let anyone know she’s donating eggs   For Asian women there are clear cultural attitudes about being fertile and having children, with a correspondingly large stigma attached to being infertile. It is automatically assumed that a couple will have children, which is a major milestone in any […]

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Videos about Egg donation

There can be a mass of information to absorb going through the egg donation cycle as a donor, so to make some aspects a little easier to digest we have put together a series of short videos which go a long way towards explaining the treatment that egg donors go through. Thanks to two of […]

Read the full article: Videos about Egg donation »

An egg donor talks about donating again, Part 2

I chose to become an egg donor for two reasons, the first reason being that my mum was adopted by the most loving couple and this was my way of saying thank you to my grandparents. And the second reason being that my little sister is unable to have kids (or so we thought). Donating […]

An egg donor talks about donating again, Part 1

I chose to become an egg donor for two reasons, the first reason being that my mum was adopted by the most loving couple and this was my way of saying thank you to my grandparents. And the second reason being that my little sister is unable to have kids (or so we thought). First […]

Back to school and infertility

However reluctant we are to admit that it’s autumn now and this year’s summer has gone, there are some clear signs that time is moving on: kids are going back to school. But back to school time can be a difficult reminder for infertile couples of what they are missing out on. Pamela says, “When […]

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After egg donation… then what?

You know the feeling? You’ve looked forward to the donation for months, your family’s been all excited, you’ve got through the treatment, you’ve had the collection, your eggs are fertilised and you know the outcome… and then what? Women become egg donors out of empathy and compassion and the desire to make a positive difference […]

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I want to lose weight so I can be an egg donor

Jenny tells us about her special reason for losing weight – she wants to become an egg donor. I first approached Altrui when I saw one of their ads on Facebook – I hadn’t thought about donation before then. But my auntie had fertility problems and hasn’t been able to have children of her own, […]