Seeking altruistic egg donors

An organisation launched by fertility professional Alison Bagshawe is challenging the myths surrounding egg donation and inspiring more women to consider becoming a donor to help childless couples experience the gift of parenthood.

For more than 20 years Alison has been on the front line supporting women through their heartbreaking battle with infertility, many already scarred by the trauma of chemotherapy, the loss of several babies or the disappointment of failed treatments.

For these women egg donation is their only chance of a family of their own but with a critical shortage of egg donors in the UK many women in this vulnerable situation are driven to search overseas for help.

“There is a real need for an organisation that not only encourages women to consider becoming egg donors but also informs, supports and cares for them throughout the process,” says Alison, who spent much of her career at Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospital in London.

“I come across many women and young mothers who have been inspired to donate, mainly because they have seen the heartache caused by the inability to conceive in close family or friends. These women appreciate the joy of having a family and are able to empathise with the misery of not being able to have a child.”

Alison founded Altrui to support women contemplating altruistic egg donation as a way of helping couples with fertility problems and offer a new approach to egg donation.

Focussing on the welfare of the egg donor Altrui’s innovative approach matches each egg donor to a single recipient rather than sharing the donated eggs between several women as is the usual practice

“Connecting an egg donor with a single recipient gives the best chance of success and it also means excess embryos can be frozen to give the opportunity for another cycle in the future and the chance of a genetic sibling,” Alison explains.

“It is the greatest gift and a rare person who offers the chance of realising a dream to someone who has almost given up hope. Becoming an egg donor should be a hugely rewarding experience for everyone involved which is why we would like to encourage anyone considering it to not only become a donor, but to become an Altrui donor.

“We really can make a difference to awareness and attitudes surrounding egg donation and in doing so we can make a difference to couples who would otherwise be denied the experience of parenthood.”

To find out more about becoming an egg donor without any obligation e-mail