When it comes to donation, unsung heroes make hugely meaningful, life-changing contributions every day – from the selfless donation of blood, bone marrow or organs, to fundraising and volunteering of all kinds, to the financial donations which make vital research and aid possible. It’s these efforts that save, extend or enhance peoples’ lives all across the globe. However, one type of donation is not normally considered, despite its profound impact on those it helps: egg donation.
The following quote, shared with us by the friend of an Altrui egg recipient, captures the meaningful impact that egg donation can have…
“The journey to having a child for two of my very close friends has been a very long and difficult road. To watch them go through so many disappointments and losses has been tough, especially when you feel so hopeless as a friend and that, although emotionally you can support, physically there is nothing you can do. For someone to donate their own eggs to a complete stranger is such a selfless and generous act. Many people donate their organs or their blood but not that many donate their eggs. IVF has changed so many people’s lives, and with egg donating it gives so many more people more of a chance. I wish I could thank the lady who donated her eggs to my friends, she is a very special person.”
Approximately 1 in 6 couples in Europe struggle with infertility and, alongside it, stress, anxiety and often depression. According to the Fertility Network, 42% of patients of fertility treatment have felt suicidal while 90% reported depression. Fertility treatment using donor eggs is one way to help those who are otherwise unable to have children.
There are many reasons why egg donors are needed. Recipients who have had several failed IVF attempts using their own eggs, inheritable genetic diseases, endometriosis, cancer and chemotherapy treatment – all of which can have a devastating effect on a woman’s fertility – are desperate for help. Also, gay couples who wish to have their own baby through a surrogate rely on the kindness of a donor’s help. Simply put, for people longing to be parents to their own biological children, a donor’s altruistic act of giving eggs is the most precious gift for which they are forever grateful—one that turns their lives around and transforms the dream of having a child into reality. Being matched together for anonymous, 1:1 donation is a hugely special bond – recipients sometimes refer their donor as being their ‘guardian angel’, and for very good reason.
Sadly, despite the publicity and growing openness surrounding IVF and infertility, there is a huge lack of awareness about egg donation. Disturbingly, there are many myths exaggerating the difficulty, stress and inconvenience involved in being an egg donor when, in reality, donation is simple, quick and easy. Women can become egg donors whether or not they’ve had children, and even after they’ve had sterilisation. Plus, the requirements to qualify as a donor are plain and straightforward. Ordinary women can do amazing things for others.
Given the lifetime of positive change egg donation brings to all parties involved, what a pity that it’s not normalised like other donations… at Altrui, we’re doing our best to change this. We put great emphasis on making this highly personal journey as well-supported, rewarding and potentially successful as possible for both donors and recipients, and we strive to educate those interested in learning more about egg donation.
We’re here to make this possible, so if you’d like to find out more about being an egg donor, please send us a message by email firstname.lastname@example.org, text to 07972511097 or call us on 01969 667875 – we’d love to hear from you!