An Altrui egg donor talks to Dr Emma Sowerby about what egg donation means to the recipients. Egg donors are very special women who donate through Altrui altruistically. Understanding what their gift could mean to a couple who need help to start a family, is described by Dr Sowerby when she informs couples that their egg donor is cleared to donate following the screening process. The meeting was held at the Assisted Conception Unit, Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Trust.
>> Egg Donor: I am a donor through Altrui. Do they send quite a lot of people your way? Has it helped the recipients with increased numbers of donors coming your way?
>> Dr Sowerby: Yes, definitely. I think the thing that has made the biggest difference perhaps, is when we are first advising couples that they might need egg donation. It is just showing them that there is a way forward.
I think, looking back, prior to, for example, Altrui being around, more than four years ago, people were left with either asking somebody they knew or perhaps trying to advertise for their own donor. People just felt like they did not know where to start. It is was such a daunting prospect.
Whereas now, they can see that it is actually a possibility. Often, things progress much more quickly than they had hoped for. Yes, it is really great to have the opportunity to offer them that.
>> Egg Donor: Because I am interested in the donation side of it, it is very difficult that I do not see the recipient side of it. With yourself being in the clinic, you see both sides. How does that come across for a donor to come into clinic for the recipient?
>> Dr Sowerby: I think seeing the recipients and just how overwhelmed they are that someone is prepared to do this for them, just out of the goodness of their heart, it is amazing. It is just such a life changing thing to do.
You should not underestimate just how grateful the recipients are, even though they cannot tell you themselves.
>> Egg Donor: I suppose it is quite rewarding for yourself as well, to be able to deliver the news to them that there is a donor, when a donor comes along?
>> Dr Sowerby: Yes, absolutely, particularly when we have done all the screening and everything is fine. We ring them up and say, “Right, we are on”.
>> Egg Donor: One step closer.
>> Dr Sowerby: Yes. We are going to go on to the next stage. Yes, definitely.