We spoke to some of our amazing egg donors to understand their motivations for donating their eggs and how they feel about it now, in some cases after multiple donations over many years.
Abigail found out about egg donation through a Facebook advert. It caught her eye as it’s not something she’d heard of before. You see a lot more about sperm donation in the media that it never really occurred to her that egg donation was a possibility until she’d seen that advert. After seeing it, Abigail went on to do her own research and learned all about the world of egg donation.
Abigail has donated twice so far and both times have been with Altrui. The first time she chose to donate with them because they supplied a lot of information about the process, and she could feel they cared about more than just simply getting some eggs for the recipients. They put a lot of emphasis on trying to make the best match they could between donors and recipients which she really liked because it’s an emotional process for all involved.
“What stood out to to me was that it was important to match donors to recipients who they think they’d get along with and be friends if they’d met in ‘real life’. I came back to Altrui to donate for a second time because my experience with them was so supportive and I felt very well informed throughout the whole process”. She had to travel quite far for her donation, but the Altrui team did their best to minimise the inconvenience and the whole process just felt so easy. There was always someone on hand if she had a question and again, they made it easy for her to fit the donation around her life.
“To Abigail, whether to donate eggs was an absolute no-brainer. As soon as she found out she could donate she knew it was something she wanted to do. Initially it was because she was already signed up to donate organs, blood, and stem cells. However, as she researched further into the implications of egg donation her motivations became more emotional. Abigail had witnessed close friends suffering miscarriages and still births along with struggling to conceive so she could really empathise with what many women may be going through. She’d like to have children of her own one day and whilst she hasn’t experienced that struggle herself, it upset her that someone out there was hoping to expand their family and having difficulty.
“Knowing that a few simple injections and a small amount of my time could give someone that extra chance at growing their family reallly pushed me to donate eggs and try to make that happen for them.”
During Abigail’s first donation, she really enjoyed learning more about her own body and fertility. Her sonographer was very excited to have an egg donor as she’d only ever seen the recipient’s side of egg donation. She made a huge effort to explain what all the different parts of Abigail’s reproductive system did to help in the donation. After her first egg donation, she received anonymous cards from her recipient which really helped her to remember the family she was helping. It’s still too early to have heard if her egg donations were a success but she knows the most enjoyable part in the future will hopefully be in finding out it has worked. For now at least, it has to be re-reading those cards and just knowing she’s given someone that chance.
“I feel inspired and in awe of women who go through egg donation. It must have been very hard to not only acknowledge they needed egg donation but also to embark on that journey. I feel sad when I think about why we’ve been brought together in this way but at the same time glad and honored they chose me to be a part of this journey with them. I think about both women I’ve donated to from time to time, and think about how they’re getting on and hoping that whatever happens they’re doing ok.”
To someone considering egg donation, Abigail would say that it’s really not as difficult as she first thought it would be. She thought it would take up a lot of her time and so put it off for a couple of years to focus on her degree. When Abigail actually started the process, she discovered how accommodating the team were with any time restraints she had. She was a little unsure about doing the injections herself to start with, but feltthe worst bit was sitting for ages in the clinic one visit because she hadn’t drunk enough to make a urine sample.
Whilst she doesn’t have any experience donating through other organisations, Abigail is certain that Altrui have done their absolute best to make the process as informative and convenient as possible. At no point did she ever feel on her own or like she didn’t know what was happening.
“I think it’s really important that the recipients know that the egg donors have been cared for, and that we’ve had the best experience imaginable”.
Grace found out about egg donation and Altrui through an advert on social media. She knew fertility problems have been an issue in her family (two of her cousins were conceived through IVF while another cousin’s husband was conceived with a sperm donor) and understands how upsetting it can be trying to have a baby with no success, but also the wonder that there can be success (whether through traditional means and with additional help of assisted reproductive technologies).
“I found the team at Altrui supportive, funny and helpful. I also really enjoyed the egg collection day – everything was really relaxing and everyone was so nice. All this will probably be topped if if I’m told that my egg donation was successful in giving someone a baby.”
“I feel incredibly happy and hopeful for the recipients. I wish them and theirfamily only the best and if what I did helped then I’m only too happy I was able to do so.
To someone considering egg donation Grace advises to really make sure that they have thought about it because it’s a process and not a snap decision.
“For me it was easily one of the best things I’ve ever done and I’m very proud of it”.
Egg donation was something Sam’s mother mentioned in passing years ago, but she didn’t know a lot about it so she ended up googling it and then the next day an advert came up on Twitter from Altrui. After filling in an enquiry form someone from Altrui got in touch for a first conversation. Sam has her own children, but she didn’t have to ‘try’ for them, and she knows how lucky she is.
“Other women aren’t as fortunate and I believe that if you can do something to help someone you should do it! The most enjoyable part of egg donation was the feeling of doing something so amazing for another person as well as being kept up to date with progress.”
Now when I think of my recipient I feel absolutely magical. To anyone considering donating eggs I’d say do it, it’s the most wonderful and selfless thing you can do for another person.”
If you think you’d like to donate your eggs, you can start by registering your interest by filling in this form.