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Donation of egg cells

Occasionally, donated spermatozoa are the final and only possibility for a couple to have children. There is a chronic shortage especially of egg cells, and it may be a lengthy process to find a suitable donor.

Egg cell donors are healthy females, younger than 36 years. Often, donors have children of their own, but this is no requirement for egg cell donation. We at Aura Klinikka examine the tentative donor’s health, and the donation process is described and discussed, including the ethical and legal aspects of the treatment. Tentative egg cell donors may discuss the process and their feelings with a psychologist before agreeing to donate.

The donor will be examined by blood testing for HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and syphilis and by urine testing or sampling from the cervix of the uterus for Chlamydia and gonorrhea. All examinations are free of charge for the donor and are given in writing to the donor, if she wants.

According to the Act on Assisted Fertility Treatments, the recipient of gametes may only know the height, color of the eyes, color of the hair and ethnicity of the gamete donor.

According to the same law, all gamete donors are registered in a donor’s register maintained by the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira). At age 18 years, a child born out of fertility treatments where donated gametes have been used has the right to know the identity of the donor (provided that he/she has been informed of the fact the donated gametes have been used). Neither the child nor the gamete donors have any legal rights or obligations with respect to each other. Aura Klinikka maintains a register of the used gametes. The gametes of an individual donor may not be used for infertility treatment in more than five families.

By law, it is not permissible to pay for gamete donation, but reasonable costs and income losses due to the donation process will be covered. For this payment to be made a tax card of the donor is needed.

Information about donating egg cells

An IUD or using combination pills do not prevent egg cell donation. The medication or interventions during the donation process do not affect the fertility of the donor herself.

Once the donor is approved for egg cell donation (and a suitable recipient is available), the donor undergoes hormone treatments which will help several egg cells to mature, rather than only one. The treatment lasts for about 2 weeks and requires 2–4 clinic visits. The egg cells are collected under ultrasound guidance with a thin needle inserted through the vagina. An effective, intravenous analgesic is provided for pain management and a local anesthetic is applied to the base of the vagina. After the procedure, the condition of the donor is followed for about 1–2 hours at the clinic. The menstrual bleeding starts usually about one week after the collection procedure. All examinations and medication are free of charge to the donor.

The donated egg cells are usually used for the treatment of one, scrupulously selected recipient. The collected egg cells are fertilized in the laboratory with spermatozoa obtained from the recipient couple’s male partner. Sometimes donated spermatozoa may be used, as well. One, or at the most two, embryos are transferred into the uterus of the recipient, while the remaining embryos may be stored in liquid nitrogen for future use.

Would you like to be an egg donor?

If you are interested in donating egg cells, just call or e-mail the Aura Klinikka. If you prefer not to leave your telephone number, you may also reach us also through the chat. After a preliminary interview with our cell donor nurse, we can book a time for you to visit one of our physicians involved in infertility treatments for more detailed discussions.