Egg donation is the act of one woman sharing the eggs from her own ovaries with another woman who is experiencing infertility.
Women who receive donated eggs are usually unable to produce any themselves. This includes women who do not have ovaries; have experienced an early menopause; carry a genetic condition; or have experienced surgery or treatments such as chemotherapy which have affected her fertility.
Additionally, women who wish to become mothers at a later stage in life may attempt a pregnancy with a donated egg if the quality of her own eggs is deteriorating.
A woman wishing to donate eggs will be provided with fertility treatments to stimulate egg production so that several mature eggs can be taken.
Once the eggs are ready to be taken, a doctor will use a very fine, hollow needle to remove the eggs from the ovaries. Ultrasound is used to determine where the eggs are positioned. It is not a painful process, although some women may feel some discomfort once the procedure is over.
Women donating eggs are unable to receive a payment other than expenses incurred. Additionally, the woman will need to be between the ages of 18 and 35.
Currently, the success rate for IVF treatments from donated eggs is between 25 and 40 per cent meaning that egg donation can be a fulfilling, worthwhile and rewarding experience for all involved.