Do You Really Need an Egg Donor?

5th July 2017 in Fertility

This information was correct at the time of publishing. It may not reflect our current practices, prices or regulations.

If you’ve been advised that donor eggs are your only option to conceive, you also need certainty that there is no other way for you to have your family.

At Manchester Fertility treatment with donor eggs is only recommended after a very thorough analysis of your fertility and likely outcomes.

We’ll always examine if there’s a viable way to use your own eggs, before treatment with donor eggs is considered.

Egg count testing: Having eggs to fertilise

We’ll carry out fertility tests, including FSH and AMH testing, to get an accurate picture of how your body is producing eggs and how many you have remaining. If your results indicate a poor ovarian reserve – a low egg count - this means that you don’t have many eggs at all and will likely respond very poorly to conventional ovarian stimulation.

But this doesn’t always mean IVF isn’t feasible and your only option is donor eggs. There may be a chance of retrieving eggs to fertilise if there’s a change to how your ovaries are stimulated.

Modified Natural Cycle IVF for a low egg count

Modified Natural Cycle IVF may be a way for you to have IVF using your own eggs. It’s the same treatment as conventional IVF, but instead uses lower doses of fertility medication.

A highly-tailored and individualised IVF approach, its goal is to gently stimulate the ovaries to produce one or two good eggs. But as there will only be one or two eggs to fertilise at most, chances of success are vastly lower - and there’s still a chance you may not produce any eggs to fertilise at all.

So it’s only advised in very specific circumstances at Manchester Fertility, for older women, women with a low egg count or women who’ve responded poorly to IVF in the past, who want to still try to conceive using their own eggs.

Where possible a standard stimulation protocol is still the preferred method. At Manchester Fertility standard stimulation protocols used in IVF are always tailored and bespoke to the patient, designed to result in a good number of quality eggs to fertilise.

Realistic chances of success: Own eggs vs. donor eggs

Your Manchester Fertility consultant will explain your realistic chances of success for any treatment options available, so you can make an informed decision about how to have your baby.

Even if your predicted chance of IVF pregnancy using your own eggs is considered low, some women still prefer to try before opting for donor eggs. All treatment decisions are reached in consultation with you, so you can proceed with confidence on your journey to a baby – whether that’s with the help of an egg donor or not.

If donor eggs are advised, there won’t be any delay to your treatment whilst an egg donor is found. There’s no waiting list for donor eggs at our Cheshire fertility clinic, all our egg donors are UK-based, healthy fertile women aged 18-35, who are HFEA-registered and fully-identifiable to any child you have.

Expert fertility advice: See our specialists in Cheshire

Our fertility consultants can see you straight away if you need advice or want to clarify if donor eggs are your best option. Self-refer here or call our friendly Donation Team on 0161 300 2737.

Last updated: 4th July 2017