Infertility Treatment and Counselling - What You Need To Know

3rd July 2018 in Advice

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

If you need to use donor eggs, donor sperm or a donated embryo to have your family, or wish to become a donor with us or egg-share, as part of your treatment you will be referred for counselling with our highly-experienced team.

Counselling is mandatory when using donated eggs, embryos or sperm or when applying to be a donor or egg-sharer. This is because as a licensed infertility clinic, we are required by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to give you the opportunity of counselling about the implications of your treatment, and all relevant information about the treatment, before you can consent to it.

The counselling sessions are a vital part of ensuring that you’re fully informed and prepared for your treatment because using donor sperm, eggs or embryos does have implications – both short and long term – as does becoming a donor or egg-sharer.

The kinds of topics our counsellors will discuss with you will include:

  • The impact using donated sperm, eggs or embryos may have on any child you may conceive through your treatment
  • How, when and what to tell a child about how they came to be conceived
  • How you may feel if your donor-conceived child wishes to find out about their donor when they turn 18
  • How using donor sperm, eggs or embryos can affect others in your family, such as your current partner or existing children, and how they may feel about it
  • The legalities of using donated eggs, embryos and sperm concerning parentage
  • Current guidelines set out by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

If you’re donating sperm, eggs or embryos or donating eggs through our egg-sharing programme, we’ll talk about:

  • How you feel about becoming a donor and what it means to you and others in your family, such as your partner
  • What happens if a child born through your donation wishes to contact you in future years - since the removal of anonymity in 2005, any donor-conceived child now has the right to find out about you when they turn 18, and this obviously has implications in the future on any family you may either already have, or go onto have in the years to come
  • What information you’ll be given if any child is born from your donation.
  • How you may feel as an egg-sharer if you do not become pregnant from your IVF cycle but the recipient of your eggs does

Our sessions are held in the strictest confidence and are designed to give you the chance to talk about what this type of fertility treatment means to you and how you may feel about it.

It’s vital that you fully understand the implications of using donated gametes or embryos before you begin treatment, and likewise our donors, so you can continue with treatment or becoming a donor with your mind at ease and reassured.

Counselling will always be offered at every stage of your treatment where it’s needed, along with full information regarding your treatment. Remember you can also request to see our counsellors at any point during your fertility journey with us. 

Last updated: 13th January 2020