You may have heard about becoming an egg donor via the newspaper or television, or via a friend or relative who is undergoing IVF or needs donated eggs. The first step is to go and see your GP and ask him to refer you to a unit with an egg donation programme. Only clinics that have been inspected and are licensed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) can set up an egg donation programme.
You will be sent an appointment to be seen in The Leeds Centre for Reproductive Medicine (LCRM) itself and will be seen by a doctor within the team. You can also make such an appointment yourself by telephoning the LCRM directly on the direct line in front of this booklet between 8am and 5.30pm.
It is preferable to come together as a couple with your partner. You will see one of the doctors in the centre. The doctor will discuss your motivation, the social, medical and legal aspects of egg donation; explain the techniques involved and the potential side-effects and risks. A full medical and family history will be taken from you.
It is of particular importance to mention any inherited diseases in your family.
It may be necessary to obtain further details from other clinics or your GP. You will be given some further literature to read at home and some time for reflection.
Implication counselling is required for both donors and recipients.
In addition to this:
Free counselling service with a trained counsellor is routinely available to all upon request. It is carried out by HFEA licensed counsellor/s, away from the unit in the Department of Clinical Psychology which you may find less stressful. Appointments can be made directly by yourselves or via the ACU. If you require an interpreter, you are advised to give sufficient notice for an independent interpreter to be arranged.
The counselling is entirely confidential and private between you and the counsellor and will not be judgmental or prejudicial. The counsellor is also HFEA licensed and has a statutory duty to give essential information that may affect the Welfare of future or existing children to the team. This is exceptional.
The effect of egg donation on the donor, her partner and any existing children is carefully discussed. Wherever possible the partner’s participation and agreement is sought before proceeding with the donation. If the children of the donor are of an appropriate age the donor is also asked to discuss the matter with her children.