Next weekend sees our first ever #ttcdonorlunch.It is going to be such an incredibly comforting and enlightening afternoon
If you are joining us, you will be surrounded by men and women who know just how you are feeling. We are inviting only those who are considering using donor eggs, sperm, embryos and those who have had IVF using a donor.
The day will be so relaxed. Think Saturday afternoon down the pub with friends
You can come on your own or bring your partner. Either way, you will not feel awkward, as everyone will be there for you.
- You will hear talks and be able to have Q&As with the wonderful Donor Network, a supportive network of more than 2,000 families with children conceived with donated sperm, eggs or embryos.
- Talks from those considering or undergoing donor conception procedures and donor conceived people.
- A top fertility consultant from The Lister Fertility Clinic.
- A certified fertility counsellor who specialises in donor treatment.
- Men and women who have had IVF using a donor.
We have chosen the lovely Alice House in Queens Park in London as our lunch venue. It is a 2 minute walk from Queens Parks tube station on the Bakerloo line. We have booked the room at the back of the pub, so it is totally private.
Come along for 12 pm and we will be waiting for you! Grab a drink, then once everyone has arrived, we will start our talks. We’ll then stop for a bite to eat, then carry on with our talks, leaving plenty of time for you to chat to everyone.
In the meantime, we wanted to give you a heads up on what to expect should you make the decision to use a donor. We sent some of your FAQs to the experts at the fantastic Lister Fertility Clinic in London.
How do you know you are making the right decision to go down the donor route?
At the Lister Fertility Clinic each case will be assessed by a consultant prior to starting egg donation treatment.
You will see one of our consultants who will check to see if you can produce a baby with your own eggs (gametes). It is not unusual for a couple who come in initially for egg donation treatment, to go back to use their own eggs for a final round of IVF. We will try our best for the couple to achieve a genetic child rather than pushing the couple for egg donation.
In scenarios where donation is seen as the best option for success, the doctor will discuss the options with you and ensure you understand the process. At the Lister we offer a free counselling service to all our donor recipients to ensure that psychologically they are ready for treatment.
Does your clinic offer a counselling service to help couples come to terms with using a donor?
Yes we do, we believe that fertility support is an essential part of assisted conception treatment. That is why we offer an open door free counselling service to all our patients past, present and future. If the couple decide they need more than one session they are more than welcome to request an additional session free of charge.
How do you choose a donor, whether it be egg or sperm?
We discuss with the recipient just what they are looking for in a donor. We ask for their features such as, eye colour, hair colour, skin tone, ethnicity, height and weight. We also ask for recipients to provide a photo for matching. This is looked at against our donor profiles.
When we have identified a potential donor, the following information is provided to a recipient – age, ethnicity, eye and hair colour, height, education, profession, their build i.e. slim, slim-medium or medium, if there is proven fertility and the reason for donation. The recipient is provided with this profile and given 24 hours to accept a donor. They are not obliged to accept this donor. If they do not accept, the reasons are asked so that this is considered in the next donor.
If it is a sperm donor that is required, we work with a sperm clinic where the recipient can choose a sperm donor, and the sperm is couriered or shipped over to us.
Are the donors anonymous?
Yes, unless using a known donor, neither egg donor nor egg recipient will meet. Information about the donor will be held at the central register with the Human Fertilisation and Embryo Authority (HFEA). The only information the donor may access is whether somebody has been successful using their own eggs.
How do you find the donors? Are they all tested to make sure they are healthy?
The HFEA have a number of mandatory screening tests that all donors must complete to ensure they are suitable to donate.
In addition to this, here at the Lister Fertility Clinic we request medical history from the GP to confirm the donor’s history. We believe this is a crucial part of the screening process, as from this letter we reject almost 20% of donors as a result of information that the mandatory screening results are not able to establish. This can include family history of breast cancer, psychological/psychiatry issues and other illnesses which run in the family.
What happens next if you are receiving an egg?
Preparation for treatment for both the donor and the recipient is run in parallel. The donating woman will receive fertility drugs (similar to those given to women undergoing IVF) in order to enhance her egg production
How many eggs are you actually given?
The recipient is guaranteed a minimum of 4 eggs. On average at the Lister a recipient is allocated 6 – 7 eggs. Once the eggs are collected from the donating woman they are fertilised using sperm from the recipient’s partner (or donor sperm). Our lab updates the couple on how the fertilised embryos are developing and embryos transfer occurs 3 – 5 days post collection.
What happens next if you are receiving sperm?
As we obtain donor sperm from outside clinics there is no waiting time. Once donor sperm is ordered, the sperm will be held at the clinic until your egg collection takes place.
If you want to have donor treatment at The Lister, who should you contact?
To find out more about donor treatment at the Lister Fertility Clinic and to book your appointment, call 020 7730 5932 or email email@example.com.
We are also delighted to say that the Lister Fertility Clinic will be joining us on the 14th July for our #ttcdonorlunch. If you would like to join us for our #ttcdonorlunch, please email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.