Experts are predicting that the current cost of living crisis could push women towards egg donation, for which they could be paid £750 a time
Currently, women in the UK aged between 18 and 35 can have egg collection procedures that then donate eggs to women undergoing assisted reproduction techniques such as IVF. They can earn £750 plus extras for accommodation and travel if these costs are higher. All potential egg donors also need to pass various medical checks.
The pandemic has meant that many women have been waiting to start IVF procedures for more than two years, leading to an increased demand for eggs if their own aren’t viable, and a shortfall in the number of women donating eggs.
Fertility charities are now predicting a rise in the number of women who are curious about donating their eggs. But according to the MailOnline, doctors are “urging women to give it ‘serious thought’ because becoming an egg donor has life-long commitments – children born using these eggs, which are frozen and stored in a bank, can contact their biological mother from the age of 18.”
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA)say that in 2020, 1,500 women donated their eggs, down from 2,000 in 2019. In 2020, 14,000 cycles of IVF used donated eggs, leading to the shortfall.
At the same time, as women leave motherhood until much later, the need for donor eggs is rising
The process of egg donation is similar to IVF, involves self-administered hormone injections and takes three to four weeks.
Sarah Norcross, director of fertility charity Progress Educational Trust, believes more women may approach clinics to offer their eggs. “During the cost-of-living crisis, more women may become curious about donating their eggs to help others have a family”.
“But the number who go on to donate will only ever be a ‘tiny percentage’ of those who enquire due to the nature of the procedure.”
“It involves medical checks, hormone injections and egg retrieval. It can also be challenging psychologically, because egg donors have to agree to be identifiable to any children born as a result of their donation, once the children turn 18.”
Professor Allan Pacey, an andrologist at the University of Sheffield and former chair of the British Fertility Society says, “’It wouldn’t surprise me if more people started to enrol in medical trials as a way of trying to earn more money [during the cost-of-living crisis]”.
“However, with regard to egg (and sperm) donation, I would urge people to give it serious thought because it is quite a significant undertaking and has lifelong commitments if any children are born.”
“I’d encourage people to accept the offer of counselling so they are fully aware of what they are signing up for.”
Clare Ettinghausen, director of strategy and corporate affairs at HFEA, told MailOnline that egg donation is a “selfless act that helps people have their much longed-for family that they may otherwise never have”.
“However, choosing to donate your eggs is a medical procedure and so not without some risk. We advise anyone considering becoming an egg donor to get expert advice and specialist counselling before making a decision.”
Have you donated your eggs? Was finance part of the reason you decided to donate? Would you like to share your experience with us? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
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