What are the benefits of having Egg Donor IVF in Spain rather than the UK?
There are several reasons why couples from the UK choose to come to Spain for Donor Egg IVF. The first one is the availability of donors. The waiting list for an egg donor is significantly shorter in Spain. There are also different anonymity laws in Spain which mean that all egg donation is anonymous, and the children born using those eggs cannot find out any details of the donor when they are 18. This is different to the laws in the UK.
Will I remain as a CREATE patient?
As your egg donation cycle takes place at IVI Spain, you will be an IVI patient, however we will support you in every step of your treatment journey.
How many appointments will the recipient need to travel to Spain for?
There are several ways you can organise your trips to IVI Spain:
- 2 trips for both partners - Both partners fly to IVI Spain for their consultation so that they can see the clinic and meet the staff. The during treatment, both partners fly back to IVI Spain to give the sperm sample, stay for 5 days and then have the embryo transfer and fly back to the UK.
- 1 trip for both partners at the same time – The IVI consultation is done via Zoom/Teams. Then during treatment, both partners fly to IVI Spain for the sperm sample and stay 5 days then have the embryo transfer and fly back to the UK.
- 1 trip per partner – The IVI consultation is done via Zoom. Then during treatment, the male partner flies to IVI Spain to give them sperm sample and then flies back to the UK, then 5 days later the female partner flies to IVI Spain for the embryo transfer.
How long does the matching process take?
On average, this can take 2 to 3 months. The donor screening can take over a month, plus if you want to do the GeneSeeker to discard any DNA mutations in the donor that could be similar to the male partner, this takes a few weeks. Some ethnicities or blood types may take longer to find a match. Black and mixed ethnicity requirements can take 3-4 months. Asian donors are very unlikely to be found.
How do you guarantee a blastocyst?
We have high success rates due to transferring high quality embryos. Because we work with young, healthy egg donors this means that they should produce around 8-12 eggs. So as long as the sperm is also of reasonable quality, we would expect to get at least one high quality blastocyst. In many cases we usually have more. If we don’t get one, then we will cancel the cycle, and start a new cycle with a new donor, at no cost to the recipient.
How are Egg Donors recruited?
The main way Egg Donors are recruited is through word of mouth. They’ve often been told about it by a friend who has previously done it. There are also donors who come back and donate more than once. IVI Spain also runs Egg Donation Recruitment campaigns across radio, on the internet and also at universities.
How are Egg Donors screened and assessed?
By law, there are a list of diseases which need to be ruled out. Some of the diseases are screened by medical questionnaire and others by blood test. We will also do a chromosome analysis which gives us more reassurance that the quality of the embryo will be good. Our donors will also receive psychological screening by a psychologist or counsellor to assess for emotional or psychiatric diseases.
Will patients be given multiple options of donors to choose from?
The laws in Spain are that the medical team will choose the donor for the recipient. We will use Perfect Match 360°, an innovative system that assists in choosing the most suitable donor by taking into consideration the phenotypic criteria and biometrics. We will also take into account special needs which the couple’s request.
Are there any limits on the number of families that can be created using a donor’s eggs?
Yes, in Spain there is a limitation by law on how many newborns a donor can have. The limit is 6 including the donors own children. Most donors only donate once or twice.
How does it work if I wish to use the same donor for siblings for their child in the future?
If you have frozen embryos from the first cycle, then you can use those in the future. If you have no frozen embryos, we can ask the donor to donate again, and then we can create more frozen embryos for the future. However, this will have a cost, and there is also the chance that the donor may not wish to donate again.
Is it better to have a fresh embryo transfer rather than a frozen one?
We use fast-vitrification technique to freeze the blastocysts meaning that their survival rate is over 95%. When you look at the outcome of frozen vs fresh, the outcome is the same. For many, a frozen transfer is an easier option as it means you can schedule the transfer to fit in with your work and personal commitments.
What happens if our first cycle isn’t successful?
If your first cycle is not successful, then afterwards you will have a period once you stop the medication. If you are physically and emotionally ready to start the next cycle, then we can begin straight away. Or you may wish to wait a month or two to recover. Once you are ready, as soon as you have had your period we will start you on your medication to prepare you and you will have you scans and bloods done at CREATE in the UK, so in 10-12 days later you will be ready to fly to Spain for your next embryo transfer.
Will the recipient legally be the child’s parent?
Absolutely. The donor is only donating eggs. It is not like adopting a baby. Until the eggs are fertilised and implanted into the uterus, it is not a baby. Once the eggs are fertilised, they belong to the women or couple having the IVF, and is therefore legally their child.