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Egg donation

Egg donation – minimal waiting time in Denmark

“When I was small, my parents told me that my mother had to ‘borrow’ an egg from another woman to have me. It was a very sweet story, but I don’t really remember any more than that. I don’t think I saw is as a big deal. That way I see it is my mother has always been my mother, even if I have some genes that aren’t hers.”

- A 16-year-old donor-conceived child

In recent years, there has been a growing number of young women who have chosen to give the greatest and most beautiful gift to infertile couples. Only a few years ago many couples waited in vain or had to go abroad to seek help, but nowadays we can provide treatment to anyone in Denmark. We no longer have a waiting list. 

What are the reasons for egg donation?

There may be many reasons why couples are reliant on egg donation. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • women who experience an early menopause
  • women who had cancer that resulted in damage to their ovaries or had their ovaries removed
  • women with chromosomal abnormalities, which means they that she cannot have healthy children.

What is the age limit for egg donation?

The age limit for receiving an egg is 46.

With egg donation, where do the eggs come from?

You can use a known, anonymous or an open donor. A known donor is typically a donor you find yourself who would like to be an egg donor for you. This could be a family member, a sibling or someone you have met in another way. 

An egg donation could also come from an unknown woman In this case, we find a suitable donor for you. When choosing an anonymous donor features such as skin, eye and hair colour, stature, size and weight are taken into consideration.

While the donor is the child’s biological mother, at the time of egg donation the egg recipient becomes the legal mother.

What are the requirements for egg donation?

A donor should fulfil a number of requirements in the countries in which egg donation is permitted. For example, in Denmark, an egg donor should be between 18 and 35 years of age. The donor should be tested for hereditary disorders and infectious diseases (hepatitis, HIV, etc.). 

How often must an egg donor donate eggs?

An egg donor must donate six times, equivalent to a maximum 12 children.

Is an egg donor paid for egg donation?

An egg donor receives compensation of DKK 7,000 that should cover transport costs and other expenses connected with the donation.

How is egg donation carried out?

1. Hormone stimulation of the egg donor

The egg donor is given hormones, so that more eggs ripen than during your normal cycle. The eggs are removed from your ovaries with a special needle by a doctor. This is done under local anaesthetic. The egg donor will get their normal period a couple of days after the procedure, and her normal cycle will start.

2. The eggs are fertilised in the laboratory (IVF or ICSI)

The retrieved eggs are fertilised with sperm from the recipient’s partner via in vitro fertilisation (IVF) or intracytoplasmic-sperm injection (ICSI) in the laboratory. A few days later, they are transferred to the egg recipient’s womb (embryo transfer). Both the fertilised and the unfertilised eggs can be frozen and used at a later date (cryopreservation).

3. Hormonal preparation of the recipient as well as embryo transfer

The egg recipient is treated with hormones – oestrogen and progesterone (also called “the yellow body” or “corpus luteum”). The lining of the womb (the endometrium) develops and provides optimal conditions for the eggs to implant.

What are the risks of egg donation?

Risks to the recipient

If more than one fertilised egg is transferred, there is the risk of a multiple pregnancy. Multiple pregnancy involves more risk. 

Pregnancy involves a greater risk if the egg recipient is over 40 than if the woman is younger. 

The doctor will explain all risks before treatment is started.

Risks to the donor

Complications are rare, but the donor should naturally always have been thoroughly informed of these before agreeing to be an egg donor. Best practice entails avoiding complications by using the most careful protocols possible for stimulation.

Hormone stimulation can cause some side effects, e.g. the development of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). The woman could develop severe abdominal pain, nausea and shortness of breath. If a woman develops such symptoms, she made need to be hospitalised. 

With egg retrieval there could be bleeding, bloating, slow wound healing, infection or bleeding afterwards. During egg retrieval there could also be damage to the surrounding organs. 

Did you know that …

… the risk of chromosomal disorders can be significantly reduced with egg donation. With her own eggs, a woman aged 40 has approximately a 1:100 risk of having a baby with trisomy 21 (Down syndrome). With egg donation with an egg from a 25-year-old woman, the risk of having a baby with trisomy 21 is reduced to the risk that a 25-year-old woman has (1:1,350). 

Where do I start?

Have a non-binding discussion with our egg donation team. We occasionally hold an egg donation evening to which we invite egg donors, recipients and donor children. 

Contact us on +45 32 57 33 16 or email:  info[at]storkklinik.dk

Further topics you might be interested in

We are here for you!

Please feel free to contact us!

Our opening times:

Mon and Thu: 08:00 - 18:00
Tue, Wed and Fri: 08:00 - 16:00
Sat, Sun and holiday: 08:30 - 15:00

Schedule an appointment:

Fill out the contact form

✉ info[at]storkklinik.dk
+45 32 57 33 16

We look forward to hearing from you!