Egg and sperm donation
For female patients who have no viable eggs at all, or male patients who have no sperm, the option of egg or sperm donation offers a chance to still have a child of their own.
Because of the intense hormone treatment required to collect eggs, egg donation is a serious step for anyone to consider. Sometimes donors come from the community - women who have a family of their own and wish to share that joy with another. More often, the donor is known to the recipient - a friend, sister, or cousin. In either case, Genea requires that the donor and recipient couple undergo a process of implications counselling before the procedure begins.
The process begins by synchronising the menstrual cycles of the donor and recipient. The donor then undergoes a cycle of ovarian stimulation with the aim of producing as many eggs as possible. As the donor reaches the point of ovulation, the recipient begins taking estrogen and progesterone to prepare the lining of her uterus (similar to a frozen cycle).
The eggs are collected and fertilised with sperm from the recipient's partner. Resulting embryos are observed and the best chosen for transfer. Any other viable embryos are frozen for later attempts.
Find out more about egg donation at Genea and read our informal guide to finding an egg donor.
Genea does not accept anonymous sperm donors. All donors must be known to the recipients; whether you've known them all your life or recruited them through a newspaper advertisement is not important - they just can't be anonymous. This is because Genea believe that everyone has the right to know their genetic heritage, and maintaining anonymity for donors prevents this.
Am I eligible?
Genea does not refuse treatment to anyone because of marital status or sexual orientation.
B.Y.O. Sperm Donor
Because of our policy of not accepting anonymous sperm donors, we require that all those who come to us for treatment bring with them their own sperm donor.
Eggs and sperm, like most human tissues, can carry diseases. Donors should be tested for disease at the time of donation. A negative test is not conclusive, as some diseases take many months to show up on blood tests. Therefore, sperm and fertilised eggs should be held in cryo-storage for four months. At the end of that time, the donor should be retested. If that test proves negative, the gametes are considered disease-free. Some recipients choose to waive the quarantine period for eggs. In this case, Genea takes no responsibility for any diseases contracted by the recipient from the transferred eggs. Sperm must be quarantined for four months before using it in insemination or IVF.
Firstly, it should be noted that it is illegal in Australia to sell sperm or eggs (or any human tissue). Couples desperate for a child have been known to fall victim to unscrupulous people offering to sell eggs. While it is considered normal for recipients to cover their donor's expenses, if anyone you approach asks for payment beyond expenses, they should be avoided.
The second important point is about parentage. The law considers a woman who gives birth to a child to be the mother of that child. It further considers the partner of that woman to be the father of the child. Donors can be assured that they will be under no legal or financial obligation to the child, though Genea encourages recipients to include the donor in the child's life.