EGG DONATION

WHY HAVE EGG DONATION WITH PELARGOS IVF MEDICAL GROUP

Advantages of Egg Donation In Athens:

• No waiting list. No shortage of donors.

• In Greece by law, donation of gametes is anonymous and altruistic. Anonymity is full. This means, that a child coming from egg donation, cannot know the donor even if he/she reaches the age of 18.

• Entitled to enclose information such as skin, hair color, weight, height, social and educational background etc.

• Athens is an easily accessible city. Lot’ s of inernational, low cost flights, every day

• Chance of combining egg donation with a holidays break. Athens is a beautiful city with many tourist attractions.

Advantages of Egg Donation in Athens through Pelargos

• Young Donors <30 years old.

• Fully screened donors. (HIV1-2, VDRL, Hepatitis B, C, Cystic Fibrosis, Full Karyotype)

• Success Rates of >75%

• Blastocysts guarantee or blastocysts and frozen embryos guarantee, depending on the service you choose.

• Doing our egg collections and embryo transfers, at Units with latest technology equipped Laboratories.

• Offering PGS to egg donation if desired, to further increase chances and reduce risk of chromosomal abnormalities and miscarriage rate.

• Offering If desired , genetic blood test for screening of recessive gene conditions.

• Offering both fresh and frozen embryo cycles, with equal results.

• Lovely non-hospitalised and modern Fertility Centre environments, with all the required facilities.

• Personalised, one to one care, by Fertility Consultant . With Pelargos IVF , you always talk to a doctor.

• U.K trained Fertility Specialist, familiar with both U.K and Greek systems, having long experience in the reproductive medicine field.

• Initial Skype Consultation and free Skype Consultations if needed, during the cycle.

• 1 or 2 visits in Athens. Ultrasound monitoring during the preparation of the endometrium can happen abroad for the recepient. Colaborating doctors in the UK,Belgium, Switzerland , UAE, Qatar.

• Low end /High end services.

• All inclusive services.

• No hidden costs.

• Concierge, always one phone call away, to arrange everything for you.

• Holistic care during your stay.

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FAQ EGG DONATION

Is egg Donation in Greece anonymous?

Yes. Egg donation in Greece is anonymous. This means, that the recipient will not be aware of the identity of the donor and vice versa. Actually in contrast to what happens in many other countries, where anonymous donation is also permitted, in Greece the anonymity is full . This means, that a child coming from egg donation, cannot find out who the egg donor was, even If they reach the age of 18.

In cooperation with the IVF Units, where we perform our IVF cycles, we ensure that the matching of the donor with Pelargos recipients, is done properly and to the max possible degree. We ensure to match, as many physical, but not only, characteristics as possible. We are not allowed to give any personal identifying information regarding the donor, but we can give general information, regarding physical characteristics, height, education and personality.

At the same time , we can provide minimum information to the donor regarding the recipient, if the recipient allows us to, like reason of infertility and how many years the couple tries for a pregnancy. Based on our experience, this can make the whole procedure more personal for the donor, who shows this way, increased commitment to the procedure, knowing that she offers lots of help.

What are the reasons that turn a woman into an egg donor?

Egg donation in Greece is altruistic. So how is it possible to have so many donors available in Greece and no waiting lists? This is a question that we are often asked.

The fact that egg donation is fully anonymous in Greece, plays its role. Women that decide to donate their eggs, are aware that they will not have any sort of troubles in the future, as their anonymity is protected by law.

For us, egg donors are very brave and generous women, that offer incredible help.

But when we ask them what is the reason that they decide to go ahead with it, the answers we get vary.

 

Natural Donors

These, are women that ‘giving’ and charity plays a very important role in their lives. These women who usually support charities, are also registered to be organ donors, offer to give blood when needed or adapt babies from developing countries.

 

Having accepted help before

These, are women that usually have accepted altruistic help before. Following that, they have decided to offer themselves help to people they do not know, in order to pay back.

 

Having close relatives with infertility problems.

These, are women that had a close relative, usually a sister, with a subfertility problem. So they have personal knowledge of all the psychological and financial distress that this can cause. They know, that the battle against subfertility, can be life changing and destroy relationships. They also know that egg donation can sometimes be the only way a couple to have a family. So, knowing all that, have decided to help.

 

Family value 

In Greece the value of family is on the top of the scale. Family for Greeks, is a very important part of their culture and the bond between family members stays forever. Especially for a Greek woman who has completed her family dream, the fact that another woman will not be able to become a mother is really sad. Even the thought by some of them who have completed their family early, that “every single month an egg is lost for no reason” (donor’s words) is the triggering factor that makes them turn into egg donors.

 

Word of mouth

Most of our donors had a friend who had become a donor herself. She went through this, she realized from personal experience that in the end, you get a sometimes life changing feeling of giving and offering help and that the whole procedure can be much easier than it sounds and have advised a friend of them to try it herself.

 

Women that face infertility problems themselves 

For example women that their only fertility problem is blocked tubes or severe male factor. These women have personal experience of what infertility means. These women, before they decide to go ahead and have a child themselves through IVF, they want to offer their help to women that face the same problem with them, cannot naturally have a family. For these women, egg donation can sometimes be a good test of how their ovaries can be stimulated in an IVF cycle, when the time comes.

 

Money

We believe that If you do not have the urge to help others, would be difficult to go through an IVF procedure, no matter how much money would be offered to you. But it is true that the legal reward that donors can get for their expenses and / or time off work and ‘biological distress’ ,can be important for lots of them that think about it. Especially since the beginning of Greek financial crisis.

 

Through awareness campaigns regarding egg donation in Greece, the percentage of women that decide to donate their eggs not exclusively for financial reasons, is constantly increasing. There are donors who are well educated and financially stable. There are even donors who are celebrities. But all of them, regardless the reason that makes them become donors, are generous women.

Are there waiting lists for finding a suitable donor?

There are lots of egg donors listed for egg donation, at the cooperating IVF centers of Pelargos. In 95% of the cases we manage to find a donor that matches well with the recipient in 1-month max period of time. This means that by the time all the initial tests are performed to the recipient, we usually have a suitable donor, ready to be synchronised. Of course, when we have to do with non-Caucasian egg donors this waiting time can become longer, especially for Asian ones.

What are the criteria for someone to become an egg donor in Greece and what tests are done before she starts.

According to the law, egg donors need to be younger than 35 years old in Greece, but Pelargos IVF, cooperates with IVF Centers that use donors younger than 30 years old. Egg donors are healthy, young women, with normal weight and with no family history of gene diseases and no history of psychiatric disease. If we know that a donor has twice in a row failed before, to achieve a recipient pregnancy, usually is not listed for donation again.

All of the donors are checked for HIV 1-2, Hepatitis B and C, syphilis, according to the HFEA protocols, as well as cystic fibrosis and a karyotype. The screening testing to the donors, is much more thorough than the one performed in other countries. Also an ultrasound scan, an AMH and a hormonal check are performed on all of them. Finally, If desired by the recipient, we can check donors for many recessive diseases, with a blood test or even perform PGS before the transfer.

Matching of egg donor to recipient

In Greece, egg donation is anonymous. This makes the significance of correct matching of donor to recipient really important. We ensure that cooperating IVF centers, will have a photo of you, which of course is strictly confidential, as the rest of your personal information. Pelargos IVF ensures that you will be matched to a suitable donor to a max possible degree.

Physical characteristics to be matched, are skin colour, colour of hair, height, eye colour. Much attention is also paid, to match the donor to the recipient after taking into consideration the education level and profession. After having  initial consultation and If we decide to go ahead together, we ask If you want to write a few lines regarding to your character. This can be forwarded to the cooperating centers and also play its role as far as it regards correct matching. The constantly increasing number of women who decide to donate their eggs because of many different each time reasons, allows to have a big list of women who want to donate and a variety of choices to ensure a proper match.

We know that donors who are referred to cooperating centers by Pelargos, are treated as important and generous women during their IVF cycles.This , together with the fact that we co-operate with more than one IVF Centers, with many registered donors each, further increase the availability of them.

Which women will need egg donation to get pregnant?

There are women who find out that it would be extremely difficult or even impossible to get pregnant using their own eggs, either naturally or through IVF. There are many different reasons for that.

The most important ones are:

• Congenital absence of ovaries

• Surgically removed ovaries

• Women that needed to have radio or chemotherapy for cancers before

• Women with premature menopause because of immunological reasons

• Women on menopause

• Older women, usually over 40 years old that have poor amount of eggs or really bad quality, resulting to not respond well to stimulation or create very bad quality embryos. These, are women usually called poor responders in IVF. These sorts of women for unknown reasons, can sometimes be of younger age.

• Women with chromosome abnormalities like Turner syndrome

• Women with rare genetical diseases that do not want to pass the gene to their offspring

• Women over 44 years old, irrespective of being well otherwise and have a normal cycle, can find it hard to get pregnant with their own eggs, because of poor egg quality.

What happens in egg donation cycle?

• Initial 1 hour skype or clinic  consultation. Assessment of the case, thorough analysis, explanation of legislation, medical tests needed arranged, offered psychological assistance, if needed.

• Email of recent recipient’s photo, physical characteristics, profession, education. Few lines about the character.

• Above strictly Confidential information is forwarded to coordinator of cooperating center.

• Matching of donor with recipient happens in max 1 month for Caucasian donors.

• Follow up Skype or clinic consultation. Non-identifying information about donor passed to recipient. Check that all needed tests have been performed. Arrange for relevant documents to be signed and notary appointment booked, if couple is not married.

• Synchronising donor to recipient with contraception pills.

• Start building up recipient’s endometrium with estrogen. Endometrium and ovaries checked by fellow gynecologists based abroad, whilst donor’s ovaries are stimulated.

• Couple travels to Greece before egg collection. Semen given at the day of the egg collection.

• Next day following ICSI fertilization, we see how many eggs have been fertilized.

• Transfer on Day 5. Up to 2 embryos.

• Rest of embryos cryopreserved.

• 12 Days later pregnancy test is done.

We have noticed that our fresh egg donation cycles, have equal success rates with our frozen cycles due to vitrification technology. At the same time synchronisation is much easier. Flights can be booked earlier and usually cost less. Egg donation can be done on one stop or 2 stops travels. (signing off documents and embryo transfer) Our concierge is a phone away to arrange everything for you. All-inclusive services. No hidden costs.

2 different Egg Donation Services are mainly offered:

Exclusive /high end service 

Minimum of 2 blastocysts transfer guaranteed

Guarantee of frozen embryos(depending on sperm)

Success rates of 85%

Increased cost

Normal Egg Donation Service

Minimum of 2 blastocysts transfer guarantee

Success rates of 75 %

Reduced cost

If you want to know more about our egg donation services book an appointment with us.

When should a woman decide that there is no point in keep trying with her own eggs?

First of all, it is important to understand the significance of the decision to go ahead with egg donation. At Pelargos we believe that every woman needs to rule out any chances of getting pregnant with her own eggs, before she decides to proceed with an egg donation cycle. For some women, like those without ovaries or premature menopause, egg donation is the only solution and this is crystal clear.

There are women though with a normal cycle, who are poor responders. This means that their ovaries do not stimulate well at all. Some of those women produce a minimum amount of eggs in IVF and in a worst-case scenario they create embryos of very poor quality. This happens quite often to women over 40 years old and becomes very common in ages of over 44 years old. Unfortunately, age is the only independent and significant factor, that affects quality of eggs and the most difficult one to diverse. These women can sometimes carry on trying with IVFs with their own eggs, despite the very poor chances of success. This usually leads them to psychological and financial exhaustion. At Pelargos we believe that honesty and integrity are the most important factors, when consulting a woman like this.

Let us take an example. Chances of having a positive pregnancy test, achieving a clinical pregnancy and giving birth to a healthy baby at the age of 45 for a woman who has IVF with her own eggs, are extremely poor. Maria, 45 years old, poor responder, with 3 failed cycles before, booked a consultation with us.

If on the other hand they decide to go ahead same age women decide to go ahead with an egg donation cycle, that gives them chances of 80%.This would also be a responsible decision, as long as they fully understand everything about egg donation. This is the role we serve. To honestly present the real chances and the real costs. To thoroughly analyze everything. To make sure there is full understanding. And then, to allow the couple to make a responsible decision.

Most women in the world, would prefer to have a child with their own genetic material. But it would be dishonest to tell them, they have more chances than the ones, which actually have. If they finally balance everything and decide to go ahead with IVF with their own eggs despite the aforementioned chances, then at least this would be a responsible decision coming from full understanding.

We were also honest when we proposed PGS to Maria, in order to rule out chromosome abnormalities in embryos. But even with PGS , she would need to be really lucky in order to find a healthy embryo in this age and the cost of the IVF would increase a lot. We would still be honest if we had not mentioned few of these details. But we did.

This woman also, needed to clearly understand that there is a long distance from a positive pregnancy test till giving birth to a healthy baby. Otherwise we would not be honest towards her. She needed to be aware that miscarriage rates and chromosome abnormalities detection rates at this age, are extremely high. We did explain this thoroughly.

For us , it was very important that Maria understood that her chances of giving birth to a healthy baby through IVF with her own eggs, were no more than 5%. Yes at an excellent laboratory like the ones we cooperate with and with the use of a tailor made protocol to her and addition of  PGS If she wanted to ,we were honest when we told her that chances of positive pregnancy test would be more with us, rather than with other units. But still, going through her medical history , we wanted her to know that would not be more than this poor 5%.

From the first consultation it was obvious that Maria was eager and keen on keep trying with her own eggs. It was easy to understand that she eagerly expected from us to give her more chances than the ones she really had. It was easy to understand, that if we did not give her hopes, she would perhaps go somewhere else and then somewhere else, till someone would tell her that she has good chances with some sort of special and unique protocol.

Psychological support and consultation is always offered by our psychologist to all women who feel it might be necessary, before making the decision to go ahead with egg donation. Egg donation decision needs to be a fully responsible one. We, as Pelargos team might have lost an IVF cycle with Maria, because Maria as we expected, never went on a cycle with us, but at least she had a personal and fully conscious decision, after an honest and thorough consultation and we are very proud for that.

USEFUL PIECE OF INFORMATION FOR WOMEN WHO THINK ABOUT BECOMING EGG DONORS

Does egg donation hurt?

The answer is no. Injections are very easy to be done. Needles are small. Even needle phobic donors said that the whole procedure was easy and painless. One of them, actually overcame her phobia, through egg donation process and is very happy now for this. During stimulation, growing size of ovaries can cause tummy cramps and slight discomfort, but nothing more than that.

Egg collection happens on sedation and donor does not feel any sort of pain. It lasts max 20 mins. Most of the donors return to their normal activities immediately after egg collection. Few of them, returned to their jobs the same day, even though most of them preferred to take the day off. Some of the donors describe period-like pains, the same day and the day after egg collection, but all of them agree that usage of mild painkillers is enough to be relieved. Most of them do not even need them.

Most of egg donors go through the same procedure again and that says it all.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you want further, free information regarding becoming a donor.

Are there any Risks from egg Donation?

Risks are related to administered drugs and egg collection procedure itself. Donors need to understand that any medical act has a small complication rate. Even if we talk about removal of a mole or a dental filling. Even aspirin taking, can rarely cause life threatening side effects.

Risks of egg donation are the same actually to risks of IVF. International bibliography notes, that complications can happen to just 1% of IVFs. Donors though need to understand that they are chosen to fit specific criteria, which further minimize the complication rates for them.

Hyperstimulation syndrome is the most common complication of IVF. Α small percentage of women, usually the ones with PCOs, are hyperstimulated to the used medication and produce lots of follicles. Problems are caused by the excess of hormones.

Our priority is to minimize risks of hyperstimulation. We do this, by choosing the right drug doses and protocols. We ensure that at our collaborating units where we refer donors , they  will not be bombarded with high doses, they actually do not need. We monitor their stimulation process with frequent ultrasound scans and blood tests. We also rule out PCOs women from donor programs.

Other complications are pelvic floor infection and injuries of bowel or vessels. Again we choose as donors, women without previous surgeries, with clear history of endometriosis and normal weight. As a result the above mentioned risks, are minimized to almost zero. For a low risk woman, egg donation is an extremely safe procedure.

Who can become a donor?

We believe that in order to become a donor you need to have a positive mind and a brave and generous heart. Of course, you also need to have some prerequisites in order to be selected.

You need to be over 18 and younger than 35. Any woman between those age limits who is interested in becoming a donor, can contact us for further free information. We need to clarify though from the beginning that priority to our cooperating IVF Centers usually are women younger than the age of 30.

What is the reason that egg donation is not allowed for women over 35 years old? Unfortunately, after the age of 35, not only we do have a reduction in eggs quantity, but we also notice an increase in aneuploides rate. As a result, chances of pregnancy are reduced and rate of miscarriages and chromosomic abnormalities are increased.

-Normal weight

Unfortunately obese women are not suitable for egg donation. Mainly because of the increased risks during egg collection, but secondarily because their increased weight can negatively affect ovarian stimulation.

-Free personal and family history of genetic and chromosomic conditions, for obvious reasons.

If you think you fit the above criteria and you want to find out more about egg donation contact us.

Am I paid to donate my eggs?

Egg donation in Greece is altruistic by law. This means that it is not done for money. Despite that, Greek law allows reinmbursion of donors for the time lost from work and for their biological distress throughout the process. Legal reimburshment goes up to 1200 Euros, but cannot exceed this amount.

What exactly means that egg donation is anonymous?

Egg donation in Greece is anonymous. This anonymity is complete. Donor does not know the identity of the recipient and vice versa. All personal information is kept strictly confidential by the IVF Centers where egg donation is performed and sent only to the independent National Body of Infertility, which makes sure that the function of every single IVF Unit in Greece is regulated.

In contradiction to what is valid to other countries, child coming from egg donation will not be able to find out who the egg donor was, even when they reach the age of 18.

Will donating eggs affect my future fertility?

No. Ovaries contain about half a million eggs. During the donor treatment cycle you will only donate about 10-15 eggs. The same amount of eggs as you would naturally lose during this month’s cycle. This will leave you with hundreds of thousands of eggs for the future. Also if your doctor considers you to be at risk in any way or that your fertility could somehow be affected, then you would not be allowed to go through with egg donation.

In any case, if you have any concerns at all, you must feel free to change your mind before committing to the process. It is very important to feel comfortable with your decision.

Egg Donation treatment Cycle

Women who are interested in becoming egg donors usually have initial consultation and investigations done, to ensure that they are suitable for donors. During the egg donation process, egg donors actually undergo a very quick IVF treatment cycle.

Ovaries are stimulated with hormones to encourage a group of eggs to reach the same level of maturity. The eggs are then removed, placed into a dish in an incubator and fertilized by sperm from the male recipient. As a result embryos develop. One or two of these embryos will then be placed into the recipient’s womb, giving her a good chance to get pregnant.

2 DIFFERENT EGG DONATION SERVICES ARE MAINLY OFFERED

Exclusive / high end service

Minimum of 10 eggs guaranteed.

Minimum of 2 blastocysts transfer guaranteed.

Guarantee of frozen embryos(depending on sperm)

Success rates of 85%

Increased cost

Normal Egg Donation Service

Minimum of 2 blastocysts transfer guaranteed

Success rates of 75 %

Reduced cost

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