Egg donation is most commonly used when the patient is unable to produce her own eggs. This type of infertility is often associated with older maternal age, when the ovary's store of follicles is beginning to run out. The tell-tale signs are irregular - and even absent - periods, which are often a prelude to the menopause. In normally 'fertile' women this can happen in their late 30s and early 40s, but there are also unfortunate younger women who are found to have a 'premature' menopause. This can happen in women as young as 20 or 30.
Some patients particularly the younger ones with premature menopause, consider egg donation from a friend or family member. This type of 'known donation' can be quite reassuring for the patient, who is secure in her knowledge of the donor's indentity. However, such 'intrafamilial' donation can raise ethical questions and counselling is always essential.
The London Egg Bank provides donor eggs for patients at the London Women's Clinic. Treatment can take place within three months with a success rate of around 60%. For more information, please contact us.