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Recent reports show that the number of women registering as egg donors has risen every year since 2006 with numbers increasing to 1,103 in 2013. Similarly, there has been an increase of more than 50% in the last five years of women having treatment with donor eggs.
Following its launch in 2013, the London Egg Bank has seen hundreds of women come through the doors looking to donate their eggs. Here one of them tells her story:
"I had never really thought about egg donation before until a friend of mine told me she couldn't naturally conceive, me being a very empathetic person it sat in my mind for days...What would she do? How will she have the chance of being a mother one day? Could I help?
For now I wanted to help someone. I called the London Egg Bank and was put through to Toyin who deals with potential donors. After a few questions were exchanged on the phone we made an appointment to meet for a medical background and characteristic check. I came off the phone feeling great about it. I'd already made that step towards enriching someone's life with parenthood. It only got better from there.
At first I had this crazy image in my head of being assessed in a white room with stern observation...Would I say something that they may judge wrongly? It was far from that. I spent a good hour introducing myself and my daughter to Toyin and she made me feel very comfortable to be open about my life. I then had to complete a medical history form which asked questions about my history as well as members of my family. I then had an appointment with a doctor who double checked my medical history to make sure I was healthy. She then sent me for some blood tests which was another fear I overcame beause I wanted so badly to help someone.
It was all a very relaxed process and was discreet. When the results of my infectious and genetic screening tests came back all fine, it gave me peace of mind to know that I was completely healthy and able to start. From then I started the programme and was put on the pill and given folic acid until my next period started. I then attended the clinic for a scan which checked my progress and I was shown how to give myself the stimulation injections. When I started the stimulation injections I was surprised that the needle was tiny and thought all that worrying was for nothing as I could barely feel it when my mum helped with the first injection.
I carried on the injections each evening while relaxed until the second week when I was given a second dose of injection each day to take. The needle for the second injection was slightly bigger but nothing to panic me now that I had overcome the fear of the thought of injections. I travelled back to the clinic about five times for scans over a 2 week period to check my eggs were developing nicely and I was given a date for egg retrieval. At this point they informed me that they had matched me with a recipient who would receive my eggs. Perhaps due to the fact that I was on stimulation hormones, I got a bit teary with joy.
The day of the egg retrieval came and I wasn't even slightly worried as the doctor and staff there had been so welcoming and reassuring that I felt relaxed and trusted them as I knew I was in good hands...and I was. I was in the clinic for the egg collection for about two hours, although the collection itself only takes about 30 minutes I had to remain at the clinic whilst the sedation they gave me wore off. They collected 13 healthy eggs in total which was great. They even gave me a box of chocolates and thanked me. I was then given a taxi to take me home. I didn't have any problems with side effects."
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