Egg donation and egg-sharing
Egg-sharing is an IVF treatment which brings together women having conventional IVF (the sharer) with those unable to produce their own eggs (the recipient). Egg-sharing enables these two groups of women to help one another - egg-sharers receive free IVF treatment, whilst recipients receive the eggs they need for IVF.
How egg-sharing works
The sharer has conventional IVF treatment, involving ovarian stimulation, egg collection and embryo transfer. But half the eggs collected are randomly allocated to the recipient, whose uterus is prepared for embryo transfer with hormone therapy. The recipient's allocated eggs are fertilised with her partner's or donor sperm and transferred as in conventional IVF. Good results have been reported for both sharers and recipients, suggesting that the one does neither better or worse than the other.
To become an egg-sharer, you'll need to be 32 or under. But not everyone will be eligible, so before applying it's worth checking if you fulfil the additional criteria established by the UK's regulatory body, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). You can click here for the full criteria.
Egg-sharing has become very popular at the London Women's Clinic, but especially as a fertility treatment for lesbian and single women. These are patients whose only 'cause' of infertility is the lack of a male partner; success rates are very high.
Please note that from 1st April 2013, egg-sharers in London will need to be 32 or under and have completed their treatment by their 33rd birthday.