Egg donors speak out to help other women

Egg donors have shared their experiences on film to give a real-life insight into donation, as part of an ongoing campaign to educate others about the process.

Researchers from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) worked with six egg donors to co-produce a series of short films for the SEED Trust (Sperm, Egg and Embryo Donation Trust), a national charity that strives to provide impartial and accessible information about donating and receiving eggs, sperm and embryos in the UK.

IVF

The women discussed their motivations to become a donor and the advice they would give to other women, as well as the physical changes their body went through and the issue of compensation.

The films were made as part of a relaunch campaign for the SEED Trust, previously known as the National Gamete Donation Trust for more than two decades. They are available to view on the charity’s website.

Professor Nicky Hudson, Director of the Centre for Reproduction Research at DMU who is leading the study that led to the films, said there was a real need for more up to date independent information about egg donation, especially reflecting people’s personal experiences.

“These videos highlight how experiences and understandings of the process are diverse and that this needs to be better reflected in the resources that are available in the UK context,” she said.

“The films are based around issues that have been raised through our research here at DMU and are therefore carefully designed to ensure the content directly addresses questions that people might have before they donate.”

The Centre for Reproduction is currently undertaking a major research project across the UK, Belgium and Spain, known as the ‘EDNA’ project, looking at the social, political, economic and moral configuration of egg donation in these countries.

INSET research reprod
Members of the Centre for Reproduction Research at DMU

Funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the EDNA project aims to:

  • Map and analyse the policy of egg donation in each country;
  • Analyse and compare donor recruitment strategies;
  • Explore the experiences and perceptions of both egg providers and professionals;
  • Develop recommendations for policy and practice.

“We hope to provide a holistic understanding of how egg donation is experienced, organised and regulated across the UK, Belgium and Spain,” said Professor Hudson.

Donated eggs are now used in over 56,000 IVF treatment cycles in Europe, creating over 17,000 babies per year, yet little is known about the motivations, decision-making and experiences of women who provide their eggs for use in infertility treatment, particularly in the European context.

newborn

“The stories these women tell are powerful, informative and inspiring,” said Charles Lister, chair of the SEED Trust. “They add an important dimension to our website by speaking directly to women who are thinking of becoming egg donors. Surprisingly, nothing like this has been done before.

“Anyone watching the videos will be in awe of what being an egg donor involves. I hope the testimony of these women will inspire others to make the same contribution.”

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Professor Hudson added: “We are very grateful to all of the egg donors who took part in the filming. By sharing their stories, they are helping us to help more people understand the process.”

The short films can be found on the SEED Trust website here: www.seedtrust.org.uk/donor-experiences/egg-donor-films

For more information about the EDNA project, click here.

Posted on Wednesday 21st August 2019

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