Egg donation means giving another woman the chance to fulfil her dream of being a mother.
A single egg donation can be the beginning of a new family longed for by a woman who is not able to conceive naturally with her own eggs.
There are a number of situations that can cause a woman to need donor eggs:
- Cancer treatments that can cause infertility
- Early menopause (under the age of 45)
- Poor quality oocytes or repeated failures in previous MAP treatment cycles
- Insufficient egg reserves
- Risk of transmission of a genetic or hereditary disease
For these women, the only way of fulfilling their dream of carrying and giving birth to a child is through egg donation by a young, healthy woman.
Egg donation is a legal procedure in Portugal and our law determines that the egg donor will never be considered the progenitor of the born children resulting from her donation (law 32/2006).
The egg donation does not have any effect on the actual or future fertility of the egg donor. After the egg donation process the donor will be able to get pregnant as soon as she wishes.
Can I be an egg donor?
The basic rule of conduct of the AVA Clinic donation programme is respect for legal, ethical and medical principles for everyone involved – donors and recipients.
If you are healthy, aged over 18 and under 34 and have no serious diseases in your family, you can be an egg donor at AVA Clinic.
All appointments and exams are free of charge and, as you are a donor, you will be entitled to financial compensation for costs, travel and time spent in the donation process (Ministry of Health Ordinance 5015/2011). This compensation will not depend on the egg donor individual characteristics or on the number of eggs collected.
AVA Clinic egg donors rarely focus on financial compensation and usually mention that the act of donating gives them great personal satisfaction.
“Helping someone who can’t have children and giving her the chance to fulfil her dream of being a mother… it makes me feel good to see it happen!” – Mariana (AVA Clinic donor)
I want to donate eggs at AVA Clinic. What do I have to do?
AVA Clinic was the first Portuguese fertility centre to set up an egg donation programme. Since 2000 more than 1,500 young women have come to us to offer their help to other women and couples who would otherwise not be able to have children.
We have vast experience in the egg donation process. One of our main concerns is to ensure that our donors are totally satisfied with their donation at the end of the process. This goal has been systematically confirmed by our donors in our satisfaction surveys. The act of donating will never be forgotten and couples who use donor eggs often mention their eternal gratitude to their donor.
If you are interested in being an egg donor at AVA Clinic or if you still have questions about the donation process, talk to us. Call and make an appointment, without any obligation, on 213 245 000 (call to fixed line network) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com.
Your treatment step by step:
1. Psychological counselling session
Before you begin an egg donation cycle, your first step at AVA Clinic will be a psychological counselling session. At this appointment, you will discuss the legal, emotional and social implications of this type of treatment.
This will help you understand all aspects before you give your informed consent. The interview will address your reasons and the social, ethical and legal ramifications of donation. You will also be given all the information you need about the donation process.
We do not conduct psychometric tests and donors are not selected on the basis of personality traits.
2. Gynaecology appointment, tests and exams
After your psychology appointment, if you wish to start the donation process, an appointment will be made for you with our fertility specialists.
You will undergo a full gynaecological examination to make sure that you are healthy and confirm that your reproductive system is behaving normally. A battery of blood tests will be requested to screen you for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, HTLV and syphilis.
During the appointment, we will also screen for known genetic and hereditary diseases in you and your immediate family. Tests will also be requested to look for any transmissible chromosome disorders.
The tests and exams will assess your general state of health and will also provide information on your fertility and potential for getting pregnant in the future.
After the tests and exams, you will be placed on our egg donor list if you are considered eligible to begin a donation process.
The waiting period before you start your ovarian stimulation depends on the need for donors with your physical characteristics.
3. Ovarian stimulation
Without medication, a woman’s ovaries produce one egg in each cycle. In this type of treatment, the goal is to retrieve several eggs in the same cycle so that more embryos can be created in the lab. This increases the patient’s chances of success. For this to happen, your ovaries need to be stimulated. This is done with subcutaneous hormone injections (similar to an insulin injection).
These injections may be daily and will be given to you over a period of up to 12 days. Although the process may seem hard and complicated, it is actually no more than slightly uncomfortable. If you have any trouble with the process, our nursing team will be available at all times to help you with anything you need.
During ovarian stimulation, you will have to visit our clinic every three days so that the growth of your follicles (sacs where your eggs grow) can be monitored by ultrasound. Your protocol may be adjusted at any time and your hormone dosages may be changed. This ultrasound monitoring is therefore essential to the success of your treatment.
4. Egg collection
As soon as your follicles reach the ideal size, we will schedule your egg collection and your eggs will be retrieved. The procedure lasts from 15 to 20 minutes and is not painful as it is performed under sedation administered by an anaesthesiologist.
The retrieved eggs are then taken to the lab where they are treated by our embryologists under ideal conditions for fertilisation and subsequent development of the embryos.
On the day of your egg collection, you just have to be at the clinic around three hours before the procedure and you can go back to your daily routine as soon as you leave the clinic (with any exceptions indicated by your physician).
You will probably have a period one to two weeks after the egg collection. Your hormone system and menstrual cycle will soon get back to normal.
5. Post-donation assessment
One month after the donation, you will have a follow-up doctor’s appointment and your satisfaction with the donation process will be assessed.
The donation process ends here. Under the Portuguese law, you are allowed to donate a maximum of four times, if you wish to and if you are happy with the final result of such a generous gesture on your part.
AVA Clinic and certainly the woman or couple that you have just helped will be eternally grateful for your gesture. Thank you!