Why childless women are heading for Spain
22:29 GMT, 22 September 2012
Frustrated by long waiting lists and huge costs here, more and more childless women are seeking fertility treatment abroad to enable them to have a family.
This is certainly the case for women seeking egg donation, where Spain is offering accessible solutions.
More and more childless women are seeking fertility treatment abroad to enable them to have a family
Why would a couple opt for egg donation to conceive
Some women are unable to get pregnant due to premature menopause or a long-standing failure of their ovaries, and do not produce their own eggs.
Alternatively, some women’s ovaries may have been affected by chemotherapy. Donation is also considered after several failed IVF attempts, as it can be a problem with the eggs that is causing the failure.
For a small group of women, egg donation is an option to avoid passing on a genetic illness.
Where do donor eggs come from
Healthy women donate eggs altruistically in order to help other couples conceive. Some women will do this with no connection to any couple having difficulty conceiving.
Many donors, however, do so in order to help a specific couple. Clinics sometimes have ‘egg-sharing’ schemes through which women donate eggs to reduce the cost of their own IVF.
Why travel to Spain for treatment
Firstly there are issues of availability – altruistic egg donation is much more common among women in Spain, and the supply of eggs is far greater than here.
This leads to minimal waiting times and greater choice. And Spanish law makes it much easier to have this procedure, recognising the right of a single woman to undergo any fertility treatment, regardless of marital status or sexual orientation.
Are women paid to donate eggs
There is a compensation, usually in the order of 750. But donating eggs is an involved procedure where the donor has to take a course of hormone treatment, and at a later date eggs are collected.
Donors are not allowed to be paid – the money is compensation for their time and dedication.
Spanish legislation requires that egg donation is anonymous (donor and receiver cannot meet each other either in the present or in the future) and voluntary. All eggs are screened for genetic illness and the women must be under 35.
Will a child be ‘mine’ if eggs are donated
You will not share DNA with your baby but clinics do make the effort to match donors to mothers for physical characteristics.
In Spain, matching the donor to the recipient mother for physical characteristics is written into the egg-donation legislation.