Egg Donor Agencies and Egg Donation Agencies in South Africa
Over the last few years – in response to a growing demand for egg donations – there has been a proliferation of egg donation agencies in South Africa.
In this article, we look at what egg donor agencies are, what services they provide and how you can make sure that you choose the right egg donation agency.
What are Egg Donor Agencies?
Egg donor agencies or egg donation agencies are companies that recruit young, healthy and selfless women who are willing to donate their eggs to a couple facing fertility challenges and who are unable to conceive their own child without healthy, good quality donated eggs. These egg donors are then matched to egg donation recipients by the egg donor agencies.
Your fertility specialist will be able to provide you with a list of egg donation agencies. At Cape Fertility, we only work with the agencies that follow the SASREG ethical guidelines, and we also have our own egg donation program at Cape Fertility with the option of both fresh or frozen eggs.
Why Are Egg Donation Agencies Necessary?
There has been a drastic increase in the demand for egg donations from healthy, young women. Among the reasons for this increase in demand is the reality that modern lifestyles negatively impact the quality of women’s eggs, and the fact that the quality of a woman’s eggs diminish with age – and quite drastically after age 35 – affecting many women who have delayed starting a family until later in their lives.
There are also other reasons why a couple may require egg donation, for example, the female partner may be menopausal, or have poor ovarian reserve, or may have ovaries that are not functioning due to treatments such as chemotherapy, or whose ovaries have been removed surgically.
For couples who may never have their own child without a donation of healthy, good quality eggs, egg donation agencies offer a great solution. By recruiting healthy young women willing to donate their eggs and facilitating the process of matching these selfless donors to egg donation recipients, egg donation agencies play a vital role in making modern fertility treatments possible.
What Services do Egg Donation Agencies provide?
Without egg donations, many couples would not be able to have their own baby. Egg donation agencies facilitate the important and intricate process of finding suitable egg donors and matching them to the right recipients.
Among the most crucial services provided by egg donation agencies is the recruitment of suitable egg donors. This further involves the initial agency screening of the recruited egg donors, the facilitation of donor contracts and the recording of extensive egg donor profile details.
Egg donation agencies also compile and manage anonymous profiles of potential egg donors. Legally, egg donation is anonymous in South Africa, so the agency will create a profile containing only details about the donor’s physical characteristics, medical background, education, hobbies and more, such as childhood photos, without disclosing the donor’s identity.
Egg donation agencies also support the recipients of an egg donation, including the recipient contract facilitation and supporting recipients during the donor selection and beyond.
Couples requiring egg donation can view the profiles of potential egg donors electronically to select a donor. Alternatively, couples requiring a donor can provide the egg donation agency with their criteria and adult pictures, enabling the egg donation agency to assist with selecting suitable potential matches harnessing their expertise and experience in this field.
Once an egg donor has been chosen, an egg donation agency will manage the entire process, including the communication between the recipient and the potential egg donor, and facilitating communication among all the parties – the recipient, the fertility clinic or fertility specialist and the egg donor.
The egg donation agency will also coordinate the egg donor’s required medical and psychological assessments – including travel arrangements if necessary. This includes an appointment with the recipient’s fertility specialist for a general check-up, including a scan and required blood tests, as well as an assessment by a psychologist.
The egg donation agency also provides support to the egg donor before, during and after the donation cycle.
These services are generally covered by a match and management fee payable by the egg donation recipients.
Choosing The Right Egg Donation Agency
As egg donation is legal in South Africa, there are many egg donation agencies in South Africa to choose from. It is crucial that you choose an egg donation agency that complies with the relevant laws and also operates in line with the highest ethical standards.
The National Health Act of 2004 and its regulations govern egg donation (or ‘gamete donation’ as it is also called) in South Africa. In particular, Chapter 8 on Artificial Fertilization of the National Health Act, govern the activities of egg donation agencies.
In addition, egg donors and egg donation recipients should only choose egg donation agencies that are managed within the strict guidelines and protocol procedures from the Southern African Society of Reproductive Medicine and Gynecological Endoscopy Regulations (SASREG).
SASREG guidelines detail how egg donation agencies can operate legally and ethically, to protect the health and well-being of both the egg donors and the egg donation recipients. You can find out more about SASREG at www.sasreg.co.za or email email@example.com.
It is also important to choose an egg donation agency with extensive expertise and experience, as well as positive reviews from other egg donors and egg donation recipients alike.
In addition, give preference to a team that will support you throughout the entire egg donation process, and beyond.
At Cape Fertility, we only work with egg donation agencies that follow the SASREG ethical guidelines. As a SASREG accredited clinic, we also have our own egg donation program with the option of both fresh or frozen eggs.
Bear in mind that most egg donor agencies assist various fertility clinics by recruiting egg donors to donate at these different clinics across South Africa, which means you may end up donating at any fertility clinic in the country.
By joining the Cape Fertility Egg Donor Program, you join our fertility clinic directly without going through an egg donor agency. At Cape Fertility, we have been leaders in egg donation for 25 years and have assisted in thousands of egg donations. Our modern sophisticated laboratory allows all the latest assisted conception techniques to be used with great success – including a highly successful program for women requiring egg donation – our pregnancy rates with egg donation are 60 – 70% per cycle!
In addition, at Cape Fertility, we have several of highly-qualified fertility specialists who are also impressively experienced, and supported by a dedicated team of IVF co-ordinators, embryologists, a psychologist available to provide additional counselling and even an Egg Donor Fairy God Mother and her team who are dedicated solely to taking the best care possible of our egg donors.
To find out more, simply fill in your contact details here, or contact our Egg Donor Fairy God Mother, Linda, on 066 22 55 003 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Your information is 100% confidential and will under no circumstances be made available to anybody else.
We look forward to welcoming you to our friendly, professional and leading Egg Donor Program!