Frequently Asked Questions
There are some important factors that you should consider when decding whether and with whom to join for your egg donation.
As a medical fertility clinic, we want to ensure that you are fully informed about egg donation and why donating with Cape Fertility & our Egg Donor Program is the best option for you.
Cape Fertility is a leader in the legal and ethical requirements, as set out by both the Department of Health and South African Society of Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy (SASREG).
What is an Egg Donor?
An egg donor is a very special selfless woman. Egg donors must be between the ages of 21 and 33 years of age and be in good health.
An egg donor donates a few of her eggs, which she does not need, to another woman, who is unable to produce healthy eggs from her own ovaries, in order to conceive a child.
Once the eggs have been retrieved from the donor, they are fertilised with the recipients partners sperm. Resulting embryo/s are then transferred into the recipient womans uterus. She then has the chance to conceive, carry and give birth to a child of her own.
Remember that you are “facilitating” a potential child, not providing one. The eggs you donate must fertilise with the partners sperm, the embryo must attach in the recipients uterus and she must successfully carry and birth a child.
Don’t I need my eggs for my own fertility?
As a woman you are born with approximately 2 000 000 eggs. Each month you ovulate and unless an egg/s are fertilised, those eggs are removed from your body as part of your monthly period.
With your egg donation approximately 10 to 20 eggs are retrieved to be given to a woman in need. These are eggs that you would not have used but discarded.
Does egg donation affect my own fertility?
There is no proven evidence that donating your eggs affects your own long term fertility.
Our egg donors go on to have children of their own if and when they decide.
Follow up studies have shown that the fertility of egg donors is not affected.
There are however medical risks associated with any medical procedure. When you meet with the fertility doctor, he/she will explain in more detail.
Where will I donate?
Cape Fertility Egg Donor Program donors donate ONLY at our world-class clinic, in Cape Town. We provide not only a match-making service for couples, we are a professional fertility clinic.
WE perform the egg donation procedure and are there with you, supporting you, throughout your entire egg donation process, as well as after your egg donation is completed.
We are known as having a friendly, relaxed & caring environment at our advanced, purpose-built facilities in the beautiful city of Cape Town.
If you do not reside in Cape Town do not worry… you will travel to Cape Town when you are selected to donate, at no charge to yourself!
Under whose care will I be?
We are a medical team of fertility specialists, qualified nursing sisters, resident psychologist and dedicated egg donor Co-ordinator. We go above and beyond, not only to meet the emotional and medical needs of our donors, but to excel at them as well.
We take care of all your needs as one of our egg donors. Our Egg Donor Co-ordinator Linda and team are there for you 24/7.
Can I ask the Doctor any questions directly?
Yes. Before you donate with us, a detailed screening visit will be done at Cape Fertility to confirm that you are medically suitable to proceed. The procedure will be explained to you and this will also give you valuable information of your own fertility and state of health. You can ask any additional questions when you meet with the Doctor and psychologist.
How long will it be before I am chosen to donate?
Cape Fertility facilitates more egg donor matches than any other clinic in South Africa.
Our Egg Donor Program has a great demand for egg donors.
We have many local and international recipients every month, that require an egg donor.
The result being that you have a very good chance of being selected to donate soon, if not immediately.
What if I do not reside in Cape Town?
That is not a problem! We accept donors from all regions in South Africa.
When you are selected to donate, all your travel and accomodation arrangements will be explained to you and all your expenses will be covered. You would be required to make 1 or 2 trips to beautiful Cape Town.
Do I receive any financial compensation?
Yes. Egg donors are compensated the national regulated amount of R8 000 per egg donation. Please be aware that you are NOT selling your eggs. You are compensated this amount to assist you in getting to and from the clinic for your appointments and egg donation day.
We make your R8 000 payment directly for you, on the day of, and directly after your donation.
How do couples select an egg donor?
Each woman or couple have different needs when selecting an egg donor. Some look for similar physical characteristics. Some woman look for similar views on life and interests. Cape Fertility Egg Donor Co-ordinator Linda guides coupes to selct the donor that best meets their needs. Your childhood pictures (which are available for couples to see) are important to them. Your adult pictures are never shared with recipients but help Linda to make a suitable match for our recipient patients.
Do I meet the recipient?
Egg donation in South Africa is anonymous and confidential. Your privacy & anonymity is guaranteed with us. You do not meet the recipient. The clinic works independently with the want-to-be parents.
The recipient will only have access to your chilhood pictures (not adult picture) provided and the information that you have detailed in your general profile. Your adult pictures are only used for us to identify your physical features versus a recipient needing an egg donor. Your adult picture, name and contact details are never shared with recipients.
How much of my time will egg donation take?
When you are selected to donate, you will be required to attend a 2 hour appointment to see the Doctor and the psychologist. Linda is very good at arranging these visits that it is only one trip to the clinic 😉 This applies whether you are in Cape Town or elsewhere in South Africa.
Thereafter, once you are in an egg donation cycle, you will need to attend about 4 Doctors apppointments over a 2-week period. These apointments are important to ensure that the medication you are taking is responding well with your body, for your own health. These apppointments can however not be scheduled outside of working hours or on weekends.
Your egg retrieval day will require that you take a full day off work or your daily activities. Given that a mild general anaesthetic is used for the procedure, you will (or we will) need to arrange for someone to take you home.
Do I take any medication?
Donors are required to inject themselves in the abdominal fat, with a very small injection. This injection delivers hormones which aim to produce more than 1 egg for the donation. We provide you with a video clip which explains EXACTLY how to inject yourself. These injections are required for approximately 10-12 days.
Our experienced Nurses will demonstrate this with you face-to-face at the clinic.
Most donors experience no side effects at all whilst on this medication. Some donors may experience PMS type symptoms like bloating, moodiness or pelvic discomfort. Any side effects will dissapear on discontinuation of the medication.
What is the actual Egg Donation Retrieval?
The egg donation (retrieval) is performed by a one of our fertility specialist doctors. We use a mild general anaesthetic and you will sleep during the procedure which takes about 30 minutes. You will not experience any pain during the procedure. The retrieval of the eggs is done using vaginal ultrasound to accurately locate the eggs.
There is no cutting, stitches or scarring. After the procedure we keep you in recovery for about 1 hour, after which you may return home, you may however not drive yourself home.
Should you experience any discomfort after the donation, normal pain relief medication can be taken. Any discomfort is similar to that experienced with a period, but each individual has different sensitivity levels. Linda and the Team will remain in constant contact with you. About 5 to 14 days later, you will have a period.
Are there any medical risks?
There is a very small risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. During ovarian hyperstimulation, the ovaries become enlarged and fluid may collect in the abdominal cavity causing bloating and pelvic pain.
The regular scans which are performed, whilst you are taking your medication, are in place to ensure no risk to you during the donation process. Medication is reduced should your ovaries be over-responding to the medication.
There is like with any procedure the risk of bleeding, infection and anaesthetic complications. However egg donation is an extremely safe procedure with very little risk.
Do I have enough eggs for my own fertility?
Woman are typically born with over 2 million eggs, which are reduced to approximately 200 000 when menstration starts.
Every month an egg is released during ovulation and some eggs also die off in the ovaries.
In order to ascertain that you have sufficient eggs, to protect your own fertility and ensure you have ample eggs to donate a few, certain medical checks are done. These include:
- A blood test to assess the quality and quantity of your eggs. Infectious disease markers are also tested simultaneously.
- The fertility specialist will need to perform an internal vaginal ultra sound (like those performed during a gynaelogical check up)
- Donating your eggs has no known impact on your fertility. These medical checks actually empower you with information about your fertility status.
How will becoming an egg donor help my fertility health?
The blood, physical exam and scan performed by the Dr before you are cleared to donate will give you important information about your fertility status and state of health.
How many times can I donate?
By law you may donate up to 6 times. Many donors donate more than once because they find the joy of helping to fulfill anothers dream is such a rewarding experience.
Where can I find more information?
Our Egg Donor Program Co-ordinator, Linda is our Fairy God Mother for our donors, with a wealth of information to share and guide you.
Linda has many years experience supporting egg donors and is available to chat to you now on:
Mobile: 066 22 55 003.
Complete our online form and Linda will respond to you, click here.