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Egg Donation at IVF Spain – Emma and Craig’s Story

For 25 years Spanish Law has permitted anonymous egg donation. While matching a donor we have to take into consideration physical characteristics including height, hair colour and skin tone. We also make sure the donor has a similar level of education as the recipient patient and we consult with her to see which of these characteristics are the most important.

Spanish Law

After 1,000 egg donation cycles at IVF Spain we have donors available with a wide range of physical characteristics: blonde hair, blue eyes and also donors with darker complexions. We also have black and Asian donors. Many of our patients from the UK are worried that we will not be able to find the perfect donor match for them. However, through many years working with national and international foreign exchange university students, we have young fertile student donors from all around the world that match not only patients with darker complexions but also very fair skin tones.

Spanish Law states that all donors must match the recipient patient. In this way the child born via a donation cycle will look physically like the birth mother and father; no one will be able to tell that birth mother is not the genetic mother. Spanish Law also requires that the donor must be less than 35 years of age. At IVF Spain our donors have an average age of 30 and have proven fertility with the best egg quality.

The matching process is controlled by the medical team. The patient does not play a role in this matching process and has to trust the doctors to select the best donor. The patient, once pregnant, is only allowed to find out the age and blood type of their donor.

Emma & Craig & Egg Donation

Emma along with her husband Craig is one of the many patients who has placed their trust in IVF Spain. We met the couple in London at the Fertility Show where we were introducing our clinic to British prospective patients. Emma consulted with Dr Szlarb at the show and informed her of her medical history and fertility issues. Emma and Craig had been trying to conceive for many years. They had gone through three IVF cycles with very poor responses leading to negative pregnancy tests. Emma already knew that her next step would be egg donation.

Egg donation treatments across the world are divided into anonymous and non-anonymous donations. By Spanish Law all donations are anonymous. For Emma a personalised approach was extremely important as well as high quality medical care. Emma eventually decided on IVF Spain to undergo her treatment due to the fact that our centre offers both a highly-personalised service along with cutting-edge medical care.

Examination and donor matching

At IVF Spain we are very interested in our patients’ medical backgrounds and so to this end we spend 2 hours with the patients during their first appointments. Emma and Craig first arrived at IVF Spain at the beginning of April 2014 when a very thorough medical history was taken. Emma was examined and she was very happy to finally learn why her previous implantations had failed. 80% of egg donation success is based on egg quality and unfortunately the quality of Emma’s eggs was very low. Emma was matched with the best donor from the IVF Spain egg bank of 500 donors. The donor was matched not only on the basis of physical characteristics but also through a genetic matching process.

Immunology check-up

Emma also understood that 10% of her success was related to immunology. Dr Szlarb has a PhD in Immunology and a sub-specialty in immunological fertility issues. At IVF Spain an immunological check-up is performed. At IVF Spain we use flow cytometry and we receive immunology results within 5-7 days. We also perform immune therapy if we see any issues. We also examine the number of natural killer cells and TH1 and TH2 cells that may hinder implantation. This is performed not only through blood work but also by performing a biopsy of the lining of the uterus. Emma received immunology treatment right away to help with her implantation issues.

Blood clothing

The other 10% of implantation success is due to blood clotting. At IVF Spain we test clotting using the modern test Recombine. This way we can exclude common blood disorders for example Factor V mutations or protein CNS resistance. Treatments are then undertaken in the event of these clotting issues.

Emma was very happy to see that the entire preparation process for egg donation could take place in the UK and she discussed with the medical team the timings and when she should be in Alicante for the egg pick-up and then 5 days later the date of embryo transfer.

Test & Mock Up Cycle

At IVF Spain we always perform a test or mock cycle where we can adjust the medication dose in order to ensure that the lining of the uterus is in optimal conditions for implantation. This means that at the time of the real cycle, Emma will have the ideal and properly adjusted dose of medication for her body while the donor undergoes in parallel an IVF cycle to grow the donor eggs for Emma’s treatment. In this way, Emma is preparing her uterus in the UK while the donor is developing the donor eggs in Spain. At IVF Spain this process ensures the best results.

Through social media campaigns, articles in Fertility Road and meeting patients at event such as The Fertility Show, IVF Spain is receiving more and more patients from the UK. Our whole team and Dr Szlarb in specific speak fluent English, so there are no communication issues.

After many years of trying to have a baby with her own eggs, Emma realized that due to her age both her egg quantity and quality were no longer optimal. Her only chance to be a happy mum was through an egg donation cycle. She believes that through the proper medical evaluation, donor matching and immune therapy offered to patients at IVF Spain she will finally experience the miracle of being a healthy and happy mum. We wish her all the best in her fertility journey here at IVF Spain in Alicante.

Emma Cowper after many years of trying to have a baby with her own eggs realised that due to her age the quantity and quality of her eggs were not optimal anymore and her only chance of becoming a mum was through and egg donation cycle. She believes that through proper evaluation, donor matching and immune therapy at IVF Spain she will finally experience the miracle of being a happy and healthy mum. We wish her all the best in her fertility treatment at our clinic, IVF Spain.

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