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Egg donation: Interview with Dr. Jon Aizpurua

Egg donations or fertility treatments with oocyte donation is a reproduction technique highly requested by international patients, who come to IVF SPAIN searching for a treatment which is deemed illegal or does not preserve the donor’s anonymity in their home countries.

Egg donation is the reproductive solution for patients who have not got any eggs left or are not able to produce them due to chromosomal alterations. In such cases, this fertility treatment with oocyte donation allows patients forming their own families.

The best person to talk about egg donation and its meaning is Dr. Jon Aizpurua, CEO and Assisted Reproduction expert at IVF SPAIN.

What was the meaning of the legislation in our country regarding egg donation?

In 1988 egg donation was legalised in Spain, becoming one of the most progressive laws worldwide since it was regulated hardly anywhere. This act led Spain to the top of Europe in this field.

We must not forget that this law was born from a breeding ground formed during the Transition to Democracy and the first socialist government. Due to these changes and the subsequent legislation, Spain has been at the forefront of the industry for the past 20 years.

What benefits can you see in preserving anonymity?

First of all, if there was not any preservation of the anonymity, there wouldn´t be any donors. There are several surveys and publications which prove that, the most important thing for donors is that it constitutes an altruistic action on a one-off basis. They find themselves in a moment in their lives where they follow a particular motivation, such as having a relative with fertility problems or any other reason which brings them to donate their eggs altruistically.  However, this particular action shall not imply that, 18 years later, they will have to open their homes, their world or change their way of living. They have donated their eggs so that other women can become mothers, not because they have decided to have children.

How does donor selection work at IVF SPAIN?

There are some legal requirements which are used as a preliminary filter: age and healthiness are important factors to ensure the next generation’s health. Donors also undergo a psychological and drug test. Then, we perform a thorough fertility examination which, once passed, is the initial point of the treatment, which has also been previously explained in detail. It is crucial for donors to be completely aware of what they are doing, what is its aim, how it is done and what are the pros and cons.

In which cases would you recommend egg donation?

Originally, it was a medical option for women who were born without ovaries or for women who lost them due to any surgical, medical or accidental circumstance. We could currently define 3 different profiles:

  1. For patients older than 42 years – I would dare to say that this is an almost compulsory treatment.
  2. For patients between 35 and 42 years, who have problems with in-vitro fertilization.
  3. Patients who do not have any eggs or have lost them accidentally.

What does IVF SPAIN offer to their patients for egg donation becoming one of the most demanded treatments?

We are proud to offer the best pregnancy success rates – 54 to 80% depending on treatment- as well as a legal frame allowing egg donation treatments.
In addition, we have years of experience in customized patient service. Our attention is similar to the work of an haute couture tailor, always making the best tailor-made suits.
In short, we offer a range of services which help the patient to feel calm and trust our experience.

What is your opinion regarding egg donation in the future?

I truly believe that will become a medical resource free from stigma. My hopes are set that all prejudgments towards egg donation, as it is nowadays in some countries, will disappear and will turn into something completely accepted.

Just like the concept of family has evolved in the past 50 years, being a single mother was not socially accepted and now it is seen as something natural. I hope that becoming a mother by means of egg donation will become a normal, socially, openly, legally and even institutionally accepted option, as well as an additional medical option.

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