Subscribe to the BioNews newsletter for free

Login
Advanced Search

Search for
BioNews

Like the Progress Educational Trust on Facebook


 


 

UK egg bank opens in London

23 September 2013

By Rosie Beauchamp

Appeared in BioNews 723

The UK's first dedicated egg bank for fertility treatment has been launched in London.

The London Egg Bank, part of a group of companies that includes the London Sperm Bank, the London Women's Clinic (LWC) and the Bridge Centre, will allow women to donate their eggs to others undergoing fertility treatment, as well as the option to store their own eggs for medical or social reasons.

Dr Kamal Ahuja, director of the London Women's Clinic, said the egg bank will meet the growing demand for egg donors in the UK. 'We can't ignore the needs of millions of women who need donor eggs, especially women over 40', he told the London Evening Standard.

There is a short supply of eggs in the UK, with many women who require them taking advantage of egg sharing schemes or arranging to receive a donation from a known person, such as a family friend or relative. The London Egg Bank will receive donations provided anonymously, so that the recipient will not be told identifying information about the donor, but any children conceived as a result of the egg donation can by law apply for identifying information about their donor once they become 18.

Outright payment for donations is not permitted under UK law, but compensation for expenses and inconvenience is permitted. Egg donors are entitled to receive up to £750 per cycle of donation in compensation, with the added option of claiming an excess to cover costs such as travel or childcare.

Some concerns have been raised with regard to the potential for egg banking schemes to exploit young, financially vulnerable women. Josephine Quintavalle, of campaign group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said: 'With money so scarce at the moment one can imagine vulnerable young women considering this a useful way to make ends meet'.

However, Dr Ahuja said many egg donors choose to donate as an act of altruism. 'Many donors have children of their own and are in settled family relationships. They are keen to donate their eggs, but have never been encouraged to do so. We are hoping to inform women about egg donation and to make it simpler', he said.

Research presented at this year's annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology found that while financial motivation was an important factor expressed by some egg donors, a majority of women indicated that they had donated for altruistic reasons (reported in BioNews 713).

The official launch on the London Egg Bank follows a trial period which has been running since January 2013. The egg bank will function in a similar way to sperm banks, providing a wide range of donors for patients to choose from. The egg bank will initially use 'fresh' eggs, with the intention of building up a supply of cryopreserved eggs to provide greater flexibility for patients, reports the Evening Standard.

The bank will also provide egg storage services for women who are not ready to start a family but plan to at a later stage. Figures show that an increasing number of women are having children in later life, but there is also a greater rate of age-related infertility among older mothers, largely because of a decline in egg quality (reported in BioNews 722). A press statement from the London Egg Bank states that the success rate for a woman aged 43 having IVF with a donor egg is significantly higher than if they use their own eggs.

The London Egg Bank says it will be running introduction evenings for potential donors and recipients in the Autumn.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Daily Telegraph | 17 September 2013
 
Mail Online | 17 September 2013
 
London Evening Standard | 16 September 2013
 

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

05 September 2016 - by Dr Kamal Ahuja, Dr Meheranghiz Minbattiwalla, Ms Toyin Jegede 
The notion persists that sperm donation in Britain limps ahead in a state of perpetual crisis: difficulties at the much vaunted national sperm bank, imports of donor sperm flooding in from Denmark, and UK donors terrified of disclosing their identity. Yet nothing could be further from the truth...
02 November 2015 - by Lone Hørlyck 
Egg donors are suing the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology in a class-action lawsuit for setting a 'price cap' on compensation to egg donors...
03 August 2015 - by Ayala Ochert 
Two women in Japan have received eggs from donors who are strangers – the first time this has happened in the country, following approval by an ethics committee earlier this year...
05 May 2015 - by Daniel Malynn 
Annie Caulfield's play has some truly touching moments and clever insights into egg donation...
03 November 2014 - by Sean Byrne 
A national sperm bank set up by a £77,000 grant from the UK's Department of Health has now opened for business....

19 August 2013 - by Cait McDonagh 
The Governor of California, Jerry Brown, has vetoed a bill that would have allowed women to sell their eggs for medical research...
09 July 2013 - by Siobhan Chan 
The majority of egg donors donate for altruistic reasons, although personal benefits such as financial compensation are also a factor, according to a large European study...
29 November 2010 - by Nishat Hyder 
A UK fertility clinic, the Centre for Reproductive and Genetic Health (CRGH), has received permission to import eggs from Russia, in order to meet the demand for donated eggs. Using the Russian eggs, the CRGH, which already imports sperm from Denmark, will create an egg bank for infertile women looking to undergo fertility treatment....
29 November 2004 - by BioNews 
The UK's first 'human egg bank' is set to open this week, according to an article published in the Mail on Sunday newspaper. It is said that the bank will store and offer for sale 'more than 1500 frozen eggs', which 'infertile couples can buy for their hereditary characteristics such...

HAVE YOUR SAY
Be the first to have your say.

You need to or  to add comments.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions


- click here to enquire about using this story.

Published by the Progress Educational Trust

CROSSING FRONTIERS

Public Conference
London
8 December 2017

Speakers include

Professor Azim Surani

Professor Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz

Professor Robin Lovell-Badge

Sally Cheshire

Professor Guido Pennings

Katherine Littler

Professor Allan Pacey

Dr Sue Avery

Professor Richard Anderson

Dr Elizabeth Garner

Dr Andy Greenfield

Dr Anna Smajdor

Dr Henry Malter

Vivienne Parry

Dr Helen O'Neill

Dr César Palacios-González

Philippa Taylor

Fiona Fox

Sarah Norcross

Sandy Starr


BOOK HERE

Good Fundraising Code

Become a Friend of PET HERE and give the Progress Educational Trust a regular donation