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Fertility Network UK
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Donor Eggs?? 🍳

Hi All

I’ve had 2 rounds of icsi with no success and have my follow up appointment on Thursday. I’m 42 and although my AMH was ok for my age I have geriatric eggs (their words, not mine🤦‍♀️). I have to be realistic that it may not work with my eggs and time and money are running out.

I have a couple of questions for those who opted for donor eggs-how do you decide when to give up on your own and go for donor.

How do you cope with the thought that any resulting baby won’t be genetically yours? I always hear people say ‘he or she looks just like you’ to a new mother and as the child gets older. Is this really something I should be worried about or am I overthinking??

Any help and advice re donor eggs would be much appreciated. Thanks.x

40 Replies

Don't you just love the geriatric term... I know what they mean but it's a bit insulating! I couldn't believe it when they used it with me! Anyway I have a dear friend who was single at 45 & desperate to be a mother. She went to Spain for IVF & had a gorgeous baby girl via donor egg in April. For her, the odds of IVF working with her own eggs was really low & she said it was obvious for her to use DE. She did say she wished she had of tried IVF when younger with her own eggs but the situation is what it is. Once pregnant she felt it was her baby from the start & hasn't ever felt strange about it. She says it's her daughter & she doesn't think it matters at all that she used DE. She made the point of adopted children not being biologicaly related to the parents but they are whole heartedly loved all the same. I think if it was me, I'd take time to decide what I was really comfortable with & go from there. Wishing you lots of luck 😘 x


Thanks Gracie-I suppose it’s just the disappointment that my own eggs might not do it -but this journey wouldn’t be anything if it wasn’t full of disappointment!! Thanks for your reply.xx


I'm 42 and about to have a donor egg cycle in Spain next month.

We had 4 rounds of IVF with my own eggs. Only got one pregnancy but miscarried. My AMH was amazing for my age when we first started but it still didn't work. We had <5% chance of cycles working with my own eggs but have 70% chance for the 1st round in Spain.

It just felt right for us to switch to a donor and we didn't want to keep throwing money at a pointless situation. We also want to get on with our lives and this means having a family by whatever means. My sister has an adopted daughter and she has never had a problem bonding.

The clinic in Spain try to match my looks. I look quite Spanish anyway so it was one reason to go there. This may just help stop the daft comments from people if the child at least looks a bit like me.

Good luck with your decision.



Thanks Mantaray-what stage are you at with the Spanish clinic? Do you mind me asking when or how often you need to be over there -is it cheaper to do in Spain than the UK?

I think given you had 4 cycles you know you gave it a good go with your own eggs. I think I may try one more with mine -I’ll see tomorrow if the clinic have any suggestions on how to do things differently next time but they’ve never told me what they think my chances of success are (and up to now I’ve been scared to ask!)

Good luck in your journey.x


I am now on the pill to try and sync with the donor. My husband will go to Spain in a week or so to give a sample as they prefer to have frozen sperm in case there are problems getting a sample on the day. This way we don't have to be in Spain for fertilisation.

We live in New Zealand and only arrived in the UK yesterday to see family and friends and have this treatment.

The plan is that we will both go to Spain next month for the embryo transfer at blastocyst stage. They obviously can't tell us the exact date when we need to be there until egg collection.

In theory we should only need to be in Spain a few days.

It is cheaper than the UK (and NZ), no waiting list and young donors because it is anonymous. Some people don't agree with the anonymous thing and although its a bit weird that some woman is currently going through IVF for us its a kind of protection for me. We will obviously explain the situation to the child early on.



Wow-good luck!! I have everything crossed for you.xx


I tried 3 times in the UK with my own eggs and started ivf when I was 38. I was told I had premature ovarian failure at the start by a lovely doctor over the phone who had not read my notes. Anyway labels are labels and being now a geriatric myself I can understand how appalled you would feel when they say that to you. Most medical professionals I speak with laugh about that label and call it daft. I have a friend who was 42 when she did ivf with her own eggs. She got 6 fertilised eggs and took 3 shots with those eggs to end up with her twins. She would not have it any other way. She is so strong and just kept trying.

Myself, I had one fertilised out of 3 harvested the first time, didn't even get to test date. The second round I harvested 2, both fertilised, both transferred and again didn't even make it to test day (got my period). The third cycle was cancelled due to lack of response and I was told at that point that I had 0.05% chance of this working with my own eggs. For me then it was a no brainer to go down the donor route.

Nothing is 100% guaranteed to work first time but the odds are much higher with them. You have to do what is right for you. With donor we got 6 eggs. We transferred one in december which was a bfn. I then took time off work to de-stress, went to counselling and took up mindfulness and we tried again. This time we got a very positive bfp - the first time ever. I definitely put it down to stress.

Unfortunately our bfp turned out to not be quite right and we had an anembryonic pregnancy which needed medically managed miscarriage. Currently I am awaiting timing for my next try. But so positive about managing to get a bfp. I just know next time will be our time.

I don't think for me it would have been possible with my own eggs. And also I have heard about epi-genetics. Have a Google. It basically means that there is a theory that whilst the egg may not have been created by your body, certain genes etc will be triggered simply because the baby is growing inside of you and therefore, in that Way, you are contributing to the babies genetic make up.

Whatever you decide will be the right decision for you. It's a long and hard journey but everyone on here is so very supportive through good and bad.

Good luck xxx


Thanks so much for sharing your story. I think I might know when the right time is to give up with my own and look at donor. The epi-genetics thing is really interesting and actually makes sense. I think it might be easier for us ladies to accept donor eggs as we still get to be pregnant and have that connection whereas with donor sperm they must feel quite apart from the process.

Did you go for donor in the UK?

Wishing you all the luck for your next round.xxx


I opted for donor abroad as it seems to be a little cheaper and faster. Also, we get a wee holiday at the same time.

Good luck with your journey. I hope it is successful soon. Xx


Hi Sharon, I’m in a similar decision making delimma. I decided 1 go with my eggs as we only had 10% chance of success then move onto donor. There are so many questions, big ethical ones and no body has the answer. My husband and I have just done a private counselling session which was really useful. There is also the donor conception network online which is great. And of course the lovely ladies on here too who are so knowledgable! Have a read through my posts and feel free to private message me if you want to. Xx


Thanks jengi-the ladies on here are a great source of help and these huge ethical questions are ones you never think you’ll be faced with! I read about your story and glad you’re getting a second go-fingers crossed for you that this one is your time.xx


I am currently 38 weeks pregnant with a DE from Cyprus and believe I don’t feel any different if he was from my egg. I’m making him with my blood and body and feel fine about it xx I’m 40 had 1 nhs go with my egg only got 1 egg and didn’t fertilise it was a no brainier to try DE. north Cyprus is much cheaper than uk xx

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Thanks Blondyboo-and congratulations!! How long did you have to be in Cyprus for? I’m just wondering if I go down that route how I’d juggle it with time off work!


You just need a normal 7 day holiday it really is such an easy relaxing way to have treatment we loved it ! X


I had two rounds with my own eggs but in my 2nd cycle my 2 embies failed to implant, they were good quality and the only two i had. Im going for a tandem cycle in Cyprus with 80% success rate. So im giving my own eggs one last shot and a donor eggs at the same time. If my eggs work i can choose to put my own back in or say 1 of mine and 1 of the donors Xx


Hi One2one. Thanks for sharing your story-and fingers crossed for you.xx

How does it work with your appointments-how do they know you’ll be ready at the same time as the donor? How do you work the logistics of appointments? How often and how long do you have to be over there for? Pm me if easier if you don’t mind! Thanks


This is a very tough decision for people to make and the question you ask was also one of mine.

I had gone through numerous rounds of ICSI with my own eggs and although my AMH levels were as if I was 10 years younger the overall quality of embryos was not great. My hubbies sperm quality was also an issue.

So we decided to go down the donor egg route. We decided to go abroad and there were a number of reasons for that

1) Quicker to get onto a programme

2) Legalities are different in that in the country we went for donors are anonymous (that could be considered good or bad)

So the one thing that I found out in our journey is that something like 20% of your genetic material is transferred during pregnancy (don't quote me on the exact number but there is transfer of genetic material). That helped me a little.

To be totally honest the way that I looked at it was you are the person carrying the child and bringing up the child. You are its MOTHER.

I really do not know if this helps but feel free to PM me.

Good luck in the decision that you ultimately make.


Thanks DC13-it does help and I think I probably just needed the reassurance that you can get on these forums with people going through similar journeys. I’ll see what they say at my appointment today and think I might give it one more go with my own eggs and then move on.

You’ve had a bit of a journey with this-I had read your other posts at the time. What stage are you now?? I wish you all the luck and fingers well and truly crossed.xx

I might pm you if I have more questions after today if that’s ok.x


Totally ok and wishing you all the best with your appointment today. Go in armed with your list of questions and remember no question is a silly question as we are living this.

We had another failed attempt with FET in April and it was the worst cycle ever with my lining and potentially impacted by down regulation. It became a bit of an open ended battle.

I am taking a break and will rethink towards the end of the year mainly as I am totally immersed in cycling activities.

There is some soul searching going on at the moment


Let me know how you get on


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I’m 34 years old and 10 weeks pregnant after our first donor egg cycle in Spain. We made the choice after being told I had premature ovarian failure and one unsuccessful NHS cycle where I failed to produce any eggs. We chose the clinic on recommendation from our NHS consultant who had heard great things from other former patients.

I’m just overjoyed to be pregnant, genuinely feels like I’m growing a miracle. IVI matches your donor on everything from blood type to height. Although a little sad that I won’t be passing on my family’s great looks, this baby is definitely mine and no one will know otherwise unless we choose to tell them.


That’s good to know and thank you for your reply.xx

Congratulations on your pregnancy-do you mind me asking which clinic in Spain you used?


We used IVI Málaga. The process was so fast and much easier than we anticipated. We chose them on recommendation, but also because there is no waiting list, they have the largest egg bank in Europe and it was cheaper than going privately here.

It’s a hard decision to make, giving up on your own eggs and the chance at a child that’s genetically yours, but you do get past it. Really what we all want is a family. It ends up not really mattering how we get there.


It is a hard, hard decison to make. We had done 3 cycles with my own eggs (discount the first one) so 2 really. Although I got a decent amount of eggs we only got 3 blastocysts from the 2 cycles. When we had our review the consultant bascially said my age was the problem and in turn yes my eggs were old too (started at 38, 39 by this point and now 40). We just felt that the costs involved along with the statistics that it was crazy to throw money at my own eggs as we had only a 5% chance (as per NHS consultant). Much better stats with DE but of course there is no guarantee. The other thing you mentioned is the thing that if a baby looks or doesnt look like you, that was what I felt most sad about. However as my husband said there's no guarantees that if you have a baby that it will look anything like you, his sister looks nothing like their mum....not one little bit which was a pretty good point. We decided to go abroad for various reasons but the most important thing was we got 6 top quality blastocysts, no pregnancy as of yet. Ive got an article that I read that helped me get my head around things....will PM you with it! Good luck with your decision.xx


Thanks Cinderella.x

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Its true that you can influence the genetic make up of the child. You won't transfer your genes but your uterine environment can influence which genes are 'switched on' and how fully a certain gene might be expressed in the baby.

I was talking about this with my sister yesterday who went from IVF to adoption. For me, I want to be pregnant and have that common experience. Even though they got their little girl when she was 6 months, my sister said that she will never get to experience that 'day 1'.


Honestly , when you have that bump and feel the baby kick inside, all these questions will disappear.

After going through many cycles with IVF my wife using her own eggs , we moved onto donor eggs. Get counselling , which really helped with the impact of the decision.

My wife is currently 20 weeks, and going to scans etc , it really just becomes about the baby, and just about the baby- your see how foolish the idea of will the baby look like me, or coping with the baby not being genetically related when you feel the baby kick as your laying in bed or go to a scan and see the baby move around, inside you.

The bigger question is the lie that donor is a magic cure, our doctor ( who we stuck with at our private clinic through many cycles) told us many places including his own clinic tell you of great success rates, but this is to get a BFP after the 2WW.

In reality to get a live birth, the chances are nowhere near 80% , in fact you'll have more like 45-55% chance of actually getting pregnant AND taking a baby home , as long as you prepare for that. You should also prepare it may never work and consider adoption, it will avoid heartache further down the road if you are prepared for all possible outcomes.

Ultimately for us, we wanted a baby more than some blend of us, its easier for me to say all this as my sperm was used, but before we did this donor egg, we tried donor sperm ( reading somewhere that older women's eggs respond better to young healthy sperm) (this didn't work) and it was around then I think we both knew a baby was more important than if it was related on some genetic level.

Best of luck to you



Thanks Billy-and congratulations!

Some great food for thought there-the success rates clinics give can be really confusing and difficult to understand. I’ll see what they say today at my follow up and go from there really. Hubby is away at the moment so I think this weekend could be spent doing some soul searching and thinking where we go from here.

Congrats again.x


Thanks Sharon, if you aren't ready to move to donor, then try again with your own eggs, its a decision only you can make as you have to do the hard work! As a husband, I was happy to keep going if my wife really wanted to continue,but she didn't, it was baby above all the other stuff.

If you have the money and the stamina to go through another cycle with your own eggs, just do it, if it works great, if not you can go to donor knowing you're ready.

Another thing to consider is your the same age as my wife and really its the ceiling to try with your own eggs unfortunately , but donor eggs can be used with good results in women 43, 45, even 50 and it doesn't really bear much towards if it works.

Our doctor (once we had tried many times with my wife's own eggs, moved us onto natural cycles , they are meant to be slightly better for 'older' women. Our last cycles prior to donor egg, were natural cycles trying sperm donor.

If your partner is the issue (low sperm count, its maybe a 'third way' before you try donor eggs. The best thing is to discuss this all with your doctor and partner what they think and arrange some counselling together. Being a typical man, i was against couple counselling, but in the UK at least, we had to do it for donor egg or sperm.

Just don't give up and you will get there!



Thank you. Although it’s my partner who is the problem-low count and mobility (hence icsi) he is dead against sperm donor. We were initially told there was no sperm at all a few years ago and he put a stop to our journey when we started talking donor sperm. I’m gently persuading him donor eggs are acceptable!

Can I ask which clinic you went to and how you decided on that?


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Hi Sharon, I PM you the name of the clinic.

We stuck with the same clinic we had used for our 'regular' ivf cycles, the same thing when we switched to donor eggs. All private clinics have partners here and abroad to get donor eggs, so I'm not sure if switching around clinics is much help for donor eggs. If you're using your own eggs, it may be worth researching one that is popular with women over 40 and I was told natural cycles was seem to get better results than stim cycles, our best eggs always came from natural cycles.

Best of luck xx


For me the story was different. When my AMH and FSH results came back, my AMH was extremely low and my FSH was high. I had a poor ovarian reserve. The first thing the doctors said when I told them I wanted to give IVF a try was that it probably won't work. The chances of success were low and similar to that of conceiving naturally. In addition to that, they said even if IVF worked the chances of MC were very high. So I was suggested that I opt for DE. Due to this reason, I knew that the only option I had was this. It is a tough decision, one that was hard to make. However, the desire to have children is much higher. The clinic I have decided to opt for has a database of donors. So I would be choosing my own donor. I am still very new to the procedure. I hope everything goes well. Good luck to you as well!


Hi Angel-I guess the decision was almost taken out of your hands. It’s all just so overwhelming!

Do you mind me asking which clinic you’ve gone for?

Good luck for everything.xx


BioTexCom. Thank you. xx


We are in a really similar position, 42, good AMH and two unsuccessful rounds of ivf with unexplained infertility. We also struggling to decide whether to complete the last round of a multi cycle package with own eggs, or opt for donor eggs. We’ve written pros and cons, I’ve read books, had counselling, meetings about donor eggs with two different clinics. I feel positive about using donor eggs and more optimistic about the chances of a baby through this route but I can’t help feeling another round with my eggs would at least give me closure on having that genetic link. It’s really tough. Good luck with whichever route you choose xx


Hi-yes-sounds like we’re both at the same stage. I had always thought I’d definitely do another round (at least one!) with my own eggs but I guess I have to be realistic. I would want to progress with donor eggs but I think my other half might take a bit more persuading to be honest. Did you have couples counselling?

When are you due to start your next round?


We have had some counselling sessions together and it has really helped. We’re starting our final round with my own eggs next month. Good luck in your journey, it’s really tough isn’t it? Xx


I cant help with personal experiences, sorry. However I would recommend visiting an amazing site with tons of materials - eggdonationfriends com xx

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My LG is a result of DE. I went through all the motions, worry,fear, every question imagineable!!

And I can honestly say now I never even think about it, it’s not an issue she’s our perfect little girl. We only told parents & siblings so loads of people tell me she looks like me aswell as her Dad and she defo has some of my traits. Best decision I ever made and wouldn’t change a thing xx

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Thanks Button and congrats.xx I guess people see what they think they should (to be honest I never see the similarities in babies to their parents! But I suppose as they get older it’s sometimes more obvious)

It’s good to know you probably had the same worries as me before so it’s reasurring to hear all these other experiences. Thank you.x


Hi Sharon! My husband and I decided to opt for donor eggs after our 4th failed round in November. I was told my eggs were just no good, no particular reason, just tough luck! They said we could give it one last shot with a different protocol, but we’d only had weak blasts and I couldn’t take anymore pain, so we stuck with my clinic and went with their egg bank, chose a donor at New Year, and had a transfer in the Feb, sadly had a chemical, but now I’m 4wks +6 with DE round 6! I was worried at first, talking to the ladies on here really helped, and my counsellor. But I can honestly say the second those eggs were fertilised with my husbands chaps I felt like they were completely mine! PM me if you’d like details of my clinic. We wanted to stay in London as felt it important that our child (all being well, fingers crossed, touch wood!) should be able to access their donor if they wish to. Also check out research on epigenics, really helped! Good luck xxxxxx


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