Who might use an egg donor?

There are a range of people who may benefit from having an egg donor.

Women are born with all of the eggs they will ever have and the quantity and quality of those eggs lessens over time.

Some women may have the potential to carry a baby to term, but they have a low egg reserve, or their eggs are of a poorer quality. This may be down to age, or due to treatment for cancer or other medical conditions. Using an egg donor for IVF treatment, can significantly increase the chances of these women being able to conceive.

Where can I find an egg donor?

Your fertility clinic may have a database of donors, or you may go through an agency. Agencies can have a wider choice of donors, meaning that you may be able to choose one with certain physical characteristics.

Other options are to ask someone that you know to be an egg donor for you. If you choose to do this using fresh eggs, you and the donor will have to synchronise your cycles by taking hormones. Generally, frozen eggs are used, so that genetic testing can take place.  

All donor sneed to pass a psychological and medical screening before being allowed to donate their eggs – it is a lengthy screening process. The egg harvesting is done using fertility medication to stimulate the ovaries to mature numerous eggs, then a trigger injection, before eggs are retrieved, under light sedation.

How much will I have to pay an egg donor?

An egg donor in the UK is not allowed to accept payment, however, you will be required to compensate them for their expenses.

‘It’s illegal to pay for egg donation in the UK. Egg donors can receive compensation of up to £750 per donation ‘cycle’ to cover their costs (a donation cycle is one complete round of treatment, at the end of which the eggs are collected and donated).’ (HFEA)

Will my egg donor have any rights to a baby born using her eggs?

They won’t have parental rights, the person who gives birth will be registered as the mother

If you give birth to a child, you’re always considered the legal mother in UK law even when using a donated egg.’

It is important to be aware, however, that your child could end up meeting the donor in the future:

‘Due to changing laws and private organisations that aim to connect donors with their offspring, there is also a possibility that you or your child could end up meeting or hearing from the donor in the future even if you originally decided to use an “anonymous”donor

For example, The Donor Sibling Registry helps connect donor off spring to their genetic siblings and even to the donor. This can occur regardless of whatever original contract was signed.’ (Very Well Family)

Here at The IVF Network, we understand that everyone’s IVF journey will be different. We aim to provide a wide range of information, through our dedicated channel of experts, our website and our blog posts, so that you can make informed choices on your personal IVF journey.


‘Donating your eggs’ HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority)



‘Finding an egg donor,’ by Rachel Gurevich, RN, Updated 1/2021 Medically reviewed by Leyla Bilali, RN   Very Well Family



‘Legal rights for egg and sperm donors,’ Gov.UK



‘Using a Donor Egg to Get Pregnant’ by Kathleen Felton, medically reviewed by Mark Payson, MD, 12/2022 What to expect