The number of women using donated eggs has risen sharply in the past 10 years, latest figures show.  There were 1,912 women who had IVF using a donor egg in 2006, compared to 3,924 in 2016, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) said. It attributed the rise to a greater awareness of donation as an option, more donors, and more same sex couples, single and older women using them. The number of women donating their eggs is also on the increase.  Women usually need to be between 18 and 35 to donate their eggs and the process for donating is similar to the early stages of IVF, involving hormone injections and egg removal.  HFEA, the UK fertility industry’s regulator, said there were 3,924 IVF treatment cycles in women using donated eggs in 2016. Of these, the largest group of women using donated eggs was those over 44 years old.  HFEA said about one in three IVF treatment cycles resulted in a birth for patients under 35, with current treatments now 85% more likely to succeed than they were when records began in 1991. Chair Sally Cheshire said: “There are more options these days for people to be able to create their own families. “We have seen an increase in egg donation and sperm donation, and in people who use both.  “Generally there is a greater awareness of donation, we have seen a rise – about a third up – in same sex couples and single women coming forward for donation but it’s important to say that they still represent a very small percentage of the number of IVF cycles that take place.” Under UK law, women cannot be paid for egg donation but can receive compensation of up to £750 per cycle to cover their expenses
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
•    An egg is removed from the woman’s ovaries and fertilised with sperm in a laboratory
•    The fertilised egg is then returned to the woman’s womb to develop
•    IVF worked for the first time on 10 November 1977. On 25 July 1978, the world’s first IVF baby, Louise Brown, was born
•    On average, IVF fails 70% of the time
•    The highest success rates are for women under 35
•    On average, it takes almost four-and-a-half years to conceive with IVF
Founder Alison Bagshawe said: “We get people who are on the bone marrow register, blood donor register, people who just genuinely want to help someone start a family. “They may have actually seen a friend or family member struggling with fertility issues and it’s that which gives them a trigger to find out more and come forward. It’s extraordinary how many recipients we actually have coming to us who didn’t even know they could have the help of an egg donor – that they’ve even got a finite number of eggs and there is a time clock ticking for them, so yes I think people are far more aware now. n”That’s what has changed in the last five years or so, this general awareness that fertility is finite and you need to get on with it.

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