Bring Hope to a Childless Couple This Easter
April 15, 2009
Bourn Hall appeals for egg donors as waiting list grows
Bourn Hall – the world’s first ‘test tube’ baby clinic – is making an Easter Appeal for egg donors. The number of childless women waiting for egg donation has crept up again and the clinic is hoping to repeat the success of an appeal three years ago, which resulted in more than a dozen women volunteering and the subsequent birth of 10 babies.
One in seven couples seek medical help at some stage in their lives in order to achieve a pregnancy. For some women, an egg donated by another is their only hope of achieving a pregnancy and ultimately a family.
Unfortunately there is a shortage of donors in the UK and many women still don’t know that it is possible to donate their eggs.
“It is sometimes difficult to convey to others what egg donation means to a couple desperate to have a baby, and cannot” says Dr Thomas Mathews, Medical Director at Bourn Hall Clinic.
“There are groups of women for whom only the donation of an egg can fulfil their hope of motherhood. These include women that have undergone premature menopause, those that have had chemotherapy, where there is a high risk of inherited disorders or where poor egg quality has resulted in recurrent treatment failure. These women will only be able to conceive if they are given donated eggs.
“Naturally, egg donation needs careful consideration, but for those that do go ahead it can be a life enhancing decision.”
The need for donated eggs is increasing as fertility declines after the late 30s, which is the time when most couples begin to realise that they may have a problem conceiving.
The clinic has a waiting list of 100 couples, some of whom could have to wait 2 years for a suitable donor. The numbers of women donating eggs has fallen drastically over the last few years.
Bourn Hall is hoping that an appeal at Easter – a time of new beginnings – will encourage more women to consider how they could help these childless couples.
Gillian Bellars, egg donation coordinator, explains that she gets to know the couples on the waiting list personally: “We get to know these couples well, one husband called me around the 22nd of each month, every month for 2 years before I could give him the good news.”
“One woman donating her eggs can help up to two couples, depending on the number of eggs produced. Some couples may receive enough eggs to have a fresh embryo transfer, with spare embryos to freeze for future treatment if required.
Ideally egg donors will have completed their families or decided not to have children, but as Gillian explains, all kinds of people come forward: “Often it is because they know of a friend or relative who can’t conceive, and want to do something to help them. In these cases the eggs can be donated anonymously to other couples on the list, which would move their friend/relative up the list.”
To donate you need to be healthy and aged from 18 to 35. The eggs are donated anonymously and unlike adoption the recipient becomes the ‘birth mother’. Donors can be told, on request, if a birth has resulted from their donation. Full information about all aspects of donating eggs is given and Gillian talks it all through with the potential donor before that person needs to make a decision. The clinic is able to provide a generous allowance for expenses.
The need for the campaign arose when a change in legislation in 2005 meant that donor anonymity was removed when any resulting child reached 18 – this halved the number of donors coming forward and extended waiting times.
Dr Mathews concludes: “The donation of eggs to help a couple have a child is one of the most generous gifts anyone can give. Many donors feel a sense of pride, knowing the joy they have brought to people who could not have otherwise become parents.”
Please contact Gillian Bellars on 01954 717221.
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- 19 October - Baby Breagha ‘brightens every single day’ says mum
- 24 July - Professor Edwards ‘New Elizabethan’ and his Living Legacy
- 30 April - Where do Two Million Eggs Go?
- 24 April - Bourn Hall Supports Orchid, Male Cancer Charity
- 22 February - Bourn Hall Clinic Adds New Dimension to Baby Scan Services
- 08 December - Bourn Hall to Host New Support Group
- 05 December - Bourn Hall Welcomes Egg and Sperm Donor Discussion
- 29 November - IVF Success Rates Now Higher Than Nature
- 30 September - Excellent NHS IVF Success Rates
- 22 September - Bourn Hall Runners Raise Funds for Rosie
- 23 August - Infertility is a Health Issue Warns New Bourn Hall Medic
- 23 August - Bourn Hall International Opens First Overseas Clinic
- 04 August - Queen’s Honour for Bringing Joy to Millions
- 15 June - Bourn Hall Baby Makes Mother’s Day
- 15 June - Bourn Hall Doctor Takes on the Great Wall
- 01 April - ‘Bang Goes The Theory’ Explains the Science of IVF
- 20 October - Louise Brown’s Generation Celebrate ‘Father of IVF’
- 06 October - Professor Robert Edwards Awarded Nobel Prize
- 21 April - Bourn Unwraps its Colchester Clinic
- 04 November - Bourn Hall Announces its New Baby
- 07 October - Norfolk First With IVF Outreach Centres
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- 15 April - Bring Hope to a Childless Couple This Easter
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- 02 October - Prof Edwards, Co-Founder of Bourn Hall Clinic, is ‘Pride of Britain’
- 15 July - Founders Day: 30 Years of IVF
- 21 May - Your Mum, Not IVF, Determines Age of Menopause
- 27 June - Bourn Hall Clinic Thrilled By Response of Local Women to Egg Appeal
- 27 June - Bourn Hall Goes Home and Away to Cut IVF Waiting Times
- 27 June - Easter Egg Sharing to Give Couples Hope of New Life
- 21 June - Record IVF Success for NHS Funded Patients
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- 06 September - Bourn Hall Management Team Secures Buy-Out From Serono
- 06 September - Best Ever Take-Home-Baby Rates and a Renewed Focus
- 23 April - Bourn Hall Launches Easter Dozen Appeal
- 11 April - Easter Dozen Appeal With World’s First Interactive Poster
"And here she is ...the lovely Louise"Public announcement of the birth of the first IVF baby, Daily Mail 27th July 1978
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