“Altruistic – an act done purely to help another person, unselfish concern for the welfare of others.”
Many people ask me why I am donating my eggs altruistically and what I get out of it… well, nothing apart from the most rewarding, incredible feeling of giving something to someone that they so desperately long for, which they cannot get on their own.
So, why did I decide to donate my eggs?
My husband and I are unable to have children of our own. The main reason is that he has the condition Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and unfortunately is in the small percentage of CF men who do not produce any sperm. For other gynaecological reasons, I am unable to carry a pregnancy, therefore there are no fertility treatments available to us. Which brings me onto that word that we have in common with many couples that we donate to – infertility! It took a long time to come to terms with, but many years down the line, I feel at peace with our situation. However, I could never forget that raw feeling of infertility.
This is why I decided to donate my eggs. For some women, being a mother is the only thing that will make their lives complete and to not be able to have that is absolutely heartbreaking for them. If I could save a couple from having to face a life without children, then that is what I wanted to do. I wanted to make someone’s dream come true and donating my eggs gave me the potential to do exactly that.
I live in the UK, where egg donation is completely altruistic – to help another person with no financial reward. I was pleased when I first discovered this. I knew that in other countries, women receive compensation and can even decide the amount they receive… I have read of some receiving unthinkable amounts such as $10,000 or more for an egg donation cycle! I don’t agree with this at all. Maybe it is because I am coming from an incredibly unique background. Most egg donors are already mothers and have completed their families. I have not found any other donors who are donating due to the own infertility.
If I reversed the situation and my husband and I were the ones hoping to receive donated eggs, would we be able to afford something like £10,000 for eggs, on top of the large fees for IVF? No, absolutely not. I would hope that someone would want to help us simply for the sake of being able to help.
I think what makes donating in the UK unique is the compassion and gratitude that donors are shown by all involved. Never once during my cycle did I feel like I was being ‘farmed’ for eggs, which I know donors in other countries have felt. I was thanked endlessly by my egg donation agency, the clinic and even my recipient couple who wrote to me anonymously. With every phone call, appointment and my egg retrieval procedure, I was made to feel incredibly special which, ultimately, is the only compensation I needed.
Initially, me, my family and friends were concerned that I would find the process too emotional, although I knew I wanted to try or I would always regret it. I actually think that I dealt with things pretty well. I have learned a lot about myself through donating. I discovered that my body is a lot stronger than I thought it was and I am a lot stronger emotionally than I ever thought I could be.
I am so pleased that I decided to follow my instinct when first thinking about donating eggs. It is easily, the most wonderful, rewarding and incredible journey I have ever embarked on! How can anyone put a price on giving someone the raw ingredients they need for their own little bundle of baby love? I think we would all agree that a childs’ love, whether we are parents, aunties, uncles or friends, is absolutely priceless!
“Love is something if you give it away, you end up having more!”