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Assisted Reproduction

Page 5 of 7

Sperm and Egg Donation

What is sperm and egg donation?

When it is not possible to use the couple's own sperm or eggs, third party donation is an alternative. The eggs or sperm are well selected and medically controlled.

This technique is generally used when the woman has experienced difficulties in becoming pregnant using her own eggs, either due to age or because of medical problems. It is then necessary to use eggs donated by other healthy women who are willing to donate them.  The donors are informed that their eggs will be used for assisted reproduction and it is made clear to the recipient that the eggs are donated. At the medical consultation, the donor must declare that they are acting in their full capacity and that they do not have any congenital, hereditary or infectious diseases that could pose serious risks to the offspring.

The donor is also warned that the donation is free of charge and anonymous, without financial rewards and that they cannot demand payment for the donated eggs.

General requirements for egg donors

Egg donors must be over eighteen and not more than thirty-five years of age, be in good mental and physical health, with no family history of malformations related to chromosomal abnormalities or metabolic disorders, and must not have six or more descendants through either unassisted or assisted reproduction.

Admission requirements

Donors must be subjected to a medical examination, including their personal and family history, which will include a physical examination and the following tests: blood group, Rhesus factor, VDRL or similar test for syphilis, hepatitis screening, marker screening test for HIV, clinical study for the detection of infectious clinical phases of toxoplasmosis, rubella, herpes virus and cytomegalovirus and analysis for the detection of Nisei Gonorrhea and Chlamydia Trachomatis.

How are the eggs obtained? 

Once the donor is accepted, they will undergo hormone treatment to stimulate the ovaries and to produce multiple follicles, which allows a high number of eggs to be collected. The eggs are retrieved from the ovaries by puncturing the follicles. This operation is controlled by ultrasound and is usually done under a general anaesthetic. Then the eggs are prepared and classified in the laboratory. The patient usually remains in the centre for about 6 hours after the puncture.


The process is generally well tolerated and only rarely has complications, the most 
common being hyper stimulation syndrome, which is an exaggerated response to the  stimulation of ovulation. It can be classified into three grades: mild, moderate and severe, the last one being exceptional (1%) and characterised by the accumulation of fluid in the abdomen and even the chest as well as blood coagulation and renal function and / or liver failure, requiring hospitalisation.

Other risks that may occur very rarely: 

  • Genital infection
  • Bleeding
  • Puncture of a loop of intestine or other parts of the anatomy
  • Ovarian torsion
  • Anaesthesia
  • Contamination in the laboratory


For legal information on these services, please refer to the Terms and Conditions provided by your health specialist.

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