Couples who have experienced problems trying to conceive, often turn to Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) to help them in their quest to expand their family. Sometimes, they may find that standard IVF is not successful for a number of reasons. If those reasons include a low ovarian reserve, early menopause, or a decrease in embryo quality due to increasing age, they may consider the use of donor eggs.
For some people, using donor eggs is not a big deal. They long for a child, and they are not particularly worried whether that child is only half genetically related to them; or in some cases (when using donated eggs and donated sperm), not genetically related to them at all. Other people may really struggle about making a decision to use a donor.
At Cyprus IVF Centre, we can help ease the pressure in a number of ways. We have some clients who have undergone a ‘Tandem Cycle’, whereby they still try IVF using their own eggs and also have donor eggs, almost as ‘back-up’ in case their own eggs are unable to be used for whatever reason. This is an ideal solution for those people who are not able to fully let go of the idea of trying with their own genetic embryos.
In fact, we recently had one client who underwent a ‘Tandem Cycle’, and is happy to share her story. After years of losses and unsuccessfully trying to conceive, she and her husband decided to try IVF. They had two cycles, one in the United Kingdom, which was unsuccessful, and the second in North Cyprus with Team Miracle, which was successful in as much that implantation occurred, but sadly the embryo did not continue to develop. She had been using her own eggs, but Dr Firdevs suspected they were not developing due to the fact that she was in her 40s and her eggs were most likely not as high quality as they once had been. Our patient seemed to have no problem falling pregnant, as her past had shown, but the issue seemed to be with the ability for the embryo to continue to successfully develop. Dr Firdevs suggested using donor eggs, since our donors are usually aged in their 20s, and therefore their eggs will naturally be of a higher quality. However, our client wasn’t ready to completely give up hope on her own eggs, so she decided on a Tandem Cycle with Team Miracle. She and her husband chose their donor out of a list of six suitable donors, based on the information they had provided. They also opted to have genetic testing done on their own embryos, as well their donor embryos. This was, after all, their last go at IVF. They had reached a place, emotionally, where they were willing to accept that they may need to give up on the dream of having children and focus on the other good things in their life. It turned out that their own embryos were genetically flawed. They all displayed as monoploidy and triploidy, both of which are usually lethal in humans. They reasoned that it was entirely possible that this could have been their issue all along, and immediately they recognised the wisdom in having a donor as ‘back-up’. The treatment was successful and that particular couple are now excitedly preparing for a new life with twins!
For those clients who are quite settled in their decision of using donor eggs, the actual treatment will be slightly more straight-forward for them.
Because egg donation in North Cyprus is completely anonymous, the client will not be given any identifying information about the donor, such as their name, address, or photographic identification. But they will get to know some helpful information to aid them in choosing a suitable donor, such as – age, weight, height, hair colour, eye colour, skin colour, nationality, occupation and education level. Unfortunately, due to the laws in Northern Cyprus, we cannot share photographs of the donors but rest assured that Dr Firdevs will carefully sift through her database of donors and narrow them down to who most closely resembles your physical qualities, and whose blood type is compatible to your own. The final decision about who to choose is up to you, of course, based on the information provided. However, if you find that particular decision-making process too difficult, Dr Firdevs will be more than happy to choose the best fit for you.
It may help you to know how we source our donors. Approximately 60% of our egg donation comes from the student population, of which there are around 100,000 international students currently based in Cyprus. Of course, there are huge benefits to both donor and recipient alike. The donor receives payment for any donation they make, which no doubt helps towards their educational costs, and they also get free health checks, including regular blood tests and scans.
Approximately 30% of our donors come from an international network of donors, owned and operated by professional companies in several different countries. There may be times when one of our clients has specific requests or needs from a donor, and if we cannot find a suitable match from our own database, we will contact these external organisations to see if they are able to help us fit the very best match for our client. Their fee is then charged to us.
The remaining 10% of our donors are altruistic donors, who are willing to donate for absolutely no financial gain. They too are given free check-ups (3-4 times annually) to ensure that their health is of an optimum standard.
All of our donors, regardless of where we source them from, are also re-tested immediately prior to donating. They are only allowed to donate a maximum of four times per year, for their own health benefits. The majority of our donors are exclusive, but they are not legally bound to any one clinic. Our volunteers are just that – volunteers. They are not given incentives (like free holidays), and they are not chosen randomly, from nightclubs and the like. (Both of which, worryingly, has happened in other places!) All of our volunteers are vetted and go through rigorous testing, to ensure a positive outcome for all involved. They are willing to help others, and are happy to work closely with us in order to do so. And that’s what matters to Team Miracle –a happy end result.