Egg, sperm and embryo donation


For some women with certain health conditions the only way they will be able to become pregnant is with the assistance of donated eggs, sperm or embryos (donated eggs and sperm which have fertilised).


Egg donation

Eggs may be donated from either a known or unknown person. The egg donor must take hormone treatment to increase the number of eggs that are normally produced. The eggs are then collected and fertilised with the partner’s sperm in the laboratory and the resulting embryo is transferred to the uterus.

Egg donation may be needed for the following reasons

  • A woman is infertile because her own ovaries do not produce eggs, ie: due to premature menopause, following chemotherapy treatment for cancer.

  • A woman has a known genetic disorder, or is a carrier to a genetic disorder that may be passed to her children.

  • A woman has had her ovaries removed, or was born without ovaries.

  • A woman who has had several unsuccessful IVF cycles where the problem has been attributed to her eggs.

Issues to be considered before donating or receiving eggs.

Before committing yourself to treatment, here are some questions for you to consider.

• What is the current status of the law regarding donation of eggs?

• Who are the legal parents of the child?

• Are records kept of the donor and recipient couple?

• How do you feel knowing that the child would be able to have access to identifying information on the donor at the age of eighteen?

• Is fertilisation and pregnancy guaranteed?

• How many times can a donor donate?

• Can you donate eggs directly to your friend or relative?

We do not recommend egg donation before the donor’s own family is complete because of the possibility of damage to the reproductive tract making future conception for the donor more difficult as well as the increased possibility of subsequent regret.

There is no guarantee that the eggs collected will fertilise or result in a pregnancy, even if the donor has had previous pregnancies and children.

It is essential to remember that the donor and recipients are individuals; therefore treatment will vary from person to person.  It can be misleading to compare your treatment with others.

Please contact Westmead Fertility Centre on 8890 7484 and speak with one of the Oocyte Donor Program Co-ordinators between 9.00 am and 3.00 pm, Monday to Friday if you have any questions.


Sperm donation

Couples use donor sperm when the male partner has no sperm or a very poor semen analysis (e.g. low sperm count, poor ability to move and abnormally shaped sperm) or when there is a genetic problem that could be inherited from the male.

Embryo donation

Embryo donation may be an option if a couple requires both egg and sperm donation.

There are many factors to consider, including legal and emotional issues before you commit to using donated eggs, embryo or sperm. Both donors and recipients are required to see the Westmead Fertility Centre (WFC) counsellor to discuss the many issues involved. Donors receive no financial gain, consideration or similar benefit from donation.

Attend a free information seminar
Westmead ButtonWestmead Doctor, IVF clinic
When: Wednesday 28 November 2018
Time: 6pm
Where: Westmead Hospital