A green graphic representing an embryo

Donor eggs

Donor eggs can provide a way for people to have a baby when a woman can’t use her own eggs. Donor eggs can also help same-sex couples conceive. The eggs are obtained from a known or unknown donor, and are incorporated into the regular IVF process.

Who may need donor eggs?

There are a number of factors that may preclude a woman from being able to use her own eggs. These may include:

Inability to produce her own eggs

A woman may be unable to produce her own eggs due to older age or premature menopause. It may also occur as a consequence of cancer treatment, because chemotherapy and radiotherapy can cause permanent damage to the ovaries.

Poor egg quality

Egg quality is one of the most important factors affecting IVF success. Egg quality declines with age, so older women may require donor eggs in order to achieve a successful pregnancy. Poor egg quality can also contribute to multiple unsuccessful IVF cycles and recurrent miscarriages.

Presence of a genetic disorder

Some women carry a genetic disorder that they do not wish to pass on to their child. If there is potential for this to occur, genetic testing of embryos is often sufficient in order to screen for and prevent inheritance of the disorder. However, in the event that genetic testing is not suitable, the use of donor eggs can be an appropriate alternative.

Gay male couples who want to have a child also require a donor egg, in addition to finding a surrogate.

How can I obtain a donor egg?

There are several ways you can obtain a donor egg:

Known donor
Known donor

You may prefer to find an egg donor from your own social circles, including acquaintances, family and friends. Letting people know about your fertility journey and asking those around you for help can feel scary, but you may be surprised at who is willing to consider donation.

Advertising for an egg donor
Advertising for an egg donor

Some people choose to obtain a donor egg by publishing an advertisement in an online forum or printed material. Before officially publishing an ad, it is a legal requirement to obtain approval by sending a copy of the advertisement to the Department of Human Services.

Through Newlife IVF
Through Newlife IVF

Newlife IVF is dedicated to recruiting egg donors so that you have another means by which you can access a donor egg. Newlife IVF expects to have donor eggs available for use from late 2019.

A yellow and pink shape representing an embryo

What happens once a donor egg is obtained?

Once a donor egg has been secured, the IVF process will continue as usual. The donor egg must be fertilised with sperm. The resulting embryo must then begin to develop and grow. Following these steps, the embryo will then be transferred into the woman’s uterus (womb), in the hope that it will implant in the wall of her uterus and lead to a successful pregnancy.

Where can I find more information?

The information on this page is certainly not exhaustive, and we recommend that you refer to the information provided by the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority (VARTA) to gain a more complete understanding of the issues pertaining to the use of donor eggs. If the use of donor eggs is a suitable option for you, our fertility specialists will also dedicate time to helping you navigate this process.

Becoming an egg donor

Fertile thinking

A place to learn, grow and share

Get in touch

For more information, please call (03) 8080 8933 or complete the below form to request a callback.

Complete form

*Mandatory fields