South Africa Vs Spain for Egg Donation?
One of our recipients who has done egg donor treatment in both Spain and South Africa gives us feedback about her experience:
We certainly preferred the South Africa experience. In Spain, all we knew about our donor is her age and blood type, and that they do their best to match our physical characteristics. We had no say in the selection process — it was all up to the clinic. We are advised that there is no hope of ever finding out anything more, even family medical history.
The process too was more difficult, as they prepare the recipient (me) with the hormones, and then once I was ready for the transfer, I am just in a holding pattern, taking medications, waiting for an appropriate donor to also be ready. For me that wait was about 45 days, which was really rough, as the hormones triggered migraines which my usual medication could not control. They said the maximum was 60 days that they would leave you on the meds, but pretty much guaranteed the transfer would happen before then.
Then we received a call about 5 days before the transfer that our donor was ready, but had to wait another two days before knowing if we would do the transfer at day 3 or 5, so it was literally 48 hours notice before we had to be back in Spain for the transfer. It seemed strange (and somewhat disconcerting) that they did not match the donor before the process, but I guess they just keep a pool of donors going through the process so that as soon as one becomes ready, they find the best recipient match for her. I suppose this decreases delays (for example, if the donor isn’t able to produce enough eggs to proceed, another appropriate donor will be available within a few days/weeks), but I would sure prefer the certainty of knowing more about the donor before hand, and not having to stay on the meds that long. Plus the whole process felt much more like a mill: processing as many women as possible in the shortest amount of time. Very little personal treatment.
The reason why we chose South Africa: A large number of donors to select from, the ability to choose our own donor, access to a lot of background information about them, and the potential to have contact with them in the future, English language, transparent regulations for the donor process.
Nurture’s website was excellent and really appealed to us. The very personal approach you take with your registry is wonderful and gave us confidence. We also love that you allowed us to write a note to the donor, and vice versa after the procedure.
The conclusion: If you want to be able to choose your donor, if knowing more than just age and eye colour is important to you – there is no other choice! South Africa trumps all the way.