Egg donation shortage in UK leaves infertile couples struggling

Since the early 1980’s, infertile couples around the world have turned to donor eggs in hopes to achieve pregnancy.

But in the United Kingdom, that option is becoming more and more difficult. According to a recent story in the London Evening Standard, over 500 couples in London alone are currently waiting for a donor egg.

The reason for this wait time, experts say, is that fewer women are donating their eggs every year in the UK. And with nearly one in every seven couples struggling with infertility, the shortage is easy to understand.

“Unfortunately, due to a shortage of donors, the average wait for an egg across the London region is approximately two and a half years with the length of wait increasing year on year,” fertility expert Lara Peterkin told the Evening Standard.

Peterkin said that there exists a lack of awareness about egg donation as well as the urgent need for donors.

“Many women simply don't realize that donors are needed or that they themselves could become a donor,” she said.

Because of this shortage, Peterkin’s group at King’s College Hospital in London has started an egg donor registry called “Give Hope, Give Life.” This organization is aimed at increasing awareness of egg donation and encouraging women to sign up as donors.

Meanwhile, in the United States, the egg donation business seems to be going strong. According to a 2006 story in USA Today, around 10,000 children are born each year in the US from egg donation and approximately $38 million is spent compensating donors. '

Embryo Adoption [with an average cost of $12,000.00], a relatively new alternative for infertile couples, is generally much less expensive than egg donation. Couples who are considering egg donation have already determined that they are willing to give birth to a child who may not be genetically related to them – especially if they use donor semen as well.

The cost of donor eggs is high, not only is the woman donating her eggs compensated for her participation, there is the additional medical expense for the egg retrieval and subsequent embryo transfer.

The embryo adoption process includes embryos which have already been created and are waiting in frozen storage for use. Why created more embryos when there are existing embryos available? You can read more about this unique adoption and fertility option at the Embryo Adoption Awareness Center: www.EmbryoAdoption.org.

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