Donating my eggs was something that I really wanted to do

Shona knows how fortunate she is. She had two children before she was 23, unlike her own mother who tried for nine years to have her and a sister who lost several pregnancies before successful fertility treatment. So, now Shona is giving her eggs to bring good fortune to another couple.

“I would love to know if my eggs enable another woman or couple to have a family of their own. I mean that would be such an amazing thing, wouldn’t it?” says Shona, who is sharing her story to encourage more people to consider egg donation.

She explains her decision: “There is ten years between me and my middle sister, my mum had tried for nine years before having me and so I am the ‘special one.’ My eldest sister had several miscarriages before having fertility treatment, so the experiences of infertility in my family was very much a driving force behind my decision to become an egg donor.

“Me and my husband have four children between us, and our family is complete. I felt as though it was a ‘waste’ of my eggs if I didn’t help someone else have a family too.

“I started looking into egg donation when I was about 25. I think I had originally thought that egg donation was an ‘American thing’ and that you couldn’t do it in this country.  But Bourn Hall came up in my searches and there is a clinic near me in Norfolk so I contacted them. They were brilliant and provided me with so much information that I didn’t even think about going anywhere else.

“My husband was a bit unsure at first, he didn’t really know anything about egg donation, so we sat down together and looked through all the information.

“There were a lot of forms to fill out, my husband had to give his consent too, and I had to have a lot of tests.”

Donating my eggs was something that I really wanted to do

There are many people in the UK who need help from an egg donor to give them the chance of starting a family. We need amazing women to help make this possible. Find out more about egg donation at Bourn Hall.

One of the tests revealed that Shona would respond well to the medication used to stimulate the ovaries to produce mature eggs. So, the doctor explained that they would need to adjust the medication and closely monitor the follicles containing the growing eggs.

“He said that I might have more swelling and feel a little more tender than most women donating.  I discussed this with my husband, and we agreed that I would proceed as it was something I really wanted to do.

“Then we had a counselling session, both of us together, with one of Bourn Hall’s independent counsellors. My husband had more questions than me because he was thinking about what might happen in the future. The counsellor was good at answering them and this helped to make him feel more included in the process and the decision-making.”

Shona felt a bit daunted by the thought of injections, but Bourn Hall provided a video to show how to do it that ‘was brilliant.’ Her ovaries were scanned regularly until the eggs were the right size for collection.

“First time around they retrieved 36 eggs! I think they were able to freeze 27. When I left Bourn Hall, I felt amazing thinking about how someone else might be able to experience a flicker of hope of having a family.

“The only thing I worried about when I got home was telling my younger child, who can be a bit boisterous, not to jump on me because I felt a bit sore and tender.

“About a year later I contacted Bourn Hall again to book a second donation. I volunteered, Bourn Hall hadn’t put any pressure on me, I just thought ‘I am fit and healthy, so why not do it again?’

“Second time around felt like a much quicker process. I had blood tests and we had to do all the consents again. The staff were brilliant, they made sure I was comfortable, they put me at ease, it was smooth sailing. I couldn’t have asked for a better team to have done the procedure, the nurses before and after were brilliant and they’re just so appreciative as well. And that made me feel that I was doing a good thing.

“We decided to tell family members this time.  Donating eggs is not something you hear about that often, so people just don’t really know about it. My mum was a bit concerned at first but when I told her how I wanted to give a gift of life, she was on-board.

“I would love to know if my eggs enable another woman or couple to have a family of their own. I mean that would be such an amazing thing, wouldn’t it?

“I am 28 now and very open with people about having donated my eggs.

“I say to other women who ask me about egg donation that if they are still young, have had their children and are happy with their lives and healthy, they could be in the same position as me to give some of their eggs to someone else who needs them.

“And my advice to anyone seriously considering it is ‘do your research’; not just about the procedure but what happens in the future, find a clinic you are comfortable with, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and make sure you have got a good support system in place.”

Names have been changed for confidentiality.

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