[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Spain stands out among other European countries due to the difference in regulations surrounding egg donation. While donors in other countries may not be granted anonymity, it is a requirement in Spain. Patients who use donated eggs (also known as oocytes) or sperm in Spain may never know the name, occupation or any other identifying particulars about the donor. This is a great advantage for selfless individuals who would love to donate genetic material but who do not wish to run the risk of having to assume parental responsibility as a result. These altruistic individuals will be able to help other people, couples and single women alike, to fulfil their dream of having a family. Other benefits include the availability of donated eggs and sperm in Spain. Because donors are compensated for the inconvenience, they can afford to take time off for clinic appointments and donate. Lastly, because of the anonymity, there are vastly more individuals who opt to donate.
Who can donate eggs?
The requirements for egg donors are that they are over the age of 18 but younger than 35; that their genetic history complies with the strictest possible guidelines; and that they are both physically and mentally healthy. Egg donation is anonymous and voluntary, but that does not mean that anybody who applies will be accepted. Potential donors undergo a thorough gynaecological examination, along with a series of tests to check for transmittable diseases such as HIV, hepatitis and syphilis. Only the blood group and age of the donor may be passed on to the recipient of the egg. This protects the donor in the future, and ensures that any offspring that result from the procedure remain with the patient who carries the embryo and gives birth to the child. In Spain, the law states that the patient is the legal parent, not the biological donor.
Who can receive eggs?
In Spain, both couples (including same-sex couples) and single women can undergo fertility treatment with donor sperm and eggs. Infertility causes in women may include: the age of the genetic material (women over the age of 40 in particular have an extremely low chance of natural conception); hereditary factors such as genetic diseases or disorders; and past treatments such as chemotherapy which are harsh on the body. Women who have suffered repeated miscarriages or entered premature menopause may also benefit from egg donation. Using the genetic material of another person, who is healthy and able, is one of the greatest ways to boost chances of conceiving.
Donated eggs are usually fertilised with the male partner’s sperm before the embryo is implanted, but this is not always the case. Same-sex couples and single women can use donated sperm. The regulations and procedures surrounding sperm donation are as stringent as those around egg donation, meaning that the resulting embryo should be of the highest possible quality, giving the patient the best chance possible of conceiving and giving birth to a healthy child.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Women travel from all over the world to undergo IVF treatments in one of IVI’s 28 clinics in Spain. Patients from countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands prefer Spain’s rigorous anonymity laws compared to the laws in their home countries. In these countries, it may be possible for offspring to request donor information either on their 16th or 18th birthdays, meaning that donors do not have the right to anonymity and may even end up with a court order to assume parental responsibility. Patients who prefer to know that their child will always remain only theirs are able to rest easy knowing that Spain’s laws protect them in this regard.
Another reason to opt for fertility treatments involving oocyte donation is that, due to these strict anonymity laws, there is an abundance of donated genetic material in Spain. There should be no waiting list for patients opting for donated eggs. This cuts down the time it takes to go through the procedure significantly, and means that should a cycle fail, another can be started very quickly. For patients dreaming of having or completing a family, this is a great advantage. Other countries often have excellent clinics and statistics, but patients undergoing treatment may face long waiting times in between cycles. This could be an important factor in favour of opting for treatment in Spain, especially for older couples, for whom time is of the essence.
Finally, a major reason why Spain enjoys a great prevalence of egg donors is that they can be compensated for the inconvenience. While it is unethical to pay for donated material, meaning that donated eggs and sperm must be given altruistically, egg donors do receive compensation of between €800 and €1000. This is specifically because the process can be invasive. Donors must attend a clinic to go through rigorous testing, then undergo ovarian stimulation to produce more than one egg with each ovulation. The eggs are collected via ovarian puncture, and the whole process takes between 12 and 15 days. The donor may need time off work, and may incur travel expenses to attend the appointments. Financial compensation is paid only to cover these costs. However, it is enough to encourage healthy, appropriate donors to take the time and go through this procedure in order to help another person have a child.
Travelling to Spain for fertility treatment is increasingly common, especially as further European countries opt to lift donor anonymity. Spain is well-served in terms of air travel routes, making it easy to reach from many countries. There are enough IVI clinics in the country to ensure that waiting times are short and treatment swift. The success rate is high due to high-quality donated eggs and sperm, and patients can expect a well-managed process that is made as stress-free as possible. There are a number of advantages particular to egg donation in Spain, making it the best possible option for many patients.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]