Sperm Donation is carried out within the set up of the UKCFA.
The UK Cypriot Fertility Association (UKCFA) is a UK clinic which assists women to achieve a pregnancy using donor eggs from abroad. Our unique partnership with the Cyprus IVF Centre (CIC) an egg donation clinic in Famagusta guarantees UK women fast access to treatment with a World Class Service and outstanding pregnancy rates.
Your treatment is confidential and the donors remain anonymous In addition to the egg donation service, the UKCFA is also a recognised pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) clinic for any indication including ‘family balancing’ , and sex selection services, sometimes known as gender selection services.
The following information, provides a detailed, step by step guide to the Egg Donation process
Stage 1 – Initial Consultation and Registration
Once you have arranged an appointment, our Programme Coordinator in the UK will conduct a consultation with you. You don’t need to be referred to us by a doctor but it sometimes helps. This appointment involves taking a full medical history, discussing your requirements and some basic health checks. If you have been referred to us by your doctor much of this work will have already been completed. If you are attending with a male partner who hasn’t had a recent semen analysis we will also arrange this for you. At this stage it’s important you get answers to all your questions. This consultation is £200.
Once we have assessed your suitability and you wish to proceed, you will need to complete the Donor Characteristics form. This gives us information on the ideal characteristics you require from your donor so we can start the process of finding a range of suitable donors to offer you. If you also require a sperm donor we will follow the same process.
Stage 2 – Choosing your Donor
We will supply you with a choice of suitable donors that match your criteria.
You then select a “First Choice” donor along with a “reserve” donor. This allows flexibility and avoids delays in case the “First Choice” donor does not produce enough number of eggs or for any reason, decides to withdraw from the programme.
Although regulations state that donors must remain anonymous, we will provide you with information on the donor and their immediate families’:
- Body build
- Hair colour
- Eye Colour
- Previous pregnancy
- Country of origin
When you have chosen your donor you will then be asked to complete an agreement between UKCFA, Cyprus IVF Clinic and yourself.
At the same time the donor will be giving her consent to take part in the programme. It is important to note that they are free to modify or even withdraw their consent at any time until the embryos are transferred to the recipient.
Stage 3 – Screening Tests & Counselling
Before you can be matched with an egg donor, the following tests must be carried out, some of which involves us taking some blood from you.
We may be able to perform these tests at your initial consultation to save you time and travel if convenient. It’s quite likely that you will have had some or all of these taken already.
If you have we will need to see the results of these to show they are less than 12 months old. If they are over 12 months old we will need to repeat them.
We also require a letter from your GP stating there are no contra-indications to you carrying a pregnancy. Choosing to undergo egg donation can be a stressful and emotional time.
Every patient who has treatment with us must have had a counselling session. If you have had counselling before, our counsellor is still available at any time, but if you do not require this we will need a letter from your previous counsellor letting us know you have seen them.
If you haven’t had counselling before we will arrange for you to see our independent counsellor to discuss the full implications of undergoing egg donation.
Stage 4 – Consultant Review and Scan
You may choose one of these donors during one of your initial visits, otherwise, by the time you have seen our coordinator, registered for the programme and had your screening tests, our colleagues in Cyprus will be busy finding you a range of suitable donors. At this stage you will have a Consultation with one of our Consultant Gynaecologists.
This meeting will review all of your information so far including your history, your screening results and requirements. You will also have a trans vaginal ultrasound scan examination. This scan is necessary to check the pelvic organs and in some cases we may need to assess your uterine cavity in a more detailed way.
Stage 5 – Your Treatment Plan
You are now ready to start your treatment. Both yours and your donor’s treatment need to be synchronised so you are both ready at the right time. Your Programme Coordinator in the UK will be planning your treatment with your coordinator in Cyprus to ensure things go smoothly.
You will receive a package of medication to your home at a time convenient to you as well as a full treatment plan outlining what to take, when to take it and when to come for a scan. Don’t forget you can phone our programme coordinator anytime if you have questions.
If you are menopausal (i.e. with no periods):
Oral Oestradiol Valerate (Progynova) tablets are given for 10-12 days to thicken the lining of your uterus (endometrium). An ultrasound scan will then be performed to check the endometrial thickness. Progesterone support (Cyclogest) will commence 3-4 days before the embryo transfer to help the endometrium maintain a pregnancy. You will continue to take this after the embryo transfer up to your pregnancy test and beyond to¬ 12 weeks if you are pregnant.
Patients with naturally occurring periods (i.e. not thought to be menopausal)
You may first need to take oral contraceptives before starting treatment. This is so we can control your cycle and time when to progress with other medication.
In order to synchronise both yours and your donor’s cycle for embryo transfer, it is essential to “switch off” your cycle using a long protocol.
- You will need to take Nafarelin (Synarel) nasal spray or a similar preparation such as a one off injection.
- You will then take oral Oestradiol Valerate (Progynova) tablets to thicken the lining of the uterus and Progesterone support (Cyclogest).
This medication regime is continued until a pregnancy test is performed. A more detailed explanation of the medication and any possible side effects will be given to you by your programme coordinator.
At this stage (when you start taking Progynova tablets) you will know with some certainty when you will be going to Cyprus and can therefore arrange your travel and accommodation. It is likely that you will require approximately 7-10 days in Cyprus. If you would like assistance with your arrangements, our travel partner is Green Island Holidays, based at Great Portland Street in London. They are experts in travel to Cyprus and will work with you to tailor make your arrangements for you.
Stage 6 – Preparing your Embryos
After being collected on your arrival in Cyprus you will visit Cyprus IVF Centre where you will meet your Doctor and your Programme Coordinator, who is from the UK. The donor will be ready to have her eggs collected by the next day or so. On the day of egg collection your partner will be required to provide a semen sample which we will use to help create your embryos. If you are using donor sperm, this procedure will also be done at this time. Three days of sexual abstinence is recommended prior to production of the semen samples.
Fertilisation will be achieved by the ICSI procedure in all cases. In ICSI, a single sperm is injected directly into the egg. In this way, the sperm is not required to penetrate any of the barriers surrounding the egg. Once injected, the eggs are incubated for a period of sixteen hours, after which time the embryologist will establish if fertilisation has occurred.
Although ICSI is usually used when sperm quality is low, we have decided that the International Egg donation programme will use ICSI to maximise fertilisation rates.
You will receive a call every day to let you know how many fertilised embryos you have and how they are progressing, as well as letting you know the time to come back to the clinic for your embryo transfer.
You will be guaranteed a minimum number of 10 good quality eggs. This is a guarantee that is not matched by any other donation centre.
Stage 7 – Your Embryo Transfer
The embryo transfer usually takes place 3 days after the egg collection and is a simple procedure similar to a smear test. It may cause some minimal discomfort.
Using a vaginal speculum, the medical consultant exposes the cervix (neck of the womb), which is then cleaned. The culture medium containing the embryos is loaded in a thin plastic tube called a catheter with a syringe on one end. The doctor carefully guides the catheter through the vagina and cervix, and deposits the embryos into the uterus.
We typically transfer two embryos in accordance with UK regulations. We are aware that multiple pregnancies are associated with an increased risk of miscarriage and complications during pregnancy. High quality embryos remaining after the transfer can be frozen for use at a later date.
After your embryo transfer you can return home to the UK and continue your normal daily activities, although prolonged strenuous exercise or activity is not recommended. The embryos are quite safe within the uterus and you can walk, bathe, shower and undertake normal daily activities. Sexual intercourse can be resumed whenever you feel like it.
For fourteen days following the embryo transfer you should continue to take Oestradiol Valerate (Progynova) as before, plus daily progesterone (Cyclogest).
Stage 8 – Your Pregnancy Test
On the fourteenth day after your embryo transfer it is essential to perform a pregnancy test with an early morning urine sample. This is the first opportunity to find out if implantation has been successful or not.
If the pregnancy test is positive:
Your medication regime is followed until the 12th week of pregnancy.
It is important to continue the medication. We will arrange a scan for you in order to confirm the number of embryos which have implanted and to monitor the foetal heart beat at seven weeks’ gestation.
If the result is negative:
You must continue on the medication for two further days and then repeat the pregnancy test. If the result is again negative all drugs must be stopped. After the onset of the next period, you should return to your natural cycle.
Please note that whatever the result, UKCFA will continue to provide help, advice and support. Our programme coordinator is available to provide this service.
We advise patients who have a negative test to have a follow up consultation with our Consultant Gynaecologist.
This appointment is free of charge.
For more information please use our contact form
Mr Gazvani will be happy to provide you with an answer.