Assisted Reproduction Treatments with anonymous egg and sperm donors
What principles rule sperm and egg donation in Spain?
According to the Law 14/2006 on Assisted Reproduction Techniques, Institut Marquès Barcelona offers the possibility of undergoing an egg/sperm donation cycle with anonymous donors. The above mentioned law defines gamete and embryo donation as a free, formal, and confidential contract between the donor and the centre, that must be ratified formally on paper, after having informed the donors about the purpose and consequences of their action.
By law, donors must be in full possession of their abilities and count with good phsyco-physical health.
In Spain, gamete donation is done in accordance with the basic principles of anonymity and altruism. Henceforth, the patient cannot choose nor propose her own donors as the anonymity principle would be broken. Only in female couples undergoing the Shared Motherhood technique can one receive the eggs of the other.
How is the sperm donor chosen?
At Institut Marquès we have our own Premium Sperm Bank and it is always the doctor who personally chooses the best donor for each patient. We have vast experience in donor selection. The protocol of serological and genetic studies of our Andrology laboratory includes, in addition to the mandatory tests appointed by the European legislation, some additional ones to ensure high quality samples. Moreover, we carry out an exhaustive sociological and psychological assessment of the donor. We have more than 2,000 egg and sperm donors of all phenotypes, which speeds up the process and avoids waiting lists.
How do we select egg donors?
We have one of the broadest Egg Donation Programmes in Europe, as well as our own anonymous egg bank. We will find the best donor for every patient. Our donors are young and healthy women who want to help other women to become mothers. Even though donation is anonymous, our team does know the donors and will match the most suitable one for every case.
By law, female donors must be over age 18 and under 35. As with sperm donors, egg donor selection is based on their blood group, Rh, and physical traits, seeking for a resemblance between the donor and recipient couple. Institut Marquès counts with donors of all phenotypes. They are young and healthy women who wish to help other women become mothers. They undergo medical and gynecological check-ups, take a complete blood test including psychological tests, study of the karyotype, tests to discard infectious diseases, and specific tests to discard the most frequent mutations within the European population causing cystic fibrosis.
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Who donates semen or oocytes?
In our Semen and Egg Donation Programme, most of the donors are students who contact our Centre through advertisements placed at the university. They undergo a thorough medical and psychological evaluation to rule out the risk of transmitting an infectious or genetic disease.
Egg donation: is there a waiting list?
Absolutely not. It is almost immediate. Once the required tests are performed, you will have your donor eggs available in 2 to 4 weeks.
Semen donation: does it take a long time?
No. Institut Marquès has its own Sperm Bank. Patients can choose when to start the treatment.
Can the egg donor’s phenotypical characteristics be known?
Yes. You can know everything about the physical characteristics of the donor. However, according to the Spanish legislation, her identity can never be disclosed.
Are the donors selected according to the patient phenotypical characteristics?
Donors are selected according to the physical characteristics and blood group that more closely match those of the couple. Institut Marquès has at your disposal a pool of egg and sperm donors of all phenotypes.
Who are our egg donors?
Young, healthy & sensitive women desiring to help other women experience motherhood. Usually they are people sensitive to social issues. In many cases, they are also blood & organ donors. Note: Catalonia has one of the highest percentages of organ donors in the world. People in Catalonia really want to help others!
Our donors are university students, friends of previous donors for whom the process has been a rewarding experience who had a termination and would like to give another woman the possibility she couldn’t have.
Is donation anonymous?
Yes. Spanish Law stipulates that the details regarding the donors’ identity will be kept safe, sealed and strictly confidential.
Can the donor know the identity of the child?
No. The Law says that donation is anonymous and that the donors do not have the right to know the identity of the child. Neither can the child find out about the donor’s identity.
What are the requirements to be an egg donor?
They need to be physically and mentally healthy with no history of hereditary diseases in their family. In order to make sure of this, our donors have to go through many screening test. First of all, an interview in which a very detailed medical and family history is taken. Then a thorough medical examination, including a gynaechological examination with ultrasounds PAP smears.
If there is no relevant problem in the patient’s medical history and the physical examinations are correct, our donors have a psychological profile done, their karyotypes are studied, infectious diseases ruled out, and the most frequent genetical mutation in the Mediterranean causing cystic fibrosis checked.
Does the donor receive any financial compensation?
Donation is altruistic. However a financial compensation is given to compensate for transportation, nurse assistance, absence from work etc…. In our centre, the amount of this financial compensation is 1000 euros.
Is there any limitation for egg/sperm donation?
According to the Spanish law, a person can donate until 6 babies have been born in Spain as a result from her/his donation.