• Is Egg Freezing a good idea?

    It’s common practice to freeze some extra eggs recovered from an Egg Donor (assuming that they meet set medical standards), for your future use if necessary. Although use extensively, it’s still early days and successful pregnancy rates are still much lower than when you use donated eggs immediately as they are recovered.

    ICSI is usually used to fertilize frozen eggs after thawing.

  • Why should I choose ababySA.com?

    We care about one thing only – professional services to the special groups with whom we work: Egg Donors, Recipients and Clinics. We have plenty of experience in managing the process of Egg Donation and – at the end of the day – it’s all about a successful pregnancy. It’s about you, not us.

    We want, manage and support committed, high-quality Donors; we provide these special people to you, our Recipients with empathy and an understanding of your special circumstances and we support busy Fertility Clinics with properly-screened, responsible and committed people.

     

  • I don’t know much about South Africa. Where do I start? Can you help?

    This is a great place. It’s modern and African, with world-class infrastructure and top-skilled medical professionals. It’s a diverse country of enormous possibility, in convenient time zones and with outstanding scenery. Start here

  • Will the procedure work?

    60-70% of the time it does work, first time. As in, “you are finally pregnant!” 

    It’s a real prospect if you have been struggling with infertility. If not, as the Clinics usually recover more eggs than you actually need for your IVF, you could try a Frozen Egg Transfer (FET), or you could try the routine again. After three cycles using donated eggs, the success rates reach into the 90%s.

    Obviously there are many factors involved in bringing your successful pregnancy to term. Your specialists are qualified to discuss this with you in detail and we encourage you to ask for as much information as you can.

  • How old are your Egg Donors?

    The ideal age for egg donation is the age at which your Egg Donor’s eggs are most viable, and egg quality is directly affected by the age of your Egg Donor. Statistically, this means women in their mid-20s, although slightly older and slightly younger women are excellent candidates, too. ababySA accepts Egg Donors from 20 to 34 years old.

  • Are Frozen Egg Transfers (FET) often successful?

    Frozen eggs, thawed later, may lose up to 50% of their fresh potential. You can imagine how difficult it is to perfectly preserve anything in this way! So, fresh is always better than frozen (although recent studies suggest that new techniques may improve this record significantly).

    Anyway, the Fertility Clinics do have very strict criteria for choosing eggs that may be frozen – and they will only implant embryos that have been grown successfully in the laboratory for two days. Even then, the likelihood of a successful pregnancy is still lower than that of a fresh cycle.

  • Will I have to wait for an Egg Donor?

    Our Egg Donors may decide to donate again. In South Africa, the medics suggest a maximum of six donations, or five pregnancies, whichever comes first. Clinics may differ slightly in this, but will be able to justify their policy to you.

    Once an Egg Donor is matched, or chosen, we remove her profile from our website. After at least one normal cycle and period, she may choose to donate again – so they have at least three months break between donations, and the decision to continue is theirs and theirs alone. As long as you are reasonably clear about what you are looking for, we should have a good few choices for you.

  • What plays a more important role, nature or nurture?

    We wish we could confidently answer this question. There’s a good summary of the debate here, but – in short – we wonder if your child’s innate (genetic) blueprint (nature), or her environmental experiences (nurture) will play a stronger role in defining the person she or he will ultimately grow to be. Our Egg Donor profiles are detailed precisely because we think that you should have enough information to choose natural features that match yours, but – as we’ve said – there’s no doubt that the family environment is critical to your child’s development. This is your baby. You are the mother.

  • What is a Proven Egg Donor? Should I choose one?

    If an Egg Donor has donated successfully before, or been pregnant before, she is “proven”. But all our Egg Donors have medical scans and examinations to confirm they have ovaries and eggs and to track how their eggs mature with hormone treatment. So there is only a slight doubt removed when you choose a Proven Egg Donor.

    Concentrate on choosing the right Egg Donor for you.

  • So, you have a lot of background on your Egg Donors?

    Apart from basic information such as age, weight and location, our Egg Donors also tell us about their personality and motivation for donating, their education, their medical and family medical history (up to two generations) and we disclose childhood and baby photos to you. There’s plenty of information for you to consider!

  • How do the specialists decide what is a good quality egg?

    Retrieved eggs are surrounded by cumulous cells, that mask the true nature of the egg until they are removed by the sperm, about 19 hours after insemination. Then, the embryos have to develop due to a specific timeline (four-cell stage on day 2 and an eight-cell stage on day 3). When this process has taken place, your specialist is able to comment with some confidence on whether the particular embryo is a “good” one.

    Interestingly, embryos that develop faster, or slower than this timeline, are generally, but not always, of lesser quality.

  • Can we trust the information on my Egg Donors’ profile?

    We obviously rely on the Egg Donor to be honest. We do communicate with her and will verify selected information, but – believe us – there’s no real financial gain in donating, so no motive to lie on her profile. She’s going to jab herself with needles, risk mood swings and bloating and be involved in an anonymous medical procedure that takes time out of her normal lifestyle.

    It’s in all our interests to make sure that you choose the right Egg Donor in every sense of the word. There are enough checks and balances in the system to pick up problem Egg Donors well in advance of them qualifying to join our database! 

Find A Donor

FAQs for Recipients

We’re often asked…

Prospective and current Recipients, this is a page worth reading! Often we are asked questions about our programme, about what it entails and how we can assist you in your journey. As with any well-polished and effective procedure, there are some questions that often occur, so we prepared this list especially for you.

Please have a look and see if we have answered you satisfactorily here – and if not, please contact us and let us respond!

 

Mommy, what’s a Donor? How to talk to your Egg Donor child

I’m thinking of using an Egg Donor

We know that you have come a long way on your journey. We also know that you have probably thought your way through all the options and emotions around this form of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), but as these issues are very often not discussed in a structured fashion, we think that the questions here will help you in your final decision. These are very real issues to face at an emotional time and we hope these answers will help you decide if ababySA is for you.

There are many support groups and in-depth articles that will assist you: we have listed a few often-asked questions that may prompt your research.

I need an Egg Donor to conceive. How can I make peace with that?

We know that some couples have no difficulty in making this decision. But, for many, it is an unconventional and difficult choice. IVF is, as you know, costly, takes time and asks huge emotional questions of you as a couple, so to extend it into an area where your baby contains only the male half of your genetic material, is a huge decision and you will want to be absolutely sure that you have tried enough with your own eggs. You may have a subliminal picture of what your child will be like, and look like, and it’s very important to grieve for a lost biological connection.

You may have religious and ethical concerns as well.

However, using an Egg Donor is not as unequal a process as you may think: carrying a baby is at least equal to a male genetic contribution! And you will be able to focus on what you value and like about your male partner, and what you hope your baby will inherit. You are both parents in every sense of the word; you have gone beyond yourself to make your family.

“Be sure”. That is a very specific decision that only you can make as a couple. Your DNA will not be part of your baby, but – more importantly – your nuturing will form and inform your child.

Work through your final decision with someone that you trust. There are some fantastic online support groups, informed medical professionals and even religious and social peer groups that will be very useful as a “final eye”.

At ababySA, we know that your decision will be the right one, and – when you do decide to use an Egg Donor – you will be devoted and bonded to your child in a way that sustains the weight of all your wishes, of love and of hope. You will become at peace as soon as you feel the renewed hope and excitement as you create your family.

Will I love my children as much as if they were conceived with my own egg?

Let me assure you that the kicks and hiccups during pregnancy are straight into your heart (and other organs!), and your baby becomes a part of you in every way. You are a team: your partner, your baby and you, and you all bring your family together in joy. The origin of your egg has nothing to do with this.

By recognising your fears, you will be able to conquer them. Read, read and read some more! Talk to people who have been through Egg Donation: but don’t worry! Your baby is yours alone, and you will love unconditionally in return.

 

What is a mother?

It’s more than biology and genetics. A mother is someone (called “Mom”, “Mummy” or similar) who raises their child.

Your Egg Donor has given the gift of hope, but your child is all yours.

Remember, in all pregnancies (including pregnancies as a result of Egg Donation), every cell in the developing foetus is built from the pregnant mother’s body.

Your body forms the placenta, an uncontestable link to your child, from tissue from your uterus. And you supply the protein and other compounds that ensures that your baby grows through the 9 months.

You supply the environment for your baby to grow as a person after birth. This is the start of your journey as a family and of yours as a mother.

I’ve heard about Epigentics. What is this and how does it affect me?

It’s a huge topic, but – in part – a very interesting and relevant concept: genes must be ‘expressed’ in a particular environment in order to have an effect; weak, moderate or strong. And the particular environment that you bring to pregnancy and family life beyond (your womb, your body and your family) defines how your baby’s genes are expressed.

This suggests that, in an Egg Donor Egg pregnancy, you (the birth mother) influence your baby, your child at a genetic level.

Have a look here for more on Epigentics

What plays a more important role in my child’s future development, nature or nurture?

We wish we could confidently answer this question. There’s a good summary of the debate here, but – in short – we wonder if your child’s innate (genetic) blueprint (nature), or her environmental experiences (nurture) will play a stronger role in defining the person she or he will ultimately grow to be.

Our Egg Donor profiles are detailed precisely because we think that you should have enough information to choose natural features that match yours, but – as we’ve said – there’s no doubt that the family environment is critical to your child’s development.

This is your baby. You are the mother.

Do I tell anyone I am doing this?

That’s completely up to you, isn’t it? Some couples do and some don’t.

There are plenty of studies that try to group you and predict your response according to type, but you should only act as you feel comfortable.

You will decide according to how you feel at the time; this may change after conception, birth and even as your child grows. And the correct decision for you will become clearer (or may even change) as you grow into motherhood and family life.

The correct answer to this question is as unique to you as your family unit.

Why do I / don’t I feel so emotional?

Because it may be a very emotional decision for you! Think of the journey so far; your decision to use an Egg Donor will mean losing a genetic connection and you should allow yourself to grieve for this.

But also, for some couples, it may be an easy decision: for example, same-sex male couples have no choice (sorry, guys)!

How do I choose an Egg Donor?

You choose the one that’s right for you.

At ababySA, we concentrate on supplying properly-qualified Egg Donors, who are both committed to your process and likely to supply the best-quality eggs. Because, by law, the Egg Donor has to remain anonymous; there are no adult or identifying pictures, but there is plenty of detail that will give you a good idea of your Egg Donor’s genetic characteristics.

We know that you may want an Egg Donor who looks similar to you. Or not. So, hair- and eye-colour may be important. Or not. Your shared interests may be important. Or not. It’s your unique decision.

Parents fancy intelligence and good health (who doesn’t?), so family genetics may play a role. We ask our Egg Donors about this. And a normal, healthy body mass index is good, because it makes hormone therapy more predictable. We ask our Egg Donors to tell us about themselves in a way that you can get a feel for their personalities, too.

The unique bits that make up your Egg Donor, are the unique bits that will resonate with you as a Recipient.

We are careful to have as much relevant information available on our anonymous database as possible. We also stress that our Egg Donors must commit one hundred percent to give their time and to stay healthy during the process of helping another human being to become a parent.

We want you to be able to make an informed decision. Register and have a look – your perfect Egg Donor may be right here!

So, you have a lot of background on your Egg Donors?

Apart from basic information such as age, weight and location, our Egg Donors also tell us about their personality and motivation for donating, their education, their medical and family medical history (up to two generations) and we disclose childhood and baby photos to you. There’s plenty of information for you to consider!

How on earth do you get Egg Donors to give all that information? What do they go through?

We told you we are serious about accepting only the most committed people for you to consider! We know that you are investing a heap of money and emotions in this process, and we take that VERY seriously.

For us, it’s all about results.

After our Egg Donors pass through pre-screening, which looks at their legal and physical ability to donate, they complete our extensive Egg Donor Profile form. We are in personal contact with them to make sure that these attributes are complete and correct, which is further confirmed when they are chosen by you: our Fertility specialists conduct psychological and medical evaluations and blood tests as part of the process prior to the Egg Donation Cycle.

Your Egg Donor commits quite a lot of time, permits chemical intervention in her cycle, and shares your determination to get the best possible outcome. You will never meet her, but you will never forget her.

How old are your Egg Donors?

The ideal age for egg donation is the age at which your Egg Donor’s eggs are most viable, and egg quality is directly affected by the age of your Egg Donor. Statistically, this means women in their mid-20s, although slightly older and slightly younger women are excellent candidates, too. ababySA accepts Egg Donors from 20 to 34 years old.

What is a Proven Egg Donor? Should I choose one?

If an Egg Donor has donated successfully before, or been pregnant before, she is “proven”. But all our Egg Donors have medical scans and examinations to confirm they have ovaries and eggs and to track how their eggs mature with hormone treatment. So there is only a slight doubt removed when you choose a Proven Egg Donor.

Concentrate on choosing the right Egg Donor for you.

What happens if my Egg Donor doesn’t produce eggs?

This can happen on rare occasions, of course. First, your Fertility Clinic may offer you suitable eggs from the Clinic Egg Bank to substitute in that particular IVF cycle. If you prefer avoid frozen eggs and to reselect, we’ll offer you another Egg Donor without charging our agency fee. In that case, you will still have to pay the new Egg Donor compensation and contractual Clinic fees for another IVF.

So how many eggs can I expect in a successful retrieval?

We don’t know in advance. It’s actually more important to ensure that the harvested eggs are of excellent quality, as only one or two are actually implanted!

The retrievals are carefully managed by your Fertility Clinic, who typically will hope to harvest between eight and ten eggs per donation. Extra embryos (fertilised eggs) are frozen for future use.

The number of eggs retrieved is affected by the dosages of medicine that the Egg Donor takes, so the doctors are very careful not to over-stimulate her ovaries (which can lead to a condition called Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome, or OHSS) – not fun for the Egg Donor.

Your Egg Donor will be visiting the Clinic regularly during the critical period to make sure she is not at risk and to ensure that she is doing everything for a successful retrieval.

You only need one good egg to be fertilized and to grow!

Will the procedure work?

60-70% of the time it does work, first time. As in, “you are finally pregnant!”

It’s a real prospect if you have been struggling with infertility. If not, as the Clinics usually recover more eggs than you actually need for your IVF, you could try a Frozen Egg Transfer (FET), or you could try the routine again. After three cycles using donated eggs, the success rates reach into the 90%s.

Obviously there are many factors involved in bringing your successful pregnancy to term. Your specialists are qualified to discuss this with you in detail and we encourage you to ask for as much information as you can.

What’s ICSI?

After your IVF, a intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is used to inject a single sperm directly into your (donated) egg. This is often used to overcome male fertility issues.

How successful is an IVF and ICSI with Egg Donor Eggs?

Although the live birth rate varies, depending on the Clinic you use, the use of ICSI suggests that there are problems with the male sperm. So, whether you use your own, or donated eggs, the success rate would be similarly compromised.

What about HIV? Can I get the virus from Egg Donor Eggs?

Our Egg Donors are tested for HIV when they start the Egg Donation Cycle with you. If they are HIV-negative, it’s not possible to transmit HIV through the use of donated eggs.

Is Egg Freezing a good idea?

It’s common practice to freeze some extra eggs recovered from an Egg Donor (assuming that they meet set medical standards), for your future use if necessary. Although use extensively, it’s still early days and successful pregnancy rates are still much lower than when you use donated eggs immediately as they are recovered.

ICSI is usually used to fertilize frozen eggs after thawing.

Are Frozen Egg Transfers (FET) often successful?

Frozen eggs, thawed later, do lose about 50% of their fresh potential. You can imagine how difficult it is to perfectly preserve anything in this way! So, fresh is always better than frozen.

Anyway, the Fertility Clinics do have very strict criteria for choosing eggs that may be frozen – and they will only implant embryos that have been grown successfully in the laboratory for two days. Even then, the likelihood of a successful pregnancy is still lower than that of a fresh cycle.

Should I use more embryos with a donated egg than with a normal IVF?

Our Egg Donors, and – importantly – their eggs, age from 21 to 33. They are extremely viable and you should be careful not to transfer more than 2 embryos, to avoid triplets (or more) with all implications of multiple offspring.

How do the specialists decide what is a good quality egg?

How do the specialists decide what is a good quality egg?

Retrieved eggs are surrounded by cumulous cells, that mask the true nature of the egg until they are removed by the sperm, about 19 hours after insemination. Then, the embryos have to develop due to a specific timeline (four-cell stage on day 2 and an eight-cell stage on day 3). When this process has taken place, your specialist is able to comment with some confidence on whether the particular embryo is a “good” one.

Interestingly, embryos that develop faster, or slower than this timeline, are generally, but not always, of lesser quality.

How do I work out when my treatment cycle will start?

When you meet with your Fertility Specialist, you should have some idea of which dates you want to be in South Africa, for an unbroken 12-day period. Your Egg Donor will be notified; we will co-ordinate her availability and your plan will be calculated, using your preferred date as a a starting point and after taking into account the requirements of the Egg Donation Cycle (that is the medical synchronisation that your Egg Donor undergoes).

Why is my Egg Donor screened? And for what?

We only work with qualified Egg Donors, by which we mean that we want full commitment and the best possible chance of a successful pregnancy. Apart from the exhaustive profiling and management from ababySA, your Egg Donor takes psychological tests to make absolutely sure that she is mentally healthy, with a clear understanding of all the implications and risks involved in Egg Donation. She’s also checked for other psychological disorders that would affect her donation.

She also has a full medical examination, repeated each time she is involved in an Egg Donation Cycle, to make sure that her results are up-to-date.

She is tested for infectious diseases (including hepatitis B and C, HIV, cytomegalovirus and syphilis) and takes a pelvic ultrasound to check her ovaries.

It’s critical that she’s in the best possible shape to help you realise your dream of a family.

How much can we trust the information on my Egg Donors’ profile?

We obviously rely on the Egg Donor to be honest. We do communicate with her and will verify selected information, but – believe us – there’s no real financial gain in donating, so no motive to lie on her profile.

She’s going to jab herself with needles, risk mood swings and bloating and be involved in an anonymous medical procedure that takes time out of her normal lifestyle.

It’s in all our interests to make sure that you choose the right Egg Donor in every sense of the word. There are enough checks and balances in the system to pick up problem Egg Donors well in advance of them qualifying to join our database! 

Are you sure that the Egg Donor I choose is the Egg Donor that donates for me?

Yes. We will do the initial matching and confirmations before handing over the file to your Fertility Specialist, who will specifically confirm that the Egg Donor you selected is the Egg Donor who is synchronised with you for the donation.

I’m not quite ready to commit to another IVF, but I’ve found somebody we’d love to use one day. Can I reserve an Egg Donor for a while?

Sorry, no. We can’t predict what may be happening in our Egg Donors’ life at any given moment. Although we do keep in touch even in their future, and work very hard to make sure that our database is current, there is no way that we can ask them to put their lives on hold for an indeterminate time.

We try to start the Egg Donation Cycle within three months of you choosing your Egg Donor.

Will I have to wait for an Egg Donor, then? I really wanted somebody who is no longer on your database!

Our Egg Donors may decide to donate again. In South Africa, the medics suggest a maximum of six donations, or five pregnancies, whichever comes first. Clinics may differ slightly in this, but will be able to justify their policy to you.

Once an Egg Donor is matched, or chosen, we remove her profile from our website. After at least one normal cycle and period, she may choose to donate again – so they have at least three months break between donations, and the decision to continue is theirs and theirs alone.

As long as you are reasonably clear about what you are looking for, we should have a good few choices for you.

Right! How soon can we start!

Register here. You choose your Egg Donor, we’ll crack on the match and make sure of commitment, availability and so on.

Six to eight weeks later, but usually around ten weeks later, you could be in your Clinic, waiting eagerly for the implantation!

The Egg Donor has to be rigorously tested, medically and psychologically, and her menstrual cycle synchronised with yours. It takes a little time but – after all you’ve been through – it’s nothing when you look at the possible result!

I don’t know much about South Africa. Where do I start? Can you help?

This is a great place. It’s modern and African, with world-class infrastructure and top-skilled medical professionals. It’s a diverse country of enormous possibility, in convenient time zones and with outstanding scenery. Start here

I’m doing my IVF in Cape Town. Can I choose an Egg Donor from another city, say Durban?

Yes, but it is more expensive. Most of our Egg Donors are prepared to travel for a particular couple, if needed. You will have to add their travel, subsistence and accommodation costs to your tab.

If your perfect Egg Donor is only available from another city, let us know, and we’ll let you know what the added costs are, for your consideration. We will also try to keep costs to a minimum, and record and manage, as well reportback on any expenditure relevant to your cycle.

But how will I get around? Where will I stay?

We know that you are coming to us with a specific goal in mind. Having said that, there’s no harm in enjoying the serenity and possibilities of our major cities!

We have a fantastic travel program that caters for all budgets and requirements, in all the major centres. We have carefully prepackaged accommodation and transport, all with 24-hour support from our partners at GiltEdge travel, and all at a preferential rate.

Have a look at the travel section of our website and book with us. We’ll make that part of your arrangements simple. You’ll love it here!

Why should I choose ababySA.com?

We care about one thing only – professional services to the special groups with whom we work: Egg Donors, Recipients and Clinics. We have plenty of experience in managing the process of Egg Donation and – at the end of the day – it’s all about a successful pregnancy. It’s about you, not us.

We want, manage and support committed, high-quality Donors; we provide these special people to you, our Recipients with empathy and an understanding of your special circumstances and we support busy Fertility Clinics with properly-screened, responsible and committed people.

Our system is the most competent and non-intrusive secure Egg Donor database in existence, and we have international affiliates in the pipeline.

For us, it’s all about results. Dandelions thrive under the most adverse conditions, releasing dozens of seeds representing fertility and abundance. A dandelion has the ability to hold the weight of a wish of love and of hope.

Do I tell anyone I am doing this?

That’s completely up to you, isn’t it? Some couples do and some don’t.

There are plenty of studies that try to group you and predict your response according to type, but you should only act as you feel comfortable.

You will decide according to how you feel at the time; this may change after conception, birth and even as your child grows. And the correct decision for you will become clearer (or may even change) as you grow into motherhood and family life.

The correct answer to this question is as unique to you as your family unit.

  • Olivia

    “Thank you again for taking the time to explain the process to me and for allowing us the time we need to make our decision.”

  • Sarah

    “Thank you for the amazing gift that you guys gave us. We’ll treasure this like we already do the first one. Again, every moment with our son is an absolute joy; I can’t even start to imagine how lonely and achingly empty our lives would have been without him. What you are doing is so valuable – you give hope and joy and meaning to couples like us. Thank you.”

  • Ayanda

    “Thank you so much for your help, we really appreciate it!”

  • Nina

    “I can’t tell you how much we have appreciated your quick responses and thoughtfulness and patience! I hope that this will be a wonderful result for us all.”

  • Sharna

    “Thank you so much for your assistance and help this far.  Best of luck for your year and may your company be blessed for the work you are doing.”

  • Leanne

    “We want our donor to know how much we appreciate her gift of love and will always pray that the divine spirit of God ensures her path is clear to realize all her dreams in every aspect of her own life. Our experience was so positive that we will be coordinating referrals of U.S couples in similar situation to use your agency when their treatment calls for donor assist.”

  • Linda

    “Of course, no one deserves a greater appreciation than our donor, who gave the ultimate gift of love that any human being can bestow upon another and thereby helping us realize our dream of having a family of our own; for that, we can never find enough words to express our thanks.”

  • Debra

    “Thank you SO much!! We are very excited. Thank you guys for everything you were fabulous to deal with at every stage of the process. We will keep you updated with our news.”

  • Kiara

    “Thank you for letting me know how my donor is and that she is coping so well. She is very brave. Thank you for being there.”

  • Bayo

    “My husband and I are both very excited to have our Donor, and we are looking forward to working with you.”

  • Nashawna

    “I am sure that you are aware that this is a very difficult emotional process, but you have been an amazing support to me, and I will always be very thankful for your assistance and guidance through this time.”