Step-by-step for egg sharers

Step 1 Contact us

Simply call us on +44 (0) 20 7563 4309

Step 2 Your first visit

When you come for your first appointment at one of our clinics, a consultant will discuss your treatment in detail, and ask questions about your health, lifestyle and previous infertility treatments. This visit will include a blood test, ultrasound scan and assessment of the male partner's sperm, if applicable, or a discussion about use of donor sperm.

Please bring:

  • Results of previous relevant medical tests
  • Photo identification - a passport or a photo driving licence - with date of birth
  • Details of your GP - we will require consent to contact your GP

Screening tests required

Cervical smear
Chlamydia urine
Hepatitis B, B Core and C
HIV and HTLV 1 and 2
*taken between days 1-4 of the cycle

Egg-sharing tests required
Blood group and Rhesus factor
Cystic Fibrosis
Chromosomal Analysis
TPHA (Syphilis)
(Sickle Cell Thalassaemia)
Tay Sach (if req)


Chlamydia urine
Hepatitis B and B Core
Hepatitis C
Semen analysis

Additional tests may be required.

The initial consultation fee of £295 is payable when you book the appointment. Apart from the cost of your tests, no further fees for standard IVF treatment are payable.

Step 3 Your second visit

If you are accepted as an egg sharer and decide to proceed, you'll be invited to a consultation with a fertility nurse to plan your treatment and complete the statutory consent forms. This visit includes a session with our qualified infertility counsellor, and a short appointment with our Pre-conceptual Care Coordinator to discuss lifestyle issues which can influence health and fertility.

Step 4 Starting treatment

Once a recipient is identified, your menstrual cycles are regulated to match (this can take 2-3 weeks), and IVF treatment begins. On or around day 21 of the cycle, you begin taking medication (in most cases) for about two weeks to suppress natural hormone levels.

(You are NOT required to pay standard IVF treatment fees or the cost of drugs.)

Step 5 Stimulation of the ovaries

Hormone injections over a period of 10-12 days are used to stimulate the ovaries to grow a cluster of mature follicles rather than the single follicle that is usually produced naturally each month.

The development of the follicles is monitored using ultrasound and the dose of drugs adjusted if necessary. When the follicles are large enough, another injection (hCG) is given in order that we can time egg collection to take place 36 hours later.

Step 6 Egg collection

This simple 30-minute procedure generally takes place under intravenous sedation (so you are awake). A fine sterile needle attached to a tube is inserted into the follicles, one at a time, and the fluid containing the eggs is aspirated. It is usual to obtain an egg from about 80 per cent of the follicles. The procedure is normally not painful and after a short rest you may go home.

Step 7 Allocation of eggs

Eggs are generally divided equally between sharer and recipient, with the exact arrangement agreed in advance. In the case of an uneven number, the extra egg is usually allocated to you. Sometimes an excessive number of eggs necessitates your eggs are shared with two recipients (the maximum number of recipients allowed in the UK). Occasionally not enough eggs are produced and you have the option to decide not to proceed with egg-sharing, but rather retain all of the eggs for yourself. (In this case, however, IVF fees will be payable.)

If sufficient follicles are not recruited, you could choose to either abandon the cycle with no extra cost, or proceed and pay for your own treatment.

Step 8 Fertilisation

If your partner's sperm is used, a sample will be required on the day of egg collection. If the quality of the semen is in doubt, with prior agreement, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) may be used to enhance fertilisation rates. (Please note that a fee is payable for ICSI as well as for donor sperm, should you require these services.) Next, the partner/donor sperm sample is washed, prepared and added to a culture dish which contains the eggs. After 16-18 hours, it is usual that about 70% of the eggs will have fertilised.

Step 9 Embryo development

We contact you the day after egg collection to let you know the outcome of fertilisation and to arrange a time for embryo transfer. This takes place three to five days after egg collection.

Based on their rate of growth and appearance, the embryos are graded for quality. Good quality embryos surplus to immediate transfer needs can be frozen and stored for future use, subject to the completion of the usual consent forms.

(Please note that a fee is payable for freezing and storage should you require these services.)

Step 10 Embryo transfer

The embryo transfer procedure is similar to a smear test. It causes minimal discomfort.

Embryos are placed into a thin plastic tube called a catheter with a syringe on one end. The doctor guides the catheter through the vagina and cervix, depositing the embryos into the uterus. Further medication may be recommended at this stage to support implantation of the embryo(s), which begins three to four days later.

In accordance with the HFEA guidelines, a maximum of two embryos can be transferred in any cycle, other than in exceptional circumstances. Younger women (under 35 years) are advised to transfer a single blastocyst to avoid twin pregnancies.

Step 11 Pregnancy

If you have not had a period fourteen days after embryo transfer, you should test yourself with the kit provided. An ultrasound scan will be performed at six or seven weeks' gestation to confirm a visible heartbeat and ongoing pregnancy. At this stage we refer you to your own obstetric unit.

If, unfortunately, you are not pregnant, a free follow-up consultation is arranged to discuss options. The LWC is committed to supporting you at every level before, during and after treatment, and further support counselling is available if required.

Step 12 Follow up

If you are not pregnant, we arrange a consultation to discuss future options free of charge.

Get in touch

Telephone 020 7563 4309 email or use the contact form below






Where is your nearest clinic?
London    Darlington
Cardiff     Swansea