Why IVF in Greece (4/4) – Egg and sperm donation in Greece

Greece seems to be perfect destination for couples or singles who consider undergoing IVF treatment abroad (4/4).

Let us talk about egg and sperm donation in Greece.

Donation of eggs is allowed in Greece and remains anonymous. That means that both parents and the child that will be born in the future will have no access to the donor’s personal data. Anonymity fosters development of egg banks and makes waiting lists for patients shorter. A Couple who wants to undergo IVF program with donor eggs has usually access to certain information about the donor such as:

  • Height,

  • Weight,

  • Hair color,

  • Eye color,

  • Skin tone,

  • Blood group

  • Education level.

A donor before being allowed to join the procedure of eggs retrieval is obliged by law to undergo certain blood tests for infectious diseases (Hepatitis B and C, HIV, and Syphilis). This includes the recipients of egg donation as well. However, most clinics will demand additional tests recommended by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). These may include for example karyotyping, chlamydia testing, toxicological tests and monogenic disease tests. In most IVF centers, psychological consultation is also obligatory. Meeting with a qualified psychologist helps to ensure that a candidate understands the consequences of donating her eggs and has the proper motivation.

Sex selection is only allowed for medical reasons so it is available if there is a significant risk that the offspring may have genetic disorders. If a woman is under 40 years old, a maximum number of three embryos may be transferred. After this age and if there is a specific indication four embryos can be used.

  • An egg or sperm donor is allowed a maximum of 10 offsprings.

  • A woman can undergo IVF treatment up to the age of 50.

Greek law also regulates issues connected with surrogacy, which is a big step for patients considering this option. According to regulations, there should be medical grounds and court approval for this procedure. Both the couple and the surrogate need to be permanent residents of Greece and they need to prove this fact. Clinics may demand from patients to prepare special documents before they start their treatment. If you are a non-married couple, the law states that additional notarial deed should be signed. A woman may confirm that she is single or – if there is a partner – he should agree to treatment and acclaim the future offspring.

Nevertheless, you should be aware of the fact that many factors have impact on success rates. Effects may depend on donor selection process, the experience that a certain clinic and their embryologists have and the quality standards they follow.

Your chances are also related to your and of course your partner’s, age and health condition.

The number of eggs received from a donor varies from clinic to clinic. It is a generally accepted practice that you should receive 6 eggs, resulting in 2 embryos, on condition that your partner’s sperm parameters are satisfactory. Some IVF clinics offer all donor eggs no matter how many eggs have been retrieved (so-called exclusive donor or one to one donation). In the case of frozen eggs, most IVF clinics offer 6-10 oocytes. Crucially, this number usually refers to frozen cells – such cells need to be thawed first. Statistically, approximately 50-70% cells are successfully thawed, and this means that the number of oocytes intended for fertilization will be smaller.

However, it is not the number of donor eggs, but their quality that matters determining how successful the egg donation program would be.

Greek clinics are reporting effects around 60% to 70% (per transfer) on their websites.

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