International Patient Stories

Anna & George traveled to the United States from the UK to pursue their dreams of parenthood using the Donor Egg Program.

Anna and George first pursued fertility treatments when Anna was 35-years-old. They tried in vitro fertilization (IVF) multiple times using her own eggs at a UK clinic with no success. Finally, the doctor concluded that her chances of conceiving using her own eggs were very low and recommended donor egg. However, Anna and George learned from their doctor that since donors are not paid in the UK, there are very few donor eggs available, a long wait list, and little or no choice of donors. Nor is there much if any flexibility about the timing of the embryo transfer. Anna said she joined a support group in the UK for donor-conceived children and their parents, and learned from others in the group that the donor egg wait time in the UK can be as long as two to three years. Among the group’s members, Anna is the only one who went overseas for treatment.

Her UK doctor has relationships with a fertility center in Spain and with Shady Grove Fertility Center in the US, which he refers many of his patients for donor egg treatment. Anna said that since she and her husband are fair skinned, they figured it more likely they would find an egg donor in the USA who resembled them than in Spain, where complexions can be somewhat darker. In addition, she found that SGFC offers more of a choice of donors then the center in Spain, and more information about each donor, which Anna said she found reassuring. The level of support and information at SGFC was superior, she said.

Anna said what also appealed to her about SGFC is the Shared Donor Egg and Shared Risk program, neither of which were options at the clinic in Spain. She said Shared Risk was a particularly big factor in choosing SGFC, as it does more than just lower the final cost of treatment. In this program, Anna and George would receive six donor eggs cycles for one flat fee and a 100% refund should she not have a baby or decide to stop treatment at anytime. With just one payment, Anna said, she was reassured that she could try again if the first cycle didn’t take. Once she and George decided to spend that money, they no longer had to worry about incremental payments for treatment, and they could set aside the financial concerns.

Since Anna used to travel frequently to the US for work, she was not daunted by the idea of crossing the Atlantic for fertility treatments, she said. She was able to conceive their son, James, with just two trips to Shady Grove Fertility.
On their first trip, she met the Shady Grove Fertility Center International Donor Egg team. She learned about the streamlined treatment process, and both she and George had tests done. Shady Grove Fertility also obtained some of George’s sperm and froze it. Then she and George returned home, where Anna underwent some hormone treatments with her local UK clinic, an SGFC partner. These treatments ensured that her uterus was ready for pregnancy.
Once they’d chosen a donor, Shady Grove Fertility Center inseminated the donor’s egg with George’s sperm. Anna returned to Shady Grove Fertility’s Maryland center area for the actual embryo transfer. The couple were lucky and got pregnant on the very first try, and their son, James, was born in November 2008.

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