Egg and sperm donors
Gamete donation is a voluntary, altruistic, not-for-profit, anonymous act, whereby men and women, donors of eggs and sperm, help infertile couples conceive and fulfill their dream of a child.
Those wishing to donate eggs or sperm, have to meet certain requirements in order to become donors. Those requirements are legally regulated in Ordinance No. 28 of 20 Jun 2007 of the Bulgarian Ministry of Health, on the Medical standard on assisted reproduction. All medical services on gamete donation are overseen by the Bulgarian Executive Agency Medicinal Audit.
- The female donor must be aged between 18 and 34 in non-familial egg donation, and up to 38 in familial egg donation.
- Women who wish to donate eggs must have at least one live-born child of their own.
- Female egg donors must be in good physical and psychological health, with no known family history of genetic disease. Before the egg donation procedure is commenced, prospective donors undergo a comprehensive set of medical tests pursuant to the requirements of Ordinance No. 28 of 20 Jun 2007.
Egg donors are allowed to donate up to achieving a total of five successful pregnancies, including the donor’s own children. The information on the resulting pregnancy is monitored by the Executive Agency Medicinal Audit. A registry check is run for each prospective donor against data collected by the Agency.
Each donation is registered with the Executive Agency Medicinal Audit, and every single donated egg receives an unique identification number (UIN), under which it is included in the Agency registries.
In non-familial egg donation, the women recipients of the donor egg have no information about the donor’s identity. The egg donors on their part have no right to know the identity of the recipients of their eggs.
Донорството е анонимно и безвъзмездно по закон. Всички изследвания, прегледи на донорите са безплатни, разходите за времето на процедурата се компенсират.
Before starting the egg donation procedure, the prospective donor is diligently informed about its stages and essence and signs a detailed informed consent. It is mandatory that the woman’s express will to donate eggs is verified by a notary.
The procedure takes between 9 and 13 days and includes strictly monitored ovarian stimulation by hormonal medication. Eggs are collected by oocyte retrieval – a manipulation taking between 5 and 10 minutes, performed under short sedation. The female donor stays at the clinic for a couple of hours to follow up her condition after the egg retrieval. With this the egg donation procedure is complete.
Prospective sperm donors are approved according to their health condition, age, and medical history.
Prospective sperm donors must be of legal age and not under judicial interdiction.
They must not have hereditary chronic disease, to be in good physical and psychological health, and have normal semen parameters.
Every prospective gamete donor undergoes a mandatory testing for HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B and C, and trichomonas, ureaplasma, and mycoplasma infection. A reproductive screening panel and sperm DNA fragmentation test are also performed.
The sperm donation procedure starts with signing an informed consent by the prospective donor.
The donor sperm is quarantined for a period of 6 months to exclude the risk of transmissible infections.
Before the donor sperm is released for use, the donor has to make a follow up visit to the hospital for complete retesting (virology and microbiology).
According to the legal norm in Ordinance No. 28 of the Bulgarian Ministry of Health, sperm donors are only allowed to receive a reasonable compensation for costs and losses directly incurred in relation to the sperm donation procedure.
About the gamete donation
According to Bulgarian legislation, the child born from a donor IVF procedure using a donor egg or donor sperm, is the child of the couple recipient of the donor gametes. Egg donors and sperm donors bear no legal responsibility for the child and have no rights to claims on the result of the donor procedure and the pregnancy resulting from it.
We do not allow ‘selection’ of gamete donors.
- Enrolling donors in the gamete donation program of Nadezhda Hospital is not based on physical appearance, social status, ethnic, religious or other grounds that are discriminatory or degrading.
- To us, the team of Nadezhda Hospital, the main criterion for accepting a man or a woman into our gamete donation program is the motivation behind their act. People who embark on the gamete donation path have to do so in full awareness that this is a conscious act of solidarity and help for couples struggling to have their own children.
- Besides strictly complying with legal requirements for gamete donation, we also firmly stand to support the ethics of donation.
To guarantee the transparency and ethical principles of gamete donation, Nadezhda Hospital partners with the Mothers for Donation Foundation. Its coordinators provide full support to gamete donors at Nadezhda Hospital, guiding them through the whole procedure and ensuring legal requirements are met at all times.
Responsibility for the donors’ health before, during and after the gamete donation procedure is our top priority. The gamete donation procedure is only allowed and started once it is confirmed that it does not pose any health risk for donors and recipients alike.