The Lister Fertility Clinic in London, a private clinic that has been running a formal egg sharing scheme since January 1998, has evaluated 276 egg sharing cycles involving 192 women who agreed to share their eggs, 274 recipient cycles involving 246 women who received eggs and 1,098 non-sharing standard IVF or ICSI cycles involving 718 women.
The participants were divided into three groups egg sharers, non-egg sharers aged under 36 and recipients. The researchers evaluated the doses and duration of drugs needed for ovarian stimulation, the numbers of eggs collected and donated, and the fertilisation, pregnancy and live birth rates.
Clinic director and research team leader, Mr Hossam I Abdalla, said: "We found no statistically significant difference in the three groups. The egg sharers achieved a pregnancy rate of 42% and a live birth rate of 33%, the non-egg sharers achieved a pregnancy rate of 40% and a live birth rate of 30.9%, and the recipients achieved a pregnancy rate of 41.4% and a live birth rate of 28.6%."
The number of eggs collected, the number of mature follicles and the amount of stimulating hormone (gonadotrophin) used was not significantly different between the egg sharing women and the non-egg sharing women. In addition, the average number of embryos transferred and the mean numbers of eggs allocated between egg sharers and recipients was not statistically different.
"Up to now, there has been no research in the UK carried out with large numbers of patients to ensure that the egg sharing programme is not detrimental to egg sharers and/or to the outcome of recipients' treatment compared with standard IVF or ICSI," said Mr A
Contact: Margaret Willson
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology