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Egg Bank Service

Many women require donor eggs to be able to conceive. Currently, there is a UK shortage of egg donors, but our partnership with Ovobank is enabling couples and single people become parents using imported eggs, chosen through a strict selection process.

Dr Chris White - Service Lead at Cambridge IVF, talks about the new Egg Bank service.


Why choose the Egg Bank service?

A woman may choose to use an Egg Bank service if she is unable to use her own eggs. This could include those who have had cancer treatment, gone through menopause or her children are at risk of inheriting a serious genetic disease.

Donor Egg IVF - £7,990

IVF with 6 frozen eggs including the following:

  • All medication and testing up to pregnancy testing
  • Time lapse incubation so that embryo development can be monitored
  • Extended incubation because blastocysts have a significantly better success rate than Day 3 embryos
  • ICSI (needed in all cases using vitrified (frozen) donor eggs)
  • EmbryoGlue to assist implantation
  • Embryo transfer
  • Individualising progesterone to minimise miscarriage
  • 2 counselling sessions

The price for existing Cambridge IVF patients that have had previous IVF or ICSI treatment is reduced to £6,990.

It does not include
  • Embryo freezing if there is more than one blastocyst suitable for transfer, this costs £650
  • Any subsequent frozen blastocyst transfers - these cost £1,995 (not including medication up to pregnancy test, which could cost between £300-£400 depending on advice)
  • DNA Fragmentation testing of sperm from a male partner
  • Semen filtration using magnetic activated cell sorting (MACS) to filter out dying and DNA damaged sperm, this costs £300
What pre IVF tests do I need?

Patients having IVF are required to have the following standard tests:

  • Consultation and scan is necessary to determine if Donor Egg IVF is likely to be successful and to determine if there are any health issues that need to be considered prior to treatment.
  • A semen analysis is necessary unless donor sperm is being used. This is essential because in around 50% of cases there is a male fertility issue and so there needs to be a check to determine if pregnancy is likely. The NHS pays for semen analyses and all that is required is a referral to Cambridge IVF for a semen analysis, alternatively recent semen analyses from other accredited services or the NHS are acceptable.
  • DNA fragmentation testing is recommended where donor eggs are being used at a cost of £350. DNA fragmentation has been shown by research to be linked to increased miscarriage and failure to fertilise rates. Where DNA fragmentation is elevated to clinically significant levels, MACS-ICSI treatment is recommended at an additional cost of £300. A clinician will review if DNA fragmentation testing would be recommended based on an individual’s medical/treatment history.
  • Patients and their partners (where applicable) will be required to have a counselling session with one of Cambridge IVF’s recommended counsellors. This is to ensure all the implications and legal aspects of donor treatment are understood prior to moving forward.

If any of the tests have been undertaken recently by another accredited service or the NHS it may be possible to use these results.

Is Donor Egg IVF suitable for me?

Women need to be aged between 18 and 49 and have a BMI ideally below 35, but 35-39 may be considered. It is also important that health is generally good because of the risks to babies and mothers of pregnancy when a mother is in poor health. 

The suitability of treatment, in particular for women aged 45-49 will be considered on a case by case basis by a Cambridge IVF clinician, due to the increased risks for babies and mothers in this age group.


It is highly recommended that women do not smoke or drink alcohol when pregnant. Support to give up smoking in advance of treatment is available via your GP.

The very high incidence of male fertility issues is not widely known. Cambridge IVF tests around 5,000 men a year who are having difficulty conceiving. Men need to do what they can to improve their semen quality when seeking to conceive. It takes 74 days for sperm to be produced and matured and during this time they are very vulnerable to heat and damage. Recommended measures include:

  1. Sperm are extremely vulnerable to heat which is why testes are outside the body. It is important to avoid hot baths, showers and saunas. Also avoid wearing tight underwear and minimise prolonged periods of exercise that results in the testes being compressed and getting hot.
  2. Minimise consumption of heavily processed foods
  3. Eat brightly coloured vegetables such as tomatoes and beets as these contain lycopene which has been linked to improved results
  4. Taking a fertility supplement that contains zinc and selenium and a broad spectrum of vitamins may be beneficial, Such as Wellman Conception. However it is important to adhere to dosing recommendations – so do not take more than one supplement as success rates may actually decrease
  5. It is highly recommended to stop smoking and drinking alcohol
  6. Stress has also been linked to increased rates of DNA damage and so this should be avoided/reduced where possible

Availability of donor eggs

Our Donor Egg partner Ovobank has 90 women who have donated eggs or are willing to do so. Ovobank work with strict donor selection protocols to achieve the success of our patient's egg donation treatments.

Ovobank Egg Bank
Ovobank logo

Ovobank were selected because of the quality of their systems, processes and staff and because they are able to meet the highly specific requirements of the HFEA (fertility regulator) for importing eggs to the UK.

Is there a waiting list for this service?

There currently isn’t a wait list for access to this service, however, due to regulations, shipping times vary and can be between 1-4 months.

Please see other frequently asked questions (FAQs) at the bottom of this page.

What do I do next if I am interested?

Call Cambridge IVF on 01223 349010 to arrange a consultation and tests.

You can access Ovobank website here (opens in a new tab) to determine if they have a suitable donor.

Please note, when navigating the Ovobank Site, donors on the ‘Vitrified Oocytes’ tab are donors with eggs available now (batches are ready to start the importing procedures) or held within a quarantine period (batches will be ready for import subject to final donor screening).

You can follow this guide to navigate the Ovobank website for selecting your donor:

Non-urgent advice: Important note


Cambridge IVF is absorbing the transport costs by importing eggs for groups of patients. As there is a high demand for donor eggs this is unlikely to cause delays.

If a patient wishes to import eggs immediately there would be a transport cost. The website states charges that they apply if patients buy eggs directly ie £4,500 and £2,500 for transport. These prices DO NOT apply to Cambridge IVF patients, our patients pay a single package price of £7,990 for six eggs, delivery and the subsequent cycle of ICSI treatment.

Please DO NOT proceed with payment directly to Ovobank. Please contact Cambridge IVF to discuss and confirm your selected donor and to arrange payment of deposit. Cambridge IVF will then liaise directly with Ovobank to arrange order.


Why is the cost lower than other clinics?

Cambridge IVF is an NHS facility and the aims of the service are to help patients realise their dream of parenthood rather than to generate large profits for investors.

Are frozen eggs good quality?

Donor eggs are harvested from women under the age of 35. Survival rates of frozen eggs are typically between 85-95%. Fertilisation rates for frozen eggs are slightly lower than for fresh eggs but embryo development thereafter appears to be comparable.

What are the success rates when using frozen donor eggs?

The success rates for donor eggs are likely to be significantly higher than those using their own fresh eggs in women over 40.

Is there a waiting list for this service?

There currently isn’t a wait list for access to this service, however, due to regulations, shipping times vary and can be between 1-4 months.

Why do I need to pay a £500 deposit?

We ask for a £500 deposit to reserve eggs from your chosen donor. The remaining cost will then be requested at the point of the eggs being dispatched from Ovobank and treatment starting. We have to transport the frozen eggs for 5 patients at one time.

Can I have more than one embryo transferred as I like the idea of having twins?

Having twins increases the risk of cerebral palsy by around 6x and increases the general risk of complications for babies and mothers. In addition there is an increased likelihood of triplets as each embryo has a 1 in 40 chance of splitting (the result being two identical babies and one non identical). When triplets occur the risks are even more significant. As a result of the risks to mothers and babies, Cambridge IVF will not transfer two donor egg embryos unless embryo quality is poor and there is a very low risk of twins. If this is the case your Embryologist will discuss this with you.

Is the deposit refundable?

The deposit would be refundable if Ovobank or Cambridge IVF are unable to proceed with treatment, or if there are insufficient patients seeking to import eggs to perform the treatment within a reasonable timescale. See our terms and conditions documentation for more detailed information.

Why is there such a high level of demand for donor eggs?

Fertility generally reduces significantly after the age of 35 and for some women it can be earlier. Using donor eggs can dramatically improve the chances of pregnancy whilst still allowing the patient to experience pregnancy and birth in a very natural way.

Why is there a shortage of donor eggs in the UK, but not in many other countries?

There are three principal reasons which impact on the availability of egg (and sperm) donors in the UK;

- Donors are not anonymous - UK legislation means that children born as a result of any treatment using donor eggs or sperm have the right to find out about their biological parents from the age of 18.

- In the UK donating eggs and sperm is required to be altruistic, whereas in some other countries there is effectively no limit on what donors may be paid.

Any eggs imported in to the UK have to comply with UK legislation. Meaning, donation must have been altruistic and the identity must be available to children from age 18.

Why are so many people travelling to countries like Spain, Cyprus and the Czech Republic for IVF?

The demand in the UK for donor eggs outweighs the availability of donor eggs. As a result, the only option available for many is to travel to other countries for treatment. Treatment overseas conveys additional risks as practice varies from country to country. The UK is regarded as one of the safest countries in which to receive fertility treatment because the sector is tightly regulated to protect patients. Cambridge IVF have linked with Ovobank and will be importing frozen eggs from Argentina, with all treatment being completed at Cambridge IVF.