Recipient and donor experiences of known egg donation: Implications for fertility counselling




Journal Title

Journal ISSN


Volume Title


Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology (CJRI)



Peer reviewed



Objective: To explore the experiences of known egg donors and recipients in order to inform counselling practice. Background: Relatively little is known about known egg donation as a form of family-building in the UK, and on the experiences of individuals who have sought this form of donation. As such, there is a lack of guidance for fertility counselling in this area. Method: This was a cross-sectional, qualitative study. A purposive sample of four recipient women were recruited via a national support group for women experiencing Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI). Known egg donors (n=3) and recipient men (n=3) were recruited via a snowball sample, as identified by recipient women. In-depth interviews were conducted with participants. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Four themes were generated from the data: 1) ‘Doing anything’: existing relationships as the motivation to donate; 2) ‘It was my duty’: feelings of obligation to donate and to receive; 3) ‘Woman-to-woman’: a woman-centred experience; and 4) ‘Going through this together’: changed versus unchanged relationships. Conclusions: The study highlights a number of implications in known egg donation, arising from the relationships involved. It is recommended that these implications are considered by infertility counsellors in the provision of counselling, and by those undergoing known egg donation when seeking information and support, before, during and after the donation.


The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.


Known egg donation, Counselling, Infertility, Assisted reproduction, Qualitative methods


Martin, N., Mahmoodi, N., Hudson, N. and Jones, G. (2019) Recipient and donor experiences of known egg donation: implications for fertility counselling. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology,


Research Institute

Centre for Reproduction Research (CRR)