Heterologous fertilization or Egg Donation

Heterologous fertilization or Egg Donation means the IVF process, when genetic material of a person other than the "couple" is used.
The process of heterologous IVF is not recognized by all countries. In some countries, IVF is not allowed at all, while in others heterologous fertilization is allowed with conditions.
In our country, heterologous fertilization is allowed and a corresponding law has been passed for it.

The legal framework in a nutshell...

In Greece, heterologous fertilization is protected by law 3305/2005. According to him, the possibility of having children artificially is defined. In fact, a parent can be called someone without the child necessarily having come from him.

Similarly, donors are not given the designation "mother". Also, their personal information is protected and not disclosed to the recipients.

The procedure followed is simple and completely legal.

What are the possibilities for heterologous fertilization?

Heterologous fertilization presupposes the existence of a third individual, who will offer his genetic material to a couple. Thus, two options are distinguished, depending on the needs of the couple:

Egg Donation

Which women is it for?

  • In women with premature ovarian failure
  • In women of advanced reproductive potential
  • In female oncology patients
  • Women with repeated failures in IVF attempts with their own genetic material

What control do donors undergo?

The donors are women under 30 years of age. Before starting the procedure, they are tested for HCV, HIV, HBsAg, VDRL, cystic fibrosis, as well as hemoglobinopathies. In addition, donors even undergo psychological tests.

How is the procedure done?

The process begins with the couple's expression of interest. Based on the characteristics of the woman concerned (skin color, eyes, hair, stature), but also the blood type, we try to match them with those of a donor. Once a suitable donor is found, it undergoes the above medical examinations. If she meets the criteria, she starts her ovarian stimulation cycle. This is followed by egg collection and fertilization of eggs with sperm. The embryos that will be created are intended for use and storage.

 What is the situation in Greece?

The procedure is entirely legal. According to Greek law, the donor must be anonymous. Must be under 35 years old and have undergone specific medical examinations. The donor and the couple concerned are obliged to sign some consent documents.

Sperm Donation

In which cases is it indicated?

  • When there is a serious problem of azoospermia (non-obstructive type)
  • When after a thorough andrological examination (even testicular biopsy) the sperm is deemed unsuitable for fertilization
  • In cases of aspermia
  • Single parent families (women who want a child without having a partner)

How is the procedure done?

There are sperm banks through which those interested can choose from a wide variety the sperm sample they want. Sperm donors undergo sperm testing, while their medical history is also examined.

For any questions about heterologous fertilization, it is important to consult a specialist.

Contact the Obstetrician – Gynecologist Ath. Papanikolaou who specializes in reproductive issues and has proven experience in IVF. The doctor manages each case in a different way, respecting the special needs of the woman and the wishes of the couple. Schedule your appointment with him to suggest a personalized solution for your case.

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Athanasios G. Papanikolaou
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Athanasios Papanikolaou

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