August 16, 2023
4 Minutes

Egg Sharing Programmes UK: What Are They and How Do They Work

Egg Sharing Programmes UK: What Are They and How Do They Work
Written by
Dr Zoe Miller
Medical Editor and Doctor at NHS
Amilis makes fertility digestible, accessible, and affordable to help you take charge of your reproductive health and live on your own timeline.

In an eggshell...

  • Egg sharing is great way to afford egg freezing, but the catch is that you donate half of your eggs
  • Not everyone can share their eggs: clinics have strict rules!
  • Egg sharing can be an emotional process
  • Children born from your eggs can contact you when they're adults

How Does Egg Sharing Work?

Essentially, egg sharing is a form of egg donation.

A woman who is already having her eggs removed, either to freeze them or for IVF, gives some of the collected eggs away. Women receiving the eggs will have health problems meaning they’re unable to use their own eggs.

You’ll usually get free or discounted treatment as an incentive.1 As well as the satisfaction of helping another woman start her family.

For egg sharing to work, you have to be healthy. The clinic also needs to extract enough eggs for both women.

Who Is Egg Sharing It For?

Egg sharing is for women who are freezing their eggs or undergoing IVF.

Women looking to help others and to freeze their eggs on a smaller budget can benefit.

It’s also important you’ve thought of the emotional impact.

How Do You Qualify for Egg Sharing Programmes?

Clinics have different criteria for you to qualify. But generally, you need to be2:

  • 35 years or under
  • Free of infectious diseases (think STIs)
  • From a family with no known genetic diseases
  • Within the “normal” BMI range

 Clinics may want to you to take extra blood tests or might have other rules. Contact them directly to check (for help on choosing a clinic, read our previous article here).

What Are the Legal Implications of Egg Sharing?

UK law says that the woman giving birth to the child is recognised as the mother.3

 Children born from donated eggs can legally access information about the egg donor when they turn 18. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority keeps information about the donor’s name, date of birth, place of birth, and last known address.

 It’s important to know, you can’t donate anonymously.

Five Important Things to Know About Egg Sharing2

  1. You can change your mind until the egg is fertilised and implanted. If this happens, you might have to cover the costs.
  2. If you want to, you can find out whether the other woman becomes pregnant and gives birth. But you can’t meet her or the baby.
    Any children born from your eggs will be able to contact you once they reach 18 years old.
  3. Sometimes, the number of eggs collected isn’t enough to be shared. In this case, you should be able to store them for yourself at no extra cost.
  4. Clinics have different egg sharing programmes. Costs, procedures, and the minimum number of eggs needed for sharing vary.
    Make sure to ask about this before proceeding.
  5. Yes, egg sharing can be great. It can be an emotional process.
    How would you feel if egg freezing led to a successful pregnancy for your recipient, but not for you?


Egg sharing programmes can help make egg freezing more affordable, but can be emotionally taxing for some women. 

Take a look at our partner clinics to see which provide egg sharing programmes.

Written by
Dr Zoe Miller
Medical Editor and Doctor at NHS