In 2009, according to the official register of ESHRE (European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology) 21.064 egg donation cycles were performed in Europe. The same year, according to SEF (Sociedad Española de Fertilidad – Spanish Society of Fertility) 10.985 egg donation cycles were performed in Spain. If we take in account the register of FIV-CAT de la Generalitat de Catalunya (Department of Health of the Catalonian Government) 8.000 egg donation cycles were performed in Barcelona. That means that 1 out of 3 egg donation cycles was performed in Barcelona. In total more than all egg donation cycles in UK, what makes Barcelona clearly the European Capital of Egg Donation.
And why is this so? There are different factors that contribute to these numbers.
Availability of Egg Donors. In our country there exists a culture of donation. Over the last years, and despite the crisis, the number of transplants and organ donation has kept our country leader in this honourable list. Worldwide leader, which means something. In a certain way this transfers to egg donation. And we see it in the profile of our egg donors. While in Eastern countries the reason is purely economic (financial compensation received by donors by far exceeds the average salary of a worker), in Spain solidarity plays a fundamental role. From the 200 surveys of our egg donors, 44% declared that the only reason to donate eggs was solidarity, while 30% showed equal interest of donating for solidarity and economic reasons.
Anonymity also plays an important role in the number of egg donors. In countries where it was abolished (like in 2005 in UK) the number of available egg donors reduced drastically. Finally we must not forget the more open minded and progressive Catalan character, which predisposes this altruism and accepts these treatments without bias more easily than in other regions of Spain.
Science and technology. Undoubtedly the most important factor alongside the availability of the donors. Barcelona has been a pioneer in both IVF and Egg donation. And that background is reflected in the quality of assisted reproduction centres and their results, thanks to the availability of the latest technologies, protocols and diagnostic tests.
FIV-CAT. The register of FIV-CAT (Department of Health of the Generalitat – Government of Catalonia) is a compulsory register for any public or private centre that wants to perform egg donation or any other assisted reproduction treatment in Catalonia.
This way is offered an environment that is regulated by the health authorities and does not exist in any other community of Spain. This context gives an assurance to patients coming from other countries where serious national registers do exist and becomes a source of trust and reliability for assisted reproduction clinics in Barcelona.
Communications and environment. Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city connected with frequent flights to all major European cities. This allows patients who wish to minimize their stay in our city and who wish to reduce in their daily lives the impact of a treatment abroad. This can be easily applied to an egg donation treatment, where a patient just needs a two night stay during the process. On the other hand, those who wish to profit from their stay to enjoy the city while undergoing treatment, there are various and affordable possibilities to spend their spare time between controls and treatments.
Should the decision be independently for one those factors or should it be for the combination of both depending on the patient’s taste, what it sure is that Barcelona is a quality brand in the field of egg donation.