• * The center of assisted medical procreation of the CHU St Pierre is specialised in reproductive medicine. Reference center: quality label ISO 9001 obtained in 2008 and accredited by the AFMPS (Agence Fédérale des Médicaments et Produits de Santé).

Oocyte donation

This special assisted reproduction technique is aimed at couples where the cause of infertility is an insufficient number of oocytes. The patient may also suffer from a genetic disorder. Ovarian insufficiency, which is generally rare under the age of 35, becomes more frequent in older women and is the main cause of infertility after the age of 40.


Legal limits

Oocyte donation is authorised in Belgium in women up to the age of 47 as long as the plan to have children began before the patient was 45 years old. Oocyte donation is free. It can be anonymous or directed.



Laboratory costs are covered by the receiving patient’s health insurance fund if she meets the general reimbursement criteria for IVF (under 43 years old, 6 attempts throughout her lifetime, previous IVF attempts included). The medication required for the treatment of the donor is not reimbursed.


At Saint-Pierre University Hospital

We are only involved in directed oocyte donation; the infertile couple concerned chooses the woman who is going to give them her oocytes. It is often a woman from the couple’s entourage, who is aware of their difficulties in having a child and who is willing to donate her oocytes. It is an unusual ethical choice especially since it involves in vitro fertilization treatment and the resulting possible medical consequences.


The procedure


• The receiving party:
  - Must have a medical condition that requires recourse to oocyte donation
- Must respect the legal prescriptions in terms of age
• The donor:
  - Must be under 38 years old (under 34 years old for the optimum chance of pregnancy)
- Must have a living child
- Mustn’t have any simultaneous plans to have children
- Mustn’t have a medical condition contraindicating ovarian stimulation


In practical terms

• Planning
  The infertile couple and the candidate donor (as well as her partner if she is part of a couple) must attend a consultation with the gynaecologist and the psychologist. The AR secretaries are responsible for arranging these grouped appointments.
• Multidisciplinary decision
  The plan to have children is presented to the rest of the team during the monthly multidisciplinary meeting after the plan has been finalised. The receiving couple is informed of the team’s decision which is explained during a consultation if necessary.
• Medical assessment of the donor
  In the case of a positive response, the donor is required to undergo a medical assessment. This mainly involves a cervical smear, a complete blood test (blood serology, genetic analyses, hormone levels, etc.) and a gynaecological ultrasound scan. If necessary, extra tests may be requested for the receiving couple.
• Treatment
  At the third meeting with the gynaecologist, the donor is given the ovarian stimulation plan. This involves the administration of medication by subcutaneous injection as is the case in conventional in vitro fertilization. The receiving party receives oral treatment to prepare her endometrium and, at the same time, the donor’s ovaries are stimulated.
• Fertilization
  On the day of their retrieval, the oocytes are fertilized by the sperm of the receiving party’s partner. The sperm may have been frozen beforehand but the pregnancy rate is slightly better if fresh sperm is used.
• Number of embryos transferred
  Belgian law governs the number of embryos that can be transferred taking into account the donor’s age.
• Success rate
  On average, 30% per transfer; this is mainly influenced by the donor’s age
• Cost
  The cost of treatment is the same as that for in vitro fertilization. There is no additional cost for oocyte donation. When the attempt is covered by Belgian health insurance funds, the donor’s medication isn’t reimbursed.




Plan du site CHU Saint Pierre - Bâtiment 200, 5è étage . Département de Gynécologie-Obstétrique

Centre de Fécondation In vitro - 322, Rue Haute - Bruxelles Tel +32(0)2 535 3406 Fax +32(0)2 535 3409