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In Latvia we lack donors of gametes > Actualities > In Latvia we lack donors of gametes

In Latvia we lack donors of gametes

Updated 28.09.2023

One infertility treatment is ectopic fertilization and to perform it donor gametes are often needed.

Artificial fertilization with a donor egg is used when other possible solutions and procedures have not helped to produce a baby. Unfortunately, for many couples donor eggs are not available because in Latvia we lack egg donors. Why? Explains reproductive medical centre “Embrions” specialists:

An egg donor can be a young woman who feels the desire to help fulfil another family’s dream of a baby. The primary conditions to become a donor are physical, mental and reproductive health, age and habits. It is desirable that the woman has at least one child. If a woman is emotionally ready to be a donor, she sees a specialist, receives information about the procedure and is thoroughly examined. Only then the woman receives confirmation that she can become an egg donor.

Medics underline that in Latvian we lack sperm cell donors. Doctors explain it by the fact that there is little public information about egg donation and this information is often superficial. In the internet environment, where fertility and sperm cell donor themes are widely discussed, many opinions are false.

Dr. Eva Barkāne, reproductive medicine centre “Embrions” gynaecologist-endocrinologist: “Often in web forums the available information is inaccurate and incomplete, so many women who would like to take this noble step become afraid. There is a widespread opinion that most women donate eggs only because of money. However, it should be noted that this payment compensates the costs incurred by interfering with the work during examination and the procedure. When learning more about the egg donation process, the women who choose to do so are led by another infinitely empathetic motivation, because the whole process is neither quick nor easy and is not available to every woman.”

Women effectively use only 1% of their egg reserves

In contrast to men who produce new sperm throughout life, women are born with a set number of eggs – about one million in total. Although the number of primary eggs is very large, nature is structured so that immediately after a girl is born her eggs begin to die. When the girl reaches puberty, in both ovaries “only” half a million eggs remain. During the fertile period of life (from the first menstruation to menopause) 400 to 500 eggs develop and are released. All others, unfortunately, gradually die off and are not used.

The ovary is the organ that is used the least rationally – only 1%, the remaining 99% are not utilized. By participating in an egg donation program, a woman additionally spends only a mere 15 to 30 eggs, which by their nature do not cause significant damage to her natural cycle – they are tailored for destruction anyway.

Infertility problem in Latvia is very real

The increasing number of patients and waiting line for publicly funded assisted fertilization procedures show that this problem in Latvia is very real.

Dr. Gints Treijs, gynaecologist and head of the clinic “Embrions” says: “In Europe on average 11-13% of couples are infertile. In our country, there are no official statistics but we can say that the infertility problem in Latvia is facing approximately every tenth couple. From experience, out of 500-600 IVF procedures, in approximately 5% of cases it is necessary to use donor eggs.”

As known, in the autumn of 2012 a state-financed infertility treatment program was launched, which requires that the state budget pays for assisted reproduction procedures for women until 37 years (inclusive) of age.

Dr. Eva Barkāne: “In egg donation, the main benefit is knowing that there are people whose biggest dream – to become parents to their baby – has come true, thanks to you.”

For more information about egg donation, call 67543350 or write to the e-mail: