No Smoking Day: Smoking, Egg Donation, IVF & Fertility

This information was correct at the time of publishing. It may not reflect our current practices.

It’s National No Smoking Day today (8 March) – are you thinking of stopping smoking to donate eggs or to access reduced-cost IVF by sharing your eggs?

Many women who want to donate eggs to us either altruistically or through egg-sharing meet all the criteria such health and age – you must be between 18 and 35 –but can’t donate eggs because they are smokers.

But why is smoking not allowed for egg donation and egg-sharing, when so many women who smoke have no issues conceiving children?

Smoking can affect your natural fertility in many different ways, from your ability to conceive to egg quality, ovarian reserve and even how soon you start the menopause.

Because your donated eggs are being used by another woman to have a baby, it’s vital that the donor eggs we offer give the recipient the best chance of pregnancy. And for that we need to be sure the eggs from our egg donors are healthy and of the highest quality, for good fertilisation rates and quality resulting embryos.

If you’re egg-sharing, stopping smoking in advance of your IVF cycle is also important for your own chances of pregnancy too.

Women who smoke often need higher doses of the fertility medications for IVF and egg donation, which increases the risk of side-effects such as Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome, as well as potentially compromising egg quality, fertilisation and embryo development - jeopardising the chances of IVF success.

But what about e-cigarettes? You can’t donate eggs or egg-share if you’re using e-cigarettes either, because they interfere with the urine testing for nicotine that all our egg donors and egg-sharers undergo as part of our screening.

We will test you regularly for nicotine throughout the egg-sharing and egg donation process.

The good news is that you may be able to donate eggs or egg-share if you’ve quit smoking more than three months ago, as this time gives your body a chance to recover from its effects on your own health, and the health of the mature eggs you’ll produce for egg donation or your own IVF cycle.

So if you’re ready to be an egg donor but smoke, make today as No Smoking Day your catalyst to quit. There’s no greater incentive than a healthy baby – for your recipient and you too if you’re egg-sharing - to stop smoking.

If you need help to quit, visit NHS SmokeFree for support and advice. If you’ve got any questions about egg donation, egg-sharing IVF and smoking, speak to our friendly Donation Team on 0161 300 2734.


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Start your journey to become an egg donor. Give the gift of life today!

Or call us now on:

0161 300 2734