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ANDREW COUTTS,  MA (Ed), BA (Law),BSc (Econ) Hons

What has a “selfie” got to do with egg donation? 

By Andrew Coutts

July 22nd, 2018


Ovobank, the first egg bank in Europe have recently launched ‘Ovomatch®’, an app based facial recognition system which uses a mathematical algorithm to search its donor database to match recipient and donor. The recipient uses the app to outline their physical characteristics and then with the help of a ‘selfie’ she is able to find out how many donors in the database there are with similar facial features. 

The system is designed to address the question that egg donation recipients invariably ask – ‘will any baby resemble me at all?’ and uses an anonymous search of its 4,000 strong database to match facial characteristics with phenotypic traits such as blood group whilst staying true to the law of anonymity which governs egg donation procedures in Spain. The new app is free to download on any mobile device. 

How does Ovomatch®work?

Once the app is downloaded, the programme guides the patient through the process. The user builds their and any partner’s personal profile by detailing physical characteristics such as blood group, height, hair colour and so on. The programme then takes over by offering a number of phenotypically compatible donors from the Ovobank database.

Egg donation and anonymity in Spain 

Egg Donation is regulated by the Spanish Law of Assisted Reproduction 14/2006 as well as a Royal Decree-law 09/2017 in which it is defined as an ‘anonymous, voluntary and altruistic act’. The Ovomatch® product conforms to the anonymity legislation as the donor never receives information related to the destination of the donated oocytes and the recipient does not receive any information relating to the name, status or location of the donor. 

An Ovobank egg donor has an average age of 25, is in good physical and mental health and has undergone a number of exhaustive diagnostic tests (medical, genetic, psychological) prior to being accepted onto the donor programme. 

Ovobank was the first donor cryopreserved donor bank in Europe; It’s state of the art facilities housed within the FIV Marbella clinic and Ovoclinic assisted reproduction centres ensures that it can maintain a healthy list of donors It has achieved both the ISO 9001: 2008 quality certificate and the Artemide quality system.

More information about this product can be found at

If you have had some experience of the selfie app we would love to hear from you

Andrew Coutts is a regular speaker, writer and commentator on fertility issues and has been involved in developing numerous patient engagement events throughout Europe.


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