Choosing an Egg Donor

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Hopeful parents approach egg donation for a variety of reasons. Though you likely already know that using an egg donor can significantly increase your chances of a successful IVF outcome, you may not understand all of the logistics. There are many factors that go into choosing an egg donor who is the right fit for you. Undoubtedly, you want a “good egg,” and to work with the best of the best. Many intended parents hope their children will resemble them, so perhaps your ideal egg donor has similar features to you or your partner. There are other aspects that some feel strongly about such as ethnicity, education, hobbies or even religion of the egg donor. Ultimately, there are no right or wrong answers. It’s more about what attributes you feel are a “need” to have versus a “nice” to have. Our process works to present you with only the best choices so you can confidently and easily choose an egg donor.

What are the requirements to become an egg donor?

Before you consider what factors are important to you personally, you should first understand that there are a number of requirements to become an egg donor. While some rely on a friend or relative to donate their eggs, working with a donor through a reputable agency ensures that she has been thoroughly vetted. Someone in the ConceiveAbilities donor program must meet the following criteria:

  • Egg donors are typically between the ages of 21 – 28 years old, when egg quality is at its highest
  • Willing and able to respond to communication within 24 hours from our team and clinic staff
  • Have regular monthly periods
  • No reproductive disorders or abnormalities
  • BMI under 28
  • Non-nicotine user, non-smoker, non-drug user
  • Willing to commit to the process for a minimum of 6 months
  • Excited about the process of helping to build a family
  • Egg donors are vetted for mental and physical health, as well as a review of their family medical and genetic history.

How to choose an egg donor?

That is the big question, and one perhaps only you and your partner can answer. While there are different categories to consider, it ultimately comes down to what is vitally important to you.

Physical attributes

This can cover a wide range. For example, should ethnicity be a factor? For some, this is critical. Whether it’s that you and your partner have a certain complexion, eye color, hair color or build, the appearance of your donor and the chance of having a child who looks like you may be exceptionally important. It’s important to keep in mind that we never know exactly what will happen when we combine DNA, a fact that applies to 100% biological children too. Still, it’s perfectly reasonable to seek a donor who bears a physical resemblance to you or your partner.

Personal background

Is she intelligent? Do you know anything about her personality, education or career? Is she musically inclined or good at math? If there is an aspect in this area that is important to you (example: you play the piano and would love someone to play a duet with), these are things to think about.

Medical history

While your donor has been properly vetted, you’ll likely want to consider her personal and family health history. Certain factors may not disqualify her as a donor candidate, but when considering yours and your partner’s history, may not make her the ideal candidate for you. It’s a good idea to discuss any questions you have about a donor’s medical history with your doctor. Remember, she will also undergo a medical screening at your clinic to further review her health.

Has your donor ever donated before?

There are a few reasons you may want to consider this when making your decision. Keep in mind that every cycle is unique with many variables; while previous cycle information may show that it resulted in a pregnancy or birth, it’s more important to focus on the fact that she has been through the process before and knows what to expect. A successful previous cycle also means that your child will be genetically tied to others. This may or may not matter to you, and the decision is entirely up to you and your partner.

Fresh vs frozen egg donation?

Some of the immediate questions when it comes to deciding between a fresh versus frozen cycle are success rates and costs. It’s worth noting that thanks to the somewhat recent technology of vitrification (which “flash freezes” eggs, preserving their integrity), the success rates for frozen versus fresh are close to the same. Regardless of whether you pursue fresh or frozen egg donation, the cost of donor eggs is not inexpensive. In general there are pros and cons to fresh versus frozen egg donation. Here are some advantages to each:

Using fresh donor eggs

In fresh cycles, the egg donor typically helps just one or two families, so the number of children genetically related to the donor is minimal
There’s a potential opportunity to speak with the egg donor to learn more about her
You will have a greater chance of having biological siblings later, should you choose to expand your family, as you may be able to freeze extra embryos for later use
Fresh eggs have slightly higher improved fertilization rates

Using frozen donor eggs

There will be no delays or waiting to start your cycle as the
need for “cycle synchronization” would be eliminated
Your IVF treatment could be scheduled at your convenience.
Frozen donor eggs tend to be more affordable
You increase your chances of receiving mature eggs and decrease your chances of a cancelled cycle

Should you choose an egg donor on your own?

When it comes to sorting through these decisions, we want what you want: to successfully build your family. While there may seem like an overwhelming amount of egg donor profiles to sort through and a profound list of details to ponder, remember: between our years of experience and support, your “need to have” list and that little bit of magic that says, “Yes! That’s the one!”, we can help you choose which is the right donor for you. We know our donors and, after getting to know you and your needs, we can help you find that exceptional candidate you’re looking for. Contact us today to take those first baby steps to your baby!