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Egg Donor FAQS

Who can donate eggs?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets regulations for screening egg donors (primarily for infectious diseases). The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) also makes recommendations on who should, or should not, donate eggs.

In general, egg donors should have:

  • Good physical and emotional health.
  • Appropriate weight for their height.
  • Excellent personal character.
  • No genetic disease.

Review the detailed donor requirements.

Why do women donate their eggs?

Many donors know someone who has experienced infertility and want to help other couples. For some, the monetary compensation is an additional incentive.

Why do couples decide to use a donor?

Some women’s ovaries can’t produce a fertile egg and using an egg donor, or adoption, are their only option to have a child.

How many times can a woman donate?

The American Society of Reproductive Medicine recommends not to exceed six donations. We are not aware of any scientific data that shows additional donations increase risk.

What time commitment is involved in donating eggs?

Screening Process

  • Group orientation.
  • Completion of the Medical and Genetic History form and the Personal and Family Questionnaire.
  • Interview.
  • Ovarian reserve testing.
  • Obtain professional photograph.

Egg Donation Cycle – 6-8 week.

  • First four weeks: Lupron injection and birth control pill administered daily.
  • Weeks three and four: Five to seven appointments between 8:00AM and 12:00PM for monitoring (blood draw, ultrasound).
  • Egg retrieval: Thirty minutes with a recovery time of 1-2 hours. The total time is typically 3-4 hours.

What happens during the egg retrieval?

The retrieval consists of a brief outpatient surgical procedure (no incisions) under general anesthesia. Eggs are retrieved from the ovaries using a small needle guided by transvaginal ultrasound.

Will the egg donor need assistance after the egg retrieval?

Someone has to be available to drive the donor home.

Are there risks involved with egg retrieval?

With any medical procedure there are always risks. There is a small risk of infection, bleeding and a 1-2% risk of ovarian hyperstimulation (OHSS). This is discussed in detail at the initial visit.

Will the egg donor be responsible for any medical costs?

All costs are covered by the recipient couple or RCC. An insurance policy for any possible medical complications of IVF is purchased for the egg donor (paid for by the recipient couple through RCC).

What will happen to the donated eggs once they are retrieved?

Most donors do cycles where the eggs are frozen until selected by a couple. The eggs will be used in an IVF cycle and the resultant embryos will be transferred into the recipient’s uterus. Additional embryos may be frozen for future use, donated to other infertile couples, used for research, or discarded.

Does the donor have any legal rights or responsibilities to her eggs?

Egg donors sign consent forms that relinquish all rights to the donated eggs, including parental rights, and/or responsibilities to children born from those eggs.

Once the egg donor has completed the screening process, what will happen?

The egg donor will be given a donor number and will be placed on the egg donor list with all identifying information removed (names, address, etc.). The egg donor will be identified to recipient couples only by their donor number. The egg donor’s information will be made available to RCC patients and to out of state IVF clinics that use RCC’s egg donors.

How long will it take until the donor is matched with a recipient couple?

How quickly an egg donor is matched depends on the number of recipient couple's and what particular traits they are looking for. Each couple has different priorities and some factors that affect their decision are physical characteristics, educational background, race, height, weight, interests and medical history. Some donors are chosen immediately, others may be on the list for several years, and some are never chosen.

Is the egg donor’s identity given to the recipient couple?

Most donors prefer to remain anonymous. In an anonymous donation, neither the identity of the donor or recipient is disclosed. Sometimes a couple will use a family member (such as a sister or niece) or friend as their egg donor.

What measures are taken to ensure the egg donors anonymity?

All potential recipients can view basic information regarding egg donors. They cannot view personal identifying information or photos. Only couples seriously considering egg donation are given password access to view the medical and genetic history form, the personal information questionnaire (name, etc. not divulged), and childhood/adult donor photos.

What if an egg donor decides she wants to have her own children?

Egg donors can remain on the donor list from the age of 19 until the age of 33. During this time some donors decide to have children of their own, at which time they will be removed from the list. After she has delivered, stopped breast feeding, and had two normal periods she can be added back to the list.

Why are some egg donors not accepted into the egg donor program?

When an egg donor is not accepted it could be for various reasons including: she has a strong family history of genetic or medical diseases, the application was not completed accurately or honestly, or she has a small chance of being selected by a couple.

Will donating eggs affect the donor’s fertility?

No. Excluding rare complications there should be no effect on a donor’s fertility. Women are born with 1-2 million eggs and approximately 8-20 are retrieved in each cycle. Plenty of eggs remain for future cycles and many donors have children after multiple donations.

Egg Donor Agencies

  • Fairfax EggBank- a subsidiary of the Genetics and IVF Institute along with Fairfax Cryobank, one of the nation’s largest sperm banks. Fairfax Cryobank was born out of a successful model for gamete (egg, sperm) cryopreservation (freezing) and shipping. Fairfax EggBank provides many options for choosing the right highly screened egg donor. Reproductive Care Center also provides frozen eggs to Fairfax Cryobank.
  • The Donor Solution- Egg donor agency. Managed by a nurse that once worked with Dr. Blauer.

Donor Egg Links