Egg donation is the process by which a fertile woman provides one or several eggs to an infertile woman for purposes of assisted reproduction. After the eggs have been retrieved from the donor, the role of the egg donor is complete.
The process involves invitro fertilization (IVF) as the eggs are fertilized in the laboratory with the sperm of the recipient’s partner, and the resulting embryos are then transferred to the recipient's uterus.
If a birth results, the recipient will not be biologically related to the child, but she will be the birth mother on record.
If your physician has suggested that you need egg donation, the process of selecting an egg donor can be rather daunting and can feel overwhelming. This can also involve grieving, as your realize that, with egg donation, you'd be losing the hope of a genetic link to your future child.
It's true that your child will not have your genes, but you will be the child's mother, and your influence in raising and nurturing that child will cannot be overstated.
And as it's been said, even if you have a genetically related child, "There's no lifeguard at the gene pool."
No matter which donor you select, you are going to love and cherish this child regardless of eye color, hair color, or other physical characteristics.
Types of Egg Donors
An anonymous egg donor is one that is not personally known to you. With anonymous egg donation, the egg donor true identity (name and address) is kept confidential in order to ensure privacy and anonymity. Similarly, your identity will not be disclosed to the donor.
The majority of egg donors are anonymous. In this case, the clinic will do the matching on your behalf, usually by finding a donor that matches your physical characteristics.
A known egg donor is one which you find on your own. She might be a friend or relative, or you might advertise for an egg donor.
Egg donor minimum requirements
Whether a donor is anonymous, or known, minimum requirements should be met in order to qualify. Requirements are set by the clinic, and do vary to some extent.
Some examples of minimum requirements are that the donor candidate:
- be between the ages of 21 and 30
- be a non-smoker
- Have no personal/family history of drug abuse.
- Have no personal/family history of alcoholism.
- Have no personal/family history of depression.
- Have an acceptable health history
- Have not gotten new tattoos or piercings in the last 12 months.
- Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 30. BMI is measured by using your height and weight.
- Be available for all necessary appointments, including psychological evaluation, medical appointments at the IVF clinic or laboratories (or if from out of town, able to travel and stay for the medical appointments at the clinic)
- Has a history of a past pregnancy (can be helpful, but is not typically required)
All donor candidates, known or anonymous, must be thoroughly screened before being accepted as a donor. Screening could take from one to two months to complete.
Types of screening are:
- Medical screening
- Psychological counseling
- Genetic counseling
Both recipients and donors are adequately counseled on psychological, moral and legal implication of egg donation and recipients cycle.