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Becoming an Egg Recipient

Making the decision to use an egg donor is a profound step. The good news about being an egg recipient is that the success rate after egg donation is higher than any other treatment since eggs are obtained from young women who have excellent potential for implantation.

At a Glance

  • Since making the decision to use an egg donor can be challenging, we recommend counseling with an expert psychologist experienced in third-party reproduction as well as your physician
  • Egg donors undergo extensive screening to be allowed to donate eggs
  • Screening is required for both non-directed and directed (known) donors

Candidates for the use of donor eggs

The following is a list of patients who may choose egg donation:

  • Women born without ovaries
  • Women of advanced reproductive age
  • Women who have diminished ovarian reserve based on testing such as ultrasound observation of antral follicles and the AMH test
  • Women who are carriers of significant genetic disorders or have a family history of a condition for which carrier status cannot be determined
  • Women who have tried in vitro fertilization and have poor egg or embryo quality, or multiple previous failed attempts to conceive
  • Men who do not have a female partner or who have a trans-female partner and are planning to use a gestational carrier

Egg recipient counseling

We counsel patients on making the decision to be an egg recipient extensively in our office. However, it always helps to spend at least an hour with a trained professional who can assess and discuss issues related to becoming an egg recipient. The professional counselor helps the woman or couple discuss their own potential emotional, moral, ethical, and social issues around using an egg donor.

Understanding egg donor screening

Egg donors are women who are carefully selected after a rigorous screening process, including the strict guidelines provided by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They must be between ages 21-30 and have a very healthy lifestyle and personal medical history. They are screened by questionnaire as well as interviews with the medical staff, a physician, and a psychological counselor. Many prospective egg donors are turned away because they do not fit the strict criteria.

Egg donation requires an egg donor to have an extensive medical procedure using injectable drugs, monitoring, egg retrieval usually under anesthesia, and follow up because her ovaries are enlarged and uncomfortable for a few days. There is significant time involved, discomfort and risk for the donor. Women donating eggs for reproductive purposes in a non-directed manner are compensated based on ethical guidelines set by the Ethics Committee of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).

Does an egg donor who is a relative require screening?

Yes, we recommend it. The risk of having an abnormal baby if you and your partner or donor have the same mutations is 1:4. So couples could have one or more babies which are normal and then have an affected child. A carrier screen is important for everyone to make sure that they do not have a baby with cystic fibrosis or other avoidable disorders.

Gestational carriers who are using egg donors and their male partners must be tested for sexually transmitted illnesses.

How many eggs do I need?

Typically, eggs are selected in batches of 6 or 12, but there are times when that varies. The donor egg cycle includes her drug stimulation, screening and donor fee. FET is also covered.

Recipient screening

The FDA requires screening and testing of the recipients of egg donation. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine recommends evaluation of the male and female partner for sexually transmitted diseases.

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