How to Choose an Egg Donor
Choosing an egg donor at a glance
- A couple choosing to use donor eggs to achieve pregnancy must determine what characteristics are important in the donor, such as physical and racial traits, religious background, and so on.
- The couple must also consider if the egg donor will be someone they know, anonymous, a shared anonymous donor, or a split egg donor.
Types of egg donors
- Known donor: Some couples may desire the egg donor to be a relative or be someone they know personally. Other couples might have specific donor requirements that spur them to search for an egg donor without the help of an organization or the fertility clinic.
- Anonymous donor: This most common choice of egg donor is someone whose identity remains unknown to the couple throughout the entire donation process. The majority of female egg donors are found by the fertility clinic, often in conjunction with egg donor agencies.
- Shared anonymous donor: Anonymous donors who have previously donated eggs that were successfully used in an IVF procedure may share a second donation between two anonymous recipients. Since the donor’s eggs have proven to work well, the eggs retrieved can be split between two couples who can share the financial responsibility without harming their chances of achieving pregnancy.
- Split egg donor: A woman in need of IVF treatment may not have the finances or insurance coverage to cover the costs. In these instances, the woman may choose to split the healthy eggs gathered during her retrieval with another women in need of donor eggs to make the treatment cost effective for both parties. Physicians can coordinate these opportunities to make sure each woman has an equal chance of achieving pregnancy.
Egg donor screening
Whether the egg donor is known or not, they must be screened for the following:
- Medical and social history
- History of birth defects or hereditary diseases
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Physical examination
- Psychological screening
Why women donate
Most women donate their eggs in order to help couples that cannot become parents on their own. While some donors are family members, the majority are anonymous women, often who have had children of their own or have seen people close to them go through the struggles of infertility, who want to share the joy of parenthood with those in need. Most donors are glad about their decision, and a study of why women donate conducted by Robert Wood Johnson Medical School showed the number one reason women chose to donate their eggs – above other motives such as financial compensation or feeling good about themselves – was the desire to help others.