What is egg donation?
Egg donation is a process by which eggs (oocytes) are obtained from either an anonymous, or known (relative, friend, etc.), egg donor, and fertilized with the sperm provided by the partner of the female patient (egg recipient), or with donor sperm. The embryos that form are then placed in the uterus (womb) of the egg recipient for the purpose of achieving a pregnancy.
Those who are able to donate eggs (healthy women ages 21-32) may be eligible to receive $8,000 for their donation. To become an egg donor, click here, or learn more about the process and criteria below.
Egg donation is a highly successful treatment that has been used throughout the world since the mid-1980’s, helping thousands of recipient couples become pregnant. The technology used involves in vitro fertilization using donor eggs. At the Center for Advanced Reproductive Medicine & Fertility, we have performed egg donation with tremendous success for many years. Our physicians, laboratory personnel, and nursing staff are highly experienced in the use of these technologies, resulting in many healthy babies being born to over the years.
Recipients are infertile women (single or married) who are 50 years of age or younger, and have been unable to successfully conceive for various reasons. Many have not conceived with IVF or other fertility treatments. Others have been diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve (poor egg quality) by hormonal testing or a very low response to fertility medications. Some women have a genetic issue preventing them from using their own eggs, while others have compromised egg quality due to prior ovarian surgery, premature menopause or ovarian failure (spontaneous or from chemo/radiation therapy), and other conditions.
Recipient couples have a choice of either anonymous or known (friend or relative) egg donation, or they may go through a frozen egg bank (click here for more information). Recipients at our center are free to request specific characteristics in their egg donor such as hair/eye color, blood type, ethnic or religious background, etc., based upon availability at the time of the matching process.
The Egg Donor Program at the Center for Advanced Reproductive Medicine & Fertility follows the guidelines of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). In accordance with these guidelines, screening tests are performed on both partners. In addition, a comprehensive screening process is undertaken on the donor herself before she is deemed eligible to donate her eggs. Your doctor and the medical staff will discuss these with you in greater detail at your office visit.
After completion of the screening process and successful matching with an egg donor, the recipient female will be required to undergo a “mock” or “practice” cycle to make sure that her endometrial (uterine) lining reaches normal maturity prior to the actual donation cycle. Any problems discovered can usually be treated without difficulty. After successful completion of the mock cycle, the actual egg donation cycle will be performed. Please note that both mock and the actual egg donation cycles require the use of injectable medications. This treatment will be discussed with you in greater detail during your office consultations. In addition, please be aware that our medical staff provides constant personal care and attention to assist you throughout this entire process.
Egg donation can be anonymous and non-anonymous (“known”). Anonymous egg donors must meet the following criteria:
- Age between 21 and 32 years
- Good general health
- No significant medical problems
- No current or prior history of drug abuse or sexually transmitted diseases
- Successful completion of the psychological evaluation
Our donors are all caring individuals who wish to help an infertile couple receive the gift of life. Some are students at local colleges or graduate schools, while others are working professionals. Regardless, all donors are required to provide an extensive personal and family health profile, which is provided to the prospective recipient couple. Our program’s philosophy is to provide as much information as possible to the recipient couple regarding anonymous donors without ever divulging their identity. Similarly, the egg donor would never receive any information regarding the identity of our patients. All of these donors are counseled extensively regarding the entire donation process, including the absolute need to maintain confidentiality. In addition, donors are compensated $8,000 upon completion of the egg donation cycle.
Known egg donors must meet the same general criteria as anonymous donors with some exceptions, such as the upper age limit. Since known egg donation takes place between individuals who generally share a strong personal relationship, some of the criteria will be reviewed on an individual basis.
Egg donation is one of our most successful programs at The Center for Advanced Reproductive Medicine & Fertility. It is well documented that pregnancy rates are not generally influenced by the age of the recipients, and many women well into their 40’s have successfully conceived using this treatment. For our most current pregnancy rates, please refer to the Success Section of our website.
How Do Egg Recipients Get Started?
Recipient couples who are interested in pursuing egg donation should schedule an initial office appointment with one of the physicians at The Center for Advanced Reproductive Medicine & Fertility. At that time, the overall screening and matching processes, as well as the treatment protocols will be discussed. Once the couple decides to move forward with egg donation, they will then need to schedule a meeting with the office practice administrator, who will review with them in great detail the financial aspects involved, including any and all insurance related issues. Following this, and often on the same day, they will then meet with our egg donor Physician, and Nursing Staff, coordinators. At those meetings, the specific screening and treatment processes will be reviewed in detail. In the case of anonymous donation, the coordinator will also present profiles on available donors whom we feel would be appropriate matches for you based on a “wish list” that you and your partner will create for us. Couples can review these profiles at their leisure, and once they decide to accept a particular donor, the treatment process will begin. Please note that while a great deal of thought and efforts are taken in the matching process, the recipient couple always has the final say in accepting or rejecting a particular donor.
We always strive to keep the entire process of egg donation as simple, convenient, and stress-free as possible for all parties involved. The egg donation team (medical and business personnel) is readily available to answer all of your questions and address any issues you may have at any time.
How Do Egg Donors Get Started?
If you meet the above criteria and are interested in becoming an egg donor, there is an initial application and information sheet, please click here . Alternatively, please feel free to contact us at 732-339-9300, and ask to speak to Erika, our Egg Donor Coordinator (extension 109). After we review your initial application, there will be a more comprehensive health and personal family questionnaire that we will send to you which you will need to complete and return to us by mail or email. Once we receive this, we will contact you to schedule a baseline blood test and ultrasound, followed by a meeting with our physician and nurse donor coordinators to initiate the screening process, which typically takes a few weeks. After the screening has been successfully completed, we will match you with a recipient couple, and the actual treatment cycle will then take place. Please know that in addition to the financial compensation, the joy of helping a recipient couple achieve their dream of parenthood is one that simply cannot be measured, and that truly lasts for a lifetime.
Interested? Click here to complete our egg donor form.
For more information, please view our frequently asked questions page.