Become an Egg Donor

The Egg Donation Process: Are you a candidate?

The Egg Donor

Egg donors are women between the ages of 21 and 30. They are young enough to have many good quality eggs and to respond well to fertility drugs. Egg donors undergo comprehensive medical and psychological screening to ensure they are healthy candidates who are likely to respond well to treatment and to understand the psychological implications of their decision. The egg donor will also undergo testing for infectious diseases and genetic screening to make sure nothing could be passed along unknowingly to the child.

The Egg Recipient

Recipients are women who might consider the egg donation process because of one of the following conditions:

  • Ovarian failure
  • Premature menopause
  • Surgical removal of ovaries
  • Advanced age
  • A genetic condition that she does not want to be passed on
  • Multiple IVF failures
  • Inadequate response to ovulation induction

Before the Egg Donation Process

If you and your partner are the recipient couple, you will first undergo an evaluation. This typically includes a detailed medical history of both partners as well as infectious disease screening for syphilis, hepatitis B and C, and HIV. While the male partner will have a semen analysis, the woman's assessment is much more involved. The assessment helps to make certain that your health would not be jeopardized by pregnancy as well as to optimize the success of the pregnancy. You may also undergo a mock egg donation cycle or "prep cycle." This is done to make sure that the recipient's endometrium lining thickens well enough and the desired blood levels can be achieved to support pregnancy. For 4 to 6 weeks, you are given medications and are monitored for hormonal blood levels and endometrial growth. Counseling is also performed so you and your partner understand the egg donation process, likelihood of success, and the risks, as well as the psychological implications of third party reproduction.

Making the Match

Most egg donor programs use anonymous donors. Some programs give you a profile about the donor that includes ethnicity, height, weight, body type, skin type, eye color, hair color and texture. You can then decide whether or not to select the donor. Other programs may allow you to choose between a few different donor profiles.

How Does the Egg Donation Process Work?

When a woman is identified as a donor, she takes fertility medications to stimulate the development of multiple eggs. When the eggs have developed or matured, they are removed from the donor's ovaries. Usually, around 10 to 20 eggs can be retrieved. Once the eggs are outside the donor's body, they are fertilized with sperm from any source (such as your male partner or a sperm donor). The fertilized eggs are allowed to mature further in the laboratory. Also in the egg donation process, you will take hormones (estrogen and progesterone, which are normally produced from the ovaries) to prepare your uterus to accept the embryos. Finally, the embryos are transferred into your uterus. You will continue to take hormonal medications to support the lining of the uterus after the transfer. If the embryo implants into the lining of your uterus and continues to develop, then a pregnancy has occurred. You will continue the hormone treatment for the first trimester of the pregnancy. The hormones allow your baby's placenta to develop and eventually take over the production of hormones.

High Success Rate

The success rates for the egg donation process far exceed those for regular IVF. This is probably due to the fact that the donors who provide the eggs are young and don't have fertility problems themselves. In addition, the risks for miscarriage and babies with chromosomal abnormalities are also reduced since they are dependent on the age of the donor not the recipient. The good news is that using the egg donation process, 55 to 80 percent result in a live birth. More importantly, age is not a major factor in the success rate. Whether the egg donation process is for you is a decision that must be made with careful consideration.


In choosing an egg donor parents frequently want someone who looks like the potential mother, and comes from a similar socio-economic background including education and IQ. Many Indians also prefer that the egg donors be from the same caste and regions. For example, a Guajarati would prefer a Guajarati egg donor, and a Punjabi would prefer a Punjabi egg donor. Unfortunately, to achieve this level of selectivity and find a suitable donor in the United States and other European countries, the wait times are frequently up to two years if at all. Frequently, potential parents then resort to adoption as an option. Secondly the cost of egg donor services in the USA is averaging $30,000 with medications and this is frequently more than many people can afford much as they would like to have a child. Our costs are about one third of USA costs. Thirdly, many egg donor agencies are manned by people with limited understanding of the medical issues that, if corrected prior to the egg donors and embryos being retrieved and put in the potential mother, may increase the success rate of a pregnancy. Our Centers are staffed by world famous IVF specialists who have over 20 years of experience in working with couples like yourselves. At our centers at the USA and India we have initiated a very simple program to address these issues.

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