Egg Donor Requirements, Explained
If you’ve decided to donate your eggs, know that you are making it possible for a family to realize their dreams of parenthood. But to qualify, you must meet stringent guidelines and requirements, both government-regulated and for the donor center itself. Covering topics such as health status, sexual history, and lifestyle, these requirements ensure the health and well-being of egg donors, intended parents, and babies born from donor eggs.
Why Egg Donation Requirements Are So Strict
People who rely on donor eggs to have a child devote a great deal of time, effort, and money towards achieving their dream. In some cases, such as same-sex cis-male couples, the intended parents know from the very beginning that they will need an egg donor. In other cases, such as infertility, an individual or couple may only realize they need an egg donor after already trying other options. When an intended parent is matched with an egg donor, the agency and clinic take all possible steps to ensure successful childbirth.
You should know that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets federal standards for all donor tissue programs, including donor eggs. Per their regulations, all medical records must be carefully reviewed before a candidate can be considered eligible to join an egg donor agency’s roster. Before you can donate, you’ll have to undergo the following screenings and legal steps, including the FDA requirements.
- Psychological evaluation – You’ll speak with a psychologist to discuss egg donation benefits and risks, as well as your motivations. This ensures your reliability and commitment, and also allows you to address any questions and concerns and find needed support.
- Fertility Screening – You’ll be screened to confirm if you’re able to produce enough healthy eggs. This step will also address your menstrual health. You can expect a physical/pelvic exam, blood tests, and a vaginal ultrasound.
- Medical Screening – You’ll be tested for blood type, sexual and other infectious diseases, drug use, and general health. If you have a sexual partner, they may be required to undergo screening for sexually transmitted diseases.
- Genetic Screening – Your family history will be evaluated, including blood work, to identify possible hereditary diseases or genetic disorders.
- Legal Contract – Once you’ve successfully passed all screenings, attorneys will draft the legal contract and both you and the intended parent(s) will review and sign. An attorney will be assigned to help you in reviewing this contract.
Health Guidelines For Egg Donation
Potential donors must be physically and emotionally healthy. At West Coast Egg Donation, for example, we require donors to be between the ages of 21 and 29 years old, as this age range is more likely to have a healthy ovarian reserve, which is a sufficient number of healthy, high-quality eggs.
Potential egg donors must maintain a healthy lifestyle, as certain behaviors can negatively impact egg quality. For example, candidates must avoid smoking, drug use, and any tattoos or body piercings within 12 months before donation and while undergoing a donation cycle. You must also have a healthy body mass index (BMI).
You should also be aware of how much time commitment is involved in the egg donation process. Not only will your schedule have to be flexible enough to accommodate 5-10 appointments, but you may also be required to travel for 5-8 days, depending on where the fertility clinic is located.
Learn More About Egg Donor Requirements in California
While the requirements to be an egg donor are strict, they’re designed to protect both you and the intended parents. If you have any questions about the egg donor process, including eligibility, contact West Coast Egg Donation.