Donating eggs has been defined as one of the most rewarding decisions a woman can make. Learn about the requirements for egg donors and how the process works.
Egg donation is a big commitment, but also an exceptionally fulfilling experience because you will be part of someone’s story.
If you are curious about donating your eggs, you may ask yourself, “Why become an egg donor?” Here’s what women have said when asked that very question:
- Desire to help others
- Know someone who is facing infertility
- Desire to make a lasting impact
- Be a role model
- It’s empowering
And though, normally, there are financial gains associated with donation, the truth is that most women do it as a form of altruism.
Before moving ahead, it’s important that you learn about the egg donation process as well as the criteria for egg donation. Read below to learn more.
What Are the Requirements to Donate Eggs?
The egg donation process is designed to ensure the health and security of all parties involved. Also, donation criteria must adhere to governmental policies; for example, in the US, donated eggs must comply with the reproductive Tissue Policy as set forth by the FDA.
Women who are interested in donating their eggs must meet personal, health, geographic and educational qualifications. Some of these qualifications, such as being a nonsmoker or being physically healthy, are quite self-explanatory; however, some may surprise you.
As part of the screening process concerned with your health, you will undergo certain health exams and personal checks to ensure that you do not pass on any serious illnesses or medical conditions to the baby or recipient.
Also, we should note that there may be differences between fertility clinics regarding egg donor requirements. Some can be stricter than others, however, most have similar criteria. You will find them listed below.
Be within a certain age range
Egg donors must be over 21 and under 35 years of age, however, some centers might have a lower cut off age (usually 32 or below). The reason for this is that egg viability and oocyte count are usually low in women over the cut off age.
In the US and Canada, you must be a US or Canadian citizen (or have a permanent residency) to become an egg donor.
No-Smoking/No Drug usage
This includes tobacco and marijuana. Tobacco and other recreational drugs can impact fertility, cause birth defects, and other complications.
Alcohol may be allowed in small amounts. However, if the potential donor is a heavy drinker, this may indicate a predisposition to alcoholism and disqualify her from donation.
Have a healthy BMI
Body Mass Index (BMI) must be in the normal range. Most agencies will require a BMI of 28 or below, however, some will allow for a maximum of 30 BMI (which is in the overweight range).
No Health Concerns
Women considering egg donation need to be quite healthy. Past positive results for STIs, past medication and birth control history, and other relevant information, will be requested.
Contraception is very important. Some candidates are surprised when they learn that they are ineligible for donation due to the birth control method they are using. Generally, any method of contraception that impacts the regularity of menstruation will not be accepted because this can interfere with the donation cycle.
Clear Family History
Medical and mental health histories are very important for egg donation. Family history of certain mental health conditions may prevent from qualifying as donor.
While potential donors who were adopted or conceived from donor eggs are not specifically excluded, anyone who cannot provide updated medical history of their biological parents, grandparents, and siblings, may be excluded.
What Disqualifies You from Being an Egg Donor?
Unfortunately, not all women can become egg donors. Potential candidates can be disqualified for several reasons, including:
- Not within the age range
- Unhealthy lifestyle
- Smoking cigarettes
- History of drug use
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Infertility issues
- Inheritable genetic disorders
- Use of certain types of contraception
If any of these apply to you, don’t worry; you might still be able to donate your eggs.
Of course, you won’t be able to change your age or your medical records, but you might be able to make small changes in your lifestyle to improve other factors. For example, you could improve your diet to reach a healthy BMI. Also, you could stop smoking, switch to a different birth control method, and so on.
Some fertility specialists and egg banks might have additional tests or other criteria that need to be met. It’s important to learn about the requirements of being a donor, to ask questions, etc. Doing these things will help you save time and energy.
If you are thinking about donating eggs and you meet all the donor egg qualifications, your next step is to learn about the process and get started.