Egg donation and other advances in medical fertility have allowed millions of couples to build families in ways they would not be able to manage otherwise.
More women are also donating their eggs than ever before, making it an ideal time for couples looking for the perfect match to help them conceive.
Here are some tips to help you identify the perfect egg donor.
Table of Contents
- What qualities make a good egg donor?
- Physical Health History
- Mental Health History
- Age and Weight
- Physical Traits and Ethnicity
- Does blood type matter with donor eggs?
- Is it better to use fresh or frozen donor eggs?
What qualities make a good egg donor?
Physical Health History
An egg donor needs to have a comprehensive family history that is reasonable. While it does not need to be perfect, it needs to be free of genetic ailments and not laden with early death or serious congenital illnesses.
Mental Health History
Egg donors ought to have a stable mental health history between themselves and their immediate family. This is because fertility centers need to ensure that donors are positive, emotionally stable, responsible, and psychologically sound.
This aspect of mental health also applies to how prospective donors handle themselves with the donor cycle. It is important for potential donors to follow the directions of fertility experts and to show up for appointments on time.
Also, the medications taken prior to the retrieval procedure are not difficult to administer, rather they require precision and remembering to administer in the way they were prescribed.
Age and Weight
Egg donor agencies and fertility experts recommend the ideal age for egg donors to be between the ages of 21 and 30. Some donor agencies do not accept new donors aged 29 into their pool. This is because it takes up to a few months for donors to be chosen by intended parents, thus exceeding the ideal maximum age.
This age span has been generally agreed upon because egg donors under 21 may not always understand the implications of the commitment they are agreeing to undertake. On the other hand, women over 30 experience some decline in fertility.
Using egg donors and fertility treatments, in general, is expensive, and intended parents want to ensure that they are receiving eggs from healthy and fertile young women who are unlikely to experience significant infertility issues.
When it comes to weight, donors should generally be under 160 pounds and have a BMI under 33 to donate eggs. This is because a high BMI may impede both ovarian stimulation and the egg retrieval process. Even after the eggs have been retrieved successfully, a high BMI may affect egg quality and development.
Physical Traits and Ethnicity
An egg donor’s physical characteristics and ethnic background are important to potential parents. This stems from the natural desire to match their future children’s appearance to themselves as closely as possible.
Thus, many egg donor agencies require pictures of donors of different ages in the past and the present, and family photos to allow future parents to choose desirable traits.
One of the most appealing factors to prospective parents is the thought of their baby being smart, which opens the way for many educational opportunities to increase the likelihood of a successful future.
Does blood type matter with donor eggs?
Interestingly, the blood types of donors do not impact either the outcome of the IVF cycle or the health of the resulting child. The blood type is only relevant in very specific instances, such as when the mother’s blood type is Rhesus (Rh) negative and that of the developing embryo is Rh positive.
An obstetrician is expected to administer a RhoGAM dose to the recipient mother which prevents the Rh-mother from making antibodies during pregnancy.
The blood type is also important to parents who don’t intend to inform their children that they were conceived with the assistance of egg donors. This is because a child may inherit a particular blood type from the egg donor that cannot be a possible combination of the intended parents’ blood types.
This is a personal decision often influenced by cultural and religious factors among other factors. Ultimately, intended parents are respected with the view that they are making decisions that are right for them and their families.
Is it better to use fresh or frozen donor eggs?
Intended parents using egg donation have the choice of using either fresh eggs or frozen eggs for conception, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Therefore, choosing between the two alternatives comes down to the personal situation and preference of the intended parents.
The early stages of egg donor processes are fundamentally the same for both fresh and frozen eggs. When looking for egg donors, intended parents only have to look through databases for selection, since potential donors are already screened for optimal health.
Significant differences when using fresh or frozen eggs begin to emerge once intended parents have selected their preferred donor. When using a fresh donor egg, both the recipient and the donor must have their cycles synchronized Once synchronized cycles have been achieved, the process speeds up rapidly, with the eggs being retrieved and fertilized with the intended sperm so that the resulting embryo can be implanted into the recipient.
When using a frozen donor egg, there is no need to synchronize the cycles since the eggs have already been retrieved from the donors and have been frozen through vitrification. The eggs are already in storage and have been checked for viability.
This is more flexible for intended parents who can plan out a conception process that suits their schedules because the eggs can be fertilized and implanted at a fertility center of ideal choice whenever they are ready.
The biggest differentiating factor between fresh and frozen donor eggs is the cost and the success rates associated with each choice. Since fresh donor eggs require much more coordination, they typically cost more than frozen eggs.
Fresh donor eggs have a higher success rate, with about 53 to 57% of successful fresh egg transfers, according to the national average in the United States. This starkly contrasts the 35 to 45% of successful donor egg transfers according to the same national average.
Remember that this success rate highly depends on the technology in use and the expertise of the embryologist that performs the vitrification process.
Some practices have better success rates with frozen donor eggs than others do, so intended parents should do their best to find experienced and knowledgeable fertility professionals.
Donor eggs have helped millions of people around the world to realize their dreams of growing their own families.
Picking the right egg donor can make a big difference to your eventual experience.
Find out more about egg donors by reaching out to members of our surrogacy community to understand their experience with egg donors.