Are you one of the increasing number of women contemplating donating your eggs? There are many reasons why egg donation could be right for you. Some women choose to donate because they’re looking for a way to pay for school or other expenses, like traveling. Some are driven by a call to help other women or LGBTQ couples have a family of their own. The great news is no one motivation is better than another. What matters is how important your reason is to you. Understanding the egg donation requirements will help determine your eligibility and what steps are involved to donate.
Standard Acceptance Criteria
There’s a standard set of criteria used to determine if you’re eligible to become an egg donor. You’re eligible if:
- You’re 21-33 years of age. As women age, the quality and quantity of eggs naturally diminishes. Women who are 21 to 33 years of age are ideal egg donor candidates because they’re less likely to have natural egg decline.
- You’re a non-smoker and don’t use drugs. You must currently be a non-smoker and not be using drugs. Use of these substances can negatively affect the health of your eggs.
- You don’t currently have a STD. You can’t be a recent STD carrier. Having a STD can automatically disqualify you or defer your egg donor application for several months.
- You have good overall emotional and physical health. As a potential egg donor, it’s important for your welfare that you be healthy enough to withstand the physical and time commitments egg donation requires.
- You’re available for 3-4 months. A minimum of three months of availability is required. You can anticipate making several trips, sometimes daily when you’re taking fertility medications, to the doctor from the point of initial screening until egg retrieval.
- You’re able to self-administer medicine injections. You must be capable and willing to inject medications into your body to create optimal conditions for egg retrieval.
Egg Donor Screening
Egg donor screening, which is one of the first steps of the egg donation process, serves to benefit both you and prospective parents. You can expect medical professionals to complete a detailed review of your current health and health history. As a potential egg donor, you’ll gain valuable insight into your overall health and receive further confirmation as to whether or not egg donation is right for you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Several tests will be conducted to determine if your eggs are viable. This testing helps characterize your overall health and examines genetic conditions you or even your immediate family members may have. At a minimum, you’ll be tested for drug use and undergo psychological evaluations and medical history examinations. Additionally, you’ll have to answer questionnaires about your educational and professional history. Altogether, your medical information and questionnaire answers will comprise your profile, which will be provided to prospective parents. These potential egg recipients will be able to review your profile during their donor selection process to choose a donor best aligned to their desired characteristics for their future child. Another critical part of the screening process is understanding your legal rights. The contracts you’ll sign serve to protect the legal rights of the egg donor, recipient, and any other entity involved. You’ll legally be absolved from responsibility for any child born from your donated eggs. Egg recipient parents will be protected from you claiming rights to their child. You’ll have the opportunity to review and discuss your legal rights to ensure any contracts you sign are valid and accurately represent you.
Whatever your motivation for becoming an egg donor, determining your eligibility will bring you one step closer to accomplishing your goals while helping other women achieve theirs. Becoming an egg donor is a very tangible way to give other women the opportunity to be a mother. If you think egg donation is right for you, reach out to additional resources like an egg bank. They can answer any additional questions you may have and help you along the way.