More than 70 percent of women older than 45 who try assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) use donor eggs to try to conceive a child. Each year thousands of babies are born in the United States as a result of egg donation and ART.

With these staggering numbers, you may have questions about egg donation and whether it’s a good fertility treatment option for you. So, let’s answer some of your frequently asked questions!

The Basics

Donor egg treatment is an IVF cycle in which a woman uses another woman’s eggs (the donor) rather than her own.

Why are egg donors used?

There are several reasons why IVF with donor eggs may be recommended fertility treatment such as:

  • Advancing age (beyond 40 years)
  • Declining ovarian function or ovarian failure
  • Exposure to chemotherapy and/or excessive radiation
  • Surgical removal of the ovaries
  • Reduce chances of passing along genetic diseases to children
  • Recurrent IVF failure due to poor quality eggs or embryos
  • Premature menopause
  • Same-sex couples

What is the process?

First, an egg donor is selected, which is done through an agency that prepares extensive donor profiles. Next, an egg donor recipient and her partner can select the most suitable egg donor, a process often offered through a dedicated web site. Once the choice has been narrowed down to two or three, the donor recipient submits their medical records to their preferred assisted reproductive technologies physician. After this, a medical consultation and physical exam are scheduled.

Between the donor agency and the physician’s office, egg donors and embryo recipients have access to all the information needed to ensure the donation cycle is smooth and incident-free.

What makes a woman an ideal egg donor?

  • Between the ages of 21 and 32 with a history of previously achieving pregnancy on her own or of one or more recipientsof embryos derived from her eggs having achieved a live birth
  • A body mass index (BMI) of 27 or less
  • Having a regular monthly menstrual cycle, and no reproductive disorders
  • In good emotional and physical health
  • Non-smoker, Non-drug user
  • Not a carrier of any sexually transmitted disease
  • Willing to take injectable medication
  • Has a flexible schedule to meet time commitment

Why be an egg donor?

Women may choose to be egg donors for a variety of reasons—the joy of giving someone a chance to start their family, the sense of accomplishment that they’ve changed someone’s life, the opportunity to learn more about themselves, for the financial compensation, or being a support system to a couple.

What are the restrictions for the egg donor during the process? 

  • Donors should refrain from sexual intercourse while on medications for the cycle until three weeks after egg retrieval. The injectable medications make the donor very fertile, which increases the risk of unplanned pregnancy.
  • Donor should also avoid any strenuous exercise from the time stimulation hormones are started through egg retrieval to avoid complications.
  • Once injections start, donors should also abstain from consuming alcohol.

Are you considering donating your eggs or are in search of an alternate path to parenthood? At Sher Fertility Institute, we offer a range of fertility treatment options including Donor Egg IVF, and our team of specialists would be happy to address all of your concerns. Call us today at (646)-792-7476 or request an appointment through our form.