What Should I look For When Choosing Donor Eggs?

When you approach the decision to grow your family by becoming pregnant, compromised fertility may be of some concern. A good number of couples and individuals have no idea their fertility is an issue until pregnancy doesn’t occur even after months of well-timed intercourse.

In today’s world there are many treatment options for infertility, and many alternative routes to parenthood, when the usual road shuts down. Although a diagnosis of infertility can be devastating, when the time is right you can consider your new route to pregnancy.


The Choice to Use Donor Eggs

Opting to use donor eggs to grow your family is a decision faced by many couples and individuals every day. There are several different reasons for choosing egg donation to facilitate pregnancy. Among the more common are:

  • Advanced reproductive age; diminished ovarian reserve, or low quality due to age. Your fertility begins to drop off steeply after the age of 38.


  • Premature ovarian failure, a condition in which menopause occurs much earlier than normal, typically before the age of 40.


  • Surgical removal of ovaries


  • Chemotherapy of radiation exposure


  • Genetic condition which could be passed on to your child


  • Previous IVF failure related to poor quality eggs


Donor eggs are really a very common and successful fertility treatment, especially for women over 40, who are otherwise in good health. Women who donate their eggs are much younger, which is why the high success rates are very high when donor eggs are used.

Because the donor is young and in excellent health a good amount of eggs are able to be retrieved and used for IVF, which means there are additional embryos which can be frozen and used as you wish to grow your family even more. Due to the superior quality of the eggs themselves, the risk of miscarriage and certain birth defects is extremely low.


The Process of Choosing Donor Eggs

The majority of donor eggs used in the U.S. come from anonymous donors, however some couples, and individuals, do prefer to know the woman who is donating her eggs. Should you opt to use a known donor, such as a relative, or close friend, you will need to create a legal contractual agreement outlining the terms of any future relationship the donor will have with the child. It’s advisable, when using a known donor, for both parties to consult with an attorney specializing in reproductive law, prior to the actual egg donation.

Using an anonymous donor from an agency provides a protective barrier for both parties. Moreover, egg donation agencies prescreen, and prequalify, regarding such concerns as mental health, family, and medical history, and an overall psychological evaluation of the donor. The agency also screens for recreational alcohol and drug use.

The next step is identifying those characteristics you would like to see reflected in your child. As the donor egg provides half of your future child’s DNA the agency involved provides you with a thorough donor profile. You’ll be able to find out the physical traits which your child may share, such as the young woman’s appearance and ethnicity, as well as shared physical traits of the donor’s family, such as height, weight, eye color, hair color, etc.

Additionally, you’ll be able to ascertain your donor’s interests, such as athletic prowess, musical talents, religious beliefs, particular educational focus, an aptitude for math, science, or the arts. The agency will offer you some insight into the donor’s personality as well, often asking the opinion of the employees who’ve interacted with, and interviewed the young woman. Is she pleasant? Outgoing? Quiet? Shy?

Thoroughly review the profiles of those donors in whom you’re interested. Ask yourself if the donor strikes you as someone you would like to spend time getting to know. Do you share interests? Does she have a particular passion you admire? Would she fit in well with your family? Most of all, trust your heart. Follow your instincts and you won’t be let down.


Donor Eggs Offer A Positive Outcome

Although the initial diagnosis of infertility can be difficult, it’s important to realize you have options. Give yourself time to adjust and then exercise those options. IVF using donor eggs has proven highly successful and the outcome has been extremely positive.  Donor eggs are a wonderful way to grow your family when your own eggs simply are not a possibility.