Why Choose Egg Donation?
Choosing an egg donor is a complicated and important task. Reasons a couple may need egg donation include:
- Woman over 40
- Family history of genetic disease
- Ovarian problems
- Poor egg quality
- Premature menopause
- Hormonal imbalances
- LGBTQ couples who desire a child
Known vs anonymous egg donor
The first step in choosing an egg donor is determining whether you will be using a known (directed) or anonymous donor.
Known donors are typically friends or family members but may also be an agency donor whom the couple has met. Although this is sometimes the preferred method since the donor (and the donor’s medical history) is known to the couple and likely has traits they desire, there can be legal issues with known donors.
Sometimes couples advertise for a private egg donor through online sites or newspapers. Couples who opt for a known donor should always seek legal advice from an attorney experienced in third-party reproduction and a legal contract should be in place before proceeding.
Anonymous donors typically come from an egg donor agency database or egg bank. In some cases, it is possible to meet the donor, but usually, the donor is selected based on criteria the agency has compiled and her identity remains unknown to the couple.
Things to consider when choosing an egg donor
It is vital that the donor provide a complete family and personal medical history. Additionally, donors are screened for any medical or genetic conditions, sexually transmitted diseases or other health issues. Blood work, including blood typing, will be done along with a complete physical. When an egg donor agency is used, the agency handles the screening process.
Other criteria to consider:
- Physical traits – height, build, hair and eye color
- IQ or education level
- Interests or hobbies
- Talents or skills
- Religious background
- Personality traits
Couples may also want to consider a donor’s egg donation history. Is a first-time donor preferred or one that has donated eggs in the past that have gone on to result in successful deliveries?
Choosing an egg donor is an important and emotional process, but you are not alone. Your fertility specialist can help guide you through the process and answer questions you may have along the way.