Becoming an egg donor
The Bethesda Fertility Center takes great care in securing healthy egg donors using best practice medical, genetic, physical and psychological screenings. The following are basic criteria for becoming an egg donor:
- Between 21 and 30 years old
- Meets appropriate weight requirements
- Does not have a history of genetically transmittable diseases, cancer, substance abuse, chronic medical condition, prior chemotherapy or radiation therapy, or any unusual anesthesia risks
- Does not have a history of psychiatric illness
- Is willing to use barrier contraception (or abstain from intercourse) for two menstrual cycles
Screening and testing
The initial screening begins with a phone call to our office or a completed questionnaire. We will ask you specific questions about your and your family’s health histories. Other screening steps include:
- Ultrasound and blood work
- Meetings with a physician and psychologist
- Blood test for HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, sexually transmitted diseases, and drug screening
How egg donation works
Candidates who pass the screening criteria become part of our donor pool and are eligible for a match with a recipient. Our donors are anonymous. Your name or identity will not be provided to the recipient couple or intended parents.
Once matched, you will be taught to give medications to yourself that stimulate the ovary to produce multiple eggs. Once your eggs are mature, a physician will surgically remove them using an ultrasound-guided vaginal procedure. You will be given anesthesia for maximum comfort, and you will be required to rest the entire day of the procedure.
Egg donation requires hormonal cycles of the recipient and the donor to be synchronized. The recipient is given natural estrogen of the ovary (Estradiol) orally in a series of escalating doses. The addition of Progesterone completes the preparation. The implantation procedure is timed to the donor’s egg retrieval for the best results.