If you’re already a mother, you know the joys that come with discovering you’re pregnant, preparing for your baby and the magical day you bring a new life into the world. For some women, infertility shatters their dreams of motherhood. Fortunately, there’s an option for women unable to become pregnant using their own eggs. Donated eggs from other caring women allow them to still experience the nine prenatal months of bonding in utero, the birth process and breast feeding – benefits rarely afforded by surrogacy and adoption.
Egg Donor Criteria
If you are a healthy woman between the ages of 21 and 30, you have met the first requirement for egg donation. Past successful pregnancies are a plus. The Bethesda Fertility Center takes great care in securing healthy egg donors using a variety of medical, genetic, physical and psychological screenings.
The following are basic criteria for becoming an egg donor:
- Age must be between 21 and 30
- Must meet appropriate weight requirements
- Must possess negative history of genetically transmittable diseases, cancer, substance abuse, chronic medical condition, prior chemotherapy or radiation therapy, or any unusual anesthesia risks
- Must possess negative history of psychiatric illness
- Must be willing to utilize barrier contraception (or abstain from intercourse) for two menstrual cycles
Screening and Testing
For an overview of the screening
and egg donation process,
including compensation information,
please click here (PDF).
The initial screening begins with a phone call to our office or a completed questionnaire. We will ask you specific questions pertaining to 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, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia 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 donors. Your name or identity to the recipient couple or intended parents will not be used or given out during the process.
Matching with a Recipient
Once matched with an egg recipient, 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 whole day.
Synchronizing Hormonal Cycles
Egg donation requires the synchronization of the hormonal cycles of the recipient and the donor. The recipient is given the natural estrogen of the ovary (Estradiol) by mouth. This is given in a sequential escalating dose. The addition of Progesterone completes the uterine preparation for implantation and is timed to the retrieval of the donor’s eggs for maximum recipient receptivity.