Donating eggs can be a very rewarding experience. However, for a safe and effective process, there are a few requirements to donate eggs that you will need to meet. Here at Santa Monica Fertility, we use the following egg donor qualifications to assess your health and lifestyle before you can begin your egg donation journey. Keep reading to learn more and see if you qualify.
We generally will only consider women between the ages of 18 and 29 to donate eggs. This is because a woman’s egg reserve diminishes as she ages. While many women believe they are fertile right until menopause, it actually becomes more challenging to get pregnant with each passing year. This is not only because women lose eggs as they get older, but also because the quality of the remaining eggs declines over time. Limiting egg donation to women under the age of 30 gives us a better chance of harvesting eggs that are viable.
While donating eggs can be exciting, it’s important to remember that the process is still a medical procedure. In order to make sure this procedure goes as smoothly as possible, we require all of our egg donors to be in good physical health. Our medical team will check your vitals and medical history before you start the process to make sure your body is healthy enough to handle egg donation. Healthy women are more likely to have healthy eggs, so working with donors in good health increases the odds of that woman’s eggs creating a healthy baby.
Most women need a BMI under 28 in order to donate eggs. Being at a healthy weight is one of the factors that intended parents will screen for when selecting egg donors. While a woman’s BMI is just one aspect of her overall health, it is an important consideration during fertility treatments. Obesity can affect your hormones (particularly estrogen) and make the donation process more complicated. Obesity can also impact how your body metabolizes fertility drugs and can make our medications less effective. If you are obese and would still like to donate your eggs, a doctor can help you lose weight in a healthy way so you can meet egg donor qualifications in the future.
You must be STI-free for at least 12 months prior to donating eggs. Sexually transmitted infections impact your reproductive system, so it is important that all infections are properly managed before you begin this journey. However, we understand that there are a wide range of STIs and a variety of symptoms that people experience. If you have a treatable STI and are still interested in donating eggs, once you receive treatment and have been STI free for 12 months, our team will work with you to begin the process. Unfortunately, we cannot accept donors with incurable STIs like HIV.
Nicotine, tobacco, and illegal drugs all impact your health by introducing toxins into your body. These chemicals can also impact your egg reserve, ovulation, and overall fertility. Because we want our egg donors to be as healthy as possible, we choose to work with non-smokers who do not have a history of illegal drug use. Most intended parents also prefer to work with egg donors who do not smoke or use drugs.
You now know how crucial your health is as an egg donor. But did you know your family health history is important as well? Intended parents are very interested in your family history as this will be the genetic legacy of their future child. Not only will intended parents want to learn about the health of your parents and siblings, but they will also want to know if you have any risk factors for inherited diseases like certain cancers or mental health disorders.
You might have heard about the Zika virus in the news. This mosquito-borne disease can cause birth defects in babies if pregnant women get infected with Zika. If you have visited an area that has been affected by the Zika virus in the last six month, it might be possible for the disease to affect your egg follicles. Scientists are still learning how this disease spreads and egg donor qualifications might change in the future when more information on this virus is available. Visiting a country with a Zika outbreak does not automatically disqualify you from donating eggs, but it is still a consideration that we’ll need to discuss. You can still meet our requirements to donate eggs, however, we’ll ask you to wait 6 months before donating. Here you can see the map of affected countries and learn more about Zika.
Egg donation is a process that requires time commitment. You will need to meet with us for an initial screening and consultation, then commit to 3 or 4 visits per week for approximately 2 weeks while you receive fertility injections. On the day of your egg retrieval, you will also need to take the day off from school or work. While the process is rewarding and so worthwhile, the number of appointments you will be required to attend might feel like having a second job for a short while.
While these are our general egg donor qualifications, we understand that certain circumstances might disqualify an otherwise healthy egg donor. At Santa Monica Fertility we consider each application on a case-by-case basis so if you think egg donation is right for you, please contact us or call our office on 310-566-1470. We would love to answer any questions you may have and see if you meet our requirements to donate eggs.
If you are ready to start your egg donation journey, you can submit your application here.