What are the requirements to become an egg donor?
Why do egg donor requirements exist? If you’ve considered donating eggs, you’ve probably noticed the long list of criteria for all donors. These requirements exist to protect the health, well-being, and safety of everyone involved: donors, intended parents, and any donor-conceived children. Each qualification comes from specific medical reasoning. Review the list of requirements to make sure you meet them before applying to become a egg donor. To donate eggs, you must:
Be Between 21-29 years old
Intended parents seek out donor eggs either because they are unable to conceive with their own eggs, or because they don’t have eggs themselves. In both cases, the goal of egg donation is to provide several healthy eggs so intended parents have the best chance of conceiving. With age, both egg quantity and quality decrease. The peak window for fertility occurs in a person’s 20s. So, this age requirement for donors of 21-29 years old provides the best window for retrieving several healthy eggs.
Pass a Comprehensive Physical and Mental Health Screening Process
Egg donors go through a comprehensive screening process for three main reasons:
- To ensure they are physically and emotionally prepared to donate eggs
- To evaluate their egg quality and quantity
- To establish their family medical history and any inheritable conditions
To the first point, egg donation involves a meaningful physical and emotional commitment. The donation process involves a few weeks of self-injected hormones and a minor surgical procedure to retrieve the eggs. And while you won’t have parental rights/responsibilities as an egg donor, it’s important to understand the potential implications of donation. The physical and mental health egg donor requirements make sure that you are fully prepared for what donation entails.
On a more basic level, this process also ensures that donors are healthy and will respond well to the medications involved. Part of the physical screening involves measuring the levels of different hormones that correspond to egg quantity and production. Similarly, some conditions can affect the quantity or quality of eggs, and may rule out candidates.
Finally, as an egg donor, you contribute 50% to any donor-conceived child’s genetics. This means that they receive your family’s genetic and medical history as well, and may inherit certain genetic conditions. To this end, donors must provide a full family medical history. Unfortunately, this does mean some adopted candidates may be ineligible to donate if they do not have access to their biological parents’ medical histories.
Overall, this egg donor requirement ensures a candidate can safely donate and to provide intended parents with a complete picture to help them make informed decisions when choosing a donor.
Not Use Drugs, Tobacco/Nicotine Products, or Abuse Alcohol
These substances can reduce egg quality and quantity and interfere with consistent ovulation. As noted, egg donation exists to provide intended parents with an improved chance of getting pregnant. If the donated eggs have been damaged by substance use, or fewer eggs are retrieved than anticipated, they may not raise the intended parents’ chance of a healthy pregnancy. Keep in mind that vape pens, e-cigarettes, and cannabis products can all affect egg quantity and quality, and their use will disqualify an egg donor candidate.
Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 19-29
BMI, which measures body fat based on height and weight, doesn’t cause good or bad health on its own. We do not use the BMI as an indication of our donor candidates’ health. However, BMI does affect the efficacy and safety of other aspects of egg donation, including medication dosages and reactions to anesthesia. Therefore, this egg donor requirement exists to protect our donors’ health and safety during the donation process.
Be Able to Meet the Requirements for Egg Donation Appointments
The egg donation process involves several medical appointments, many of which are time sensitive and cannot be rescheduled. Typically, donors at our donor egg bank, SIMPLIFY, attend regular monitoring appointments in the morning over a two week period while they take their hormonal medications. After that, we schedule an egg retrieval at a specific time after receiving a “trigger shot” to prepare the eggs for retrieval. When applying to be a donor, make sure you have enough flexibility in your schedule to attend the necessary appointments and take at least a day off for the egg retrieval. If you attend classes, consider becoming a donor in the summer or on winter break, so you have the most flexibility.
Meet the Requirements? Become an Egg Donor at PNWF
Egg donor requirements reduce any risks to donors while increasing the intended parents’ chance of a successful, healthy pregnancy. Each donor agency or egg bank may have additional qualifications that can help your profile stand out to intended parents. The criteria listed here represent the most common and non-negotiable requirements for egg donor candidates.