By Andrea Rodrigo BSc, MSc (embryologist).
Last Update: 07/20/2016

In Russia, egg donation can be carried out in several ways. On the one hand, the legal framework allows donors to be financially compensated or, if previously established, they can do it in an altruistic manner as well.

On the other hand, there exist two options regarding egg donor identity:

  • Anonymous egg donation
  • Non-anonymous or known egg donation

Depending on the option chosen, the selection of an egg donor will be carried out by the intended parents or by the fertility clinic where they are about to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Choosing the ideal prospective egg donor

Broadly speaking, egg donation processes are done taking into account that the donor remains anonymous. As a matter of fact, there are many fertility clinics that allow for just this alternative.

Since intended parents are not allowed to get identifying information about their donor, nor the donor can know about the recipient or couple who is about to receive her eggs, the donor is selected by the staff of the fertility clinic.

Even though donor identity and general information will never be offered to the receiving couple, they are indeed allowed to obtain general data about the woman who contributes her eggs for them. Some of the data that can be disclosed are:

  • Blood type
  • Rh factor
  • Physical features such as eye color and shape, color and type of hair, skin tone, height, weight…
  • Educational level
  • Number of genetic children
  • Date of birth

Also, some assisted reproduction clinics offer recipients the chance to see pictures of the genetic children their donor has already had. Russian regulations governing this allow neither donor agencies nor fertility clinics show pictures of the donor herself to the patient.

It should be taken into account that prospective egg donors who are finally accepted into the egg donation program should be aged 18 to 35 years, be already on motherhood, and pass a medical and psychological pre-screening that shows they actually enjoy good overall health.

Familial egg donation

Although the most common option is turning to anonymous egg donation, the Russian Law allows patients to meet the woman who will help them become parents through egg donation.

If the woman or couple who is about to follow donor-egg IVF wanted to meet their egg donor, there should be proof that she is a family member or close friend of the intended parents. Donor identity disclosure is not permitted is the is an unknown person.

As indicated earlier, donors have to pass a thorough medical screening in order for them to prove they actually enjoy good health and are able to donate their eggs. Family members or close friends to the intended parents who choose to contribute their gametes through non-anonymous egg donation should pass these tests as well if they want to continue being part of the program.

Among the different tests involved in the donor screening process, regardless of whether they are anonymous donor or family members, we highlight the following: screening of infectious diseases (hepatitis B and C, HIV, and syphilis), ultrasound monitoring, karyotype, urine cytology, psychological screening, etc.

Authors and contributors

 Andrea Rodrigo
BSc, MSc
Embryologist
Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the University of Valencia along with the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Postgraduate course in Medical Genetics. More information