By Andrea Rodrigo BSc, MSc (embryologist).
Last Update: 10/13/2015

Within the US, using egg donation in assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization is very common, especially in cases where there is no female partner or the egg quality of the mother-to-be is not enough to achieve pregnancy.

In every egg donation process, several factors are to be taken into account, both those related to the patient and those associated with the recipient. Even though the age or the health status are to be especially highlighted, this process entails many other decisive aspects that will be explained hereunder.

The egg donor

All types of egg donation are allowed in the US, from the fully anonymous type to the so-called “known donation”, in which it is the intended parents themselves who choose a potential egg donor. For this reason, before starting an assisted reproductive treatment using donor eggs, it should be clear which type of donor we are about to select:

  • If you want or have the chance to deliver the egg donor yourselves.
  • If you want to find out more or less information about the donor: medical history, pictures, personal interview, etc.
  • If you wish the donor to be a complete anonymous candidate, in which case she will be selected by the fertility clinic.

Once you come to a conclusion regarding this issue, you will be ready to get started with the in vitro fertilization cycle, since the range of candidates we will be offered depends on the type of donation you choose.

Also to be taken into consideration is from where we wish to choose the donor, either from a egg donor bank or a donor database provided by the fertility clinic in which we are about to start the fertility treatment. The fertility center we finally choose is subjected to this decision.

Also noteworthy is that the potential egg donor has passed all medical and psychological assessments and that she meets every requirement established in the US to become an egg donor, including potential consequences that may cause any damage (either emotional or medical) to her in the future.

Finally, the egg donor compensation is another aspect to bear in mind, since both altruistic and commercial donation are allowed within the US. Egg donor fees are usually as high as $10,000.

The recipient of an egg donation

Given that surrogacy is allowed in the majority of US states, the recipient for the donor eggs may be either the mother-to-be or a woman that will be only responsible of carrying the pregnancy to term. Nevertheless, she won’t be considered to be the child’s mother but the surrogate.

Be it as it may, the egg recipient shall receive a mild medical treatment that will allow her uterus to be prepared for embryo reception and, therefore, for pregnancy. Such medication may vary slightly depending on whether the eggs are fresh or, conversely, they have undergone a freezing/thawing process.

Although there are no particular federal requirements in this field, recipients are recommended to be in good health. Besides, they have to successfully undergo a series of medical and psychological assessments to guarantee they are ready to become pregnant.

As for age, a particular age limit is neither established by law. However, recipients of age 45 and older are recommended to take a special medical evaluation, including cardiovascular screenings and an obstetric consultation to be informed of the risks of undergoing IVF with donor eggs.

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Authors and contributors

 Andrea Rodrigo
BSc, MSc
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
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One comment

    1. Georgia Collins

      I would definitely choose known donation, or at least the semi-known option. I think there’s no point in choosing an anonymous donor, for God’s sake, she would deliver half the genetic load of my baby, how can I possibly dare not to meet her in person? I think if there’s an agreement, there shouldn’t be any problem, so I would meet her. What if she suffers from any kind of psychological syndrome? You never know…