Egg Donor FAQs
Thank you for your interest egg donation. The path you are considering is a remarkable gift that can fuel hope for a family to those having difficulty achieving parenthood. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive. We greatly appreciate your interest; please contact us with any questions you may have.
Considerations for Eligibility
We accept egg donors between the ages of 21 and 31.
BMI, or body mass index, is a measure of body fat based on the height and weight of an individual.
Unfortunately, no. A BMI over 32 may affect egg quality, and we must provide our donors and recipients with the best opportunities for success.
No. Smoking affects fertility and egg quality. Once you’ve abstained from using any nicotine product for a period of 90 days, you’ll be eligible for consideration.
Yes, because vaping also involves nicotine, we consider it to be the same as smoking. Once you’ve abstained from using any nicotine products for a period of 90 days, you’ll be eligible for consideration.
I know you have to be nicotine-free for at least three months, but how long is it for marijuana use?
We do administer a drug test and if it comes back positive for any screened substances, a potential donor would be considered ineligible.
Eggs are retrieved directly from the ovaries. The absence of fallopian tubes or having had a tubal ligation will not impair your ability to donate.
I am a cancer survivor, or I have a family history of cancer and/or other illnesses. Can I still donate?
Depending on the type(s) of cancer in your family history you may or may not be a good candidate for egg donation. Certain medical conditions make the egg donation process ill advised for potential donors. During the application process, you will undergo medical, psychological, genetic, and infectious disease screening to determine if you qualify.
No. Having a child is not a requirement for donating your eggs. In fact, you may still be a virgin and donate your eggs.
Having a PARAGARD IUD will not disqualify you and most likely will not require removal.
- Application – Apply online at: Donor Application
- Screening – Screening is free and includes a consultation with one of our endocrinologists, as well as a physical exam, infectious disease screening, genetic testing, and a psychological evaluation.
- Matching – If you’re designated as an eligible egg donor, you’ll be matched with a waiting recipient. Next, we’ll synchronize your cycle with your recipient’s cycle using birth control pills.
- Preparation – Once your cycle is synchronized with your recipient’s, you’ll transition from birth control pills to injected fertility medications. You’ll then be monitored with ultrasounds and blood work approximately four times over the following week or two, and your medications will be adjusted accordingly if necessary. When your eggs are finally ready for retrieval, you’ll self-administer one final injection that will determine the arrival time for your procedure.
- Retrieval – The actual donation procedure takes less than twenty minutes. You’ll be sedated and monitored in our Raleigh fertility center. Altogether, this visit will take approximately two hours and you’ll need someone else to drive you home.
Once matched with a recipient, the process takes 6-8 weeks.
The procedure is quite safe. We’ll explain it in detail during your phone consultation once you’ve filled out the application.
Are there side effects or damage from the birth control and fertility injections? Is it mandatory to use the birth control?
It‘s extremely rare for any issues to arise, and you’ll be very closely monitored. The birth control pill is taken for a short period of time in order to synchronize your cycle with the recipient’s cycle. Once synchronized, you’ll no longer take them. Instead, you’ll use daily injections of a hormone called gonadotropin to stimulate your ovaries. In a natural cycle, only one egg matures; gonadotropin injections encourage more than one egg to mature for retrieval. Only the eggs that have matured for a particular cycle are harvested and have no impact on future eggs.
Because you will be sedated during the procedure, you should not feel anything. However, you may experience mild discomfort and/or cramping after the procedure.
Are there any possible health complications regarding the retrieval stage that I should be aware of?
Though very rare, infection, bleeding, injury to internal structures, blood clots, ovarian hyperstimulation, and complications from anesthesia are possible.
On average, we can rescue somewhere between 6-14 eggs in a single donor cycle.
You’ll have to be very careful not to conceive during the month that you donate eggs, because we may not retrieve every egg and you could get pregnant. If you conceive during a donation cycle, you’ll be at a high risk for conceiving more than one baby. Abstinence around the time of retrieval is the safest approach.
Potential Gestational Carrier Things to Consider
Some women are faced with the inability to get pregnant using their own eggs, while others wish to prevent transmission of a genetic condition.
The entire process is completely anonymous. However, if you move forward with donation there is an optional donor registry. While not mandatory, the donor registry is there so that a child (after age 18) conceived with a donor egg can find their donor.
When getting tested to see if I qualify as an egg donor, do I have to go to your Raleigh office, or can I go to a doctor closer to home and have the results sent to you?
The initial workup and physical are done in our office in Raleigh. Once you are matched with a recipient, the monitoring can be done elsewhere. The egg retrieval is also done in our office in Raleigh.
While we do not anticipate you missing school or work as an egg donor, you need to keep in mind the timing of injections is critical to a successful donation. You will need to plan accordingly to ensure you do not miss an injection window.
I just received the prescreen email and notice that you’re asking for photographs of me from ages 1-10. Do I need to send all of those years or just pictures I have between those ages?
It is ideal if you have them for each year. If you don’t, please send as many of the years between ages 1 and 10 that you have.
Recovery time varies by individual. We’ll explain it in detail during your phone consultation once you’ve filled out the application.
You are matched with one recipient and all mature eggs are used.
The number of times you may donate will also be discussed with you during your phone consult. Many of our donors do so multiple times, as they find it gratifying and relatively easy.
Your next menstrual period should commence approximately two weeks after retrieval.
If I become an egg donor, will I have enough eggs left to get pregnant in the future should I choose to?
Females receive all of their eggs while still in utero. Of the one million eggs that a woman has at birth, approximately four hundred will ever mature and be released into the fallopian tubes (ovulation) from puberty to menopause. The rest of the eggs (-99.96%) “die” within the ovaries without being released.
As an egg donor, you’ll only be donating eggs that would have either died naturally or matured in your ovaries that month. Your supply of eggs for future months will still be there when you want to use them.
No, studies show that egg donation does not affect future pregnancies.
As an approved egg donor, you give up all rights and responsibilities to the eggs you donate or any child born from your donated eggs.
We are dedicated to building families together and we looking forward to working with you!