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What Do You Have to do to Become an Egg Donor?

While many women may not think about donating their eggs, there are others who wish to help struggling individuals and couples who are longing to have children, but are unable to conceive. For those who do decide to proceed with the donation of their eggs, this can turn out to be one of the most fulfilling and rewarding experiences of their life.

Before becoming an egg donor, however, there are certain criteria that must be met by the donor, along with a number of steps and procedures that must be taken. In most cases, there are set requirements that one must meet in order to be considered as an egg donor. These criteria typically include:

  • Between the age of 18 and 34
  • No family history of inherited genetic diseases and/or disorders
  • In good physical health
  • In good psychological health
  • Non-smoker
  • No history of substance abuse
  • Willing and able to take injections
  • Has regular monthly menstrual periods
  • Is not currently using any type of contraceptive implants
  • Is not currently using Depo-Provera injections for birth control
  • Has a BMI (body mass index) of between 19 and 29
  • Mature, dependable, and able to keep appointments

If an individual meets all of the minimum egg donation criteria, she will then be asked to submit an application and agree to a series of medical and legal-related questions with regard to the procedures that will be undertaken for the donation.

The Process of Egg Donation

After a woman has successfully gone through the application process and is accepted as an egg donor, she will then be matched with prospective parents. Prior to this match, she will need to go through a screening process. This may include several steps, such as:

  • Fertility Screening - In this stage of the process, the potential egg donor will be tested for the ability to produce eggs via a pelvic exam and various blood tests.
  • Genetic Screening - Through the genetic screening phase, the potential donor will be evaluated in order to determine whether there are any hereditary health issues that she may pass on to a child.
  • Medical Screening - The medical screening entails testing the egg donor for her blood type, as well as for any potential infectious diseases that she may carry, as well as overall general health issues.
  • Psychological Screening - The psychological screening will involve the egg donor meeting with a psychologist in order to make sure that she is fully aware of both the risks and the benefits of donating her eggs. This will also help in deciphering whether she has the proper motivations for such procedures.

Once the egg donor has passed all of the above screenings, she will be put on birth control pills in order to match up her menstrual cycle with that of the egg recipient. Following some additional hormonal procedures to help in growing the egg follicles, an injection of HCG is administered for the purpose of preparing the egg donor's ovaries to release the eggs.

Soon afterwards she then undergoes the egg retrieval process which is a short duration of typically less than an hour. After a one day retrieval, the egg donor can usually go back to her regular daily routine.