Written by: David Bull of My Surrogate Mom
Have you ever considered becoming an egg donor? Has anyone ever asked you to donate your eggs for them? As you can imagine, there are many factors to consider. Also, there are very specific requirements that you must meet to qualify for egg donation. Keep in mind that you must meet the given criteria (certain health and lifestyle standards) regardless of the agency, professional or egg bank you choose to work with.
Egg donation qualifications and disqualifications are determined by multiple stakeholders which include egg donation agencies, fertility clinics and state regulators. Each of these (agency, clinic, state) can differ when it comes to egg donor requirements, so be sure to talk with a your egg donation coordinator about the details. You will want to know as soon as possible if there is anything that can affect your eligibility for egg donation.
If you are considering donating your eggs, review the following egg donation disqualifications and ask yourself if you are ready, physically, and mentally, to embark on this exciting journey.
One of the most common reasons women are found ineligible for egg donation is problems with their physical health. Although qualifications can vary from clinic to clinic, most egg donors are expected to meet the following criteria:
- Between the ages of 21-29
- Healthy Body Mass Index no higher than 28
- No smoking, drug abuse, or alcohol abuse
- Be a U.S. or Canadian Citizen
Of the four, age is one of the more critical factors, one which you cannot modify. If a potential egg donor is not within the required age range, she might not produce high quality eggs which would result in nonviable embryos.
Inheritable Genetic Disorders
Another common reason for ineligibility is having a family medical history of inherited diseases or genetic disorders.
It is possible to be a carrier for a genetic disorder without showing symptoms, so genetic screening is required to determine if the potential egg donor is a carrier. No testing is ever at the expense of the donor as all costs are paid by the intended parents.
Many women considering egg donation wonder whether they can start the process if they take birth control. The answer is, “Yes, with some exceptions.”
For example, you can donate your eggs if you are taking birth control pills, but you may need to stop taking them at the request of the fertility specialist. However, other contraception methods, such as Depo-Provera injections or implants, are not allowed. If you are using any of these birth control methods and you want to become a donor, you must stop using them and wait until you have several regular periods before you can start the process. Additionally, if you are using a hormonal IUD, be prepared that this would have to be removed before you can be medically cleared to be an egg donor.
Potential candidates should discuss their choice of birth control with Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation to ensure that there is no problem with their contraception method. All the Egg Donor Intake and Matching Coordinators at Circle Surrogacy are experienced donors themselves and would be happy to help answer any of your questions!
Irregular Menstrual Cycle
An irregular menstrual cycle could indicate a potential fertility issue. Women who suffer from irregular periods that are long, short, or severely painful, may not be eligible for egg donation. In contrast, regular cycles are a good indicator of a healthy reproductive system.
Egg donors need to be reliable and need to understand that egg donation is a serious commitment. Among other things, they will need to ensure that they can attend the various appointments which are part of the egg donation process.
A very busy lifestyle, not having flexibility in your schedule, or an inability to commit to the entire process, might disqualify you from being an egg donor. Nevertheless, many potential egg donors can be immensely driven, willing to commit to whatever it takes to give another person a chance to grow their family.
Chances are, if you are reading this article, you have some concern about a certain aspect of egg donation that may disqualify you from becoming a donor. The good news is that, in many cases, there are lifestyle changes you can implement that will help improve certain health factors. Here is a small list of things you can do:
- Eat a healthy diet and do moderate exercise to reach a healthy BMI.
- Stop smoking, drinking, and drug use.
- Use contraception that is compatible with egg donation.
It’s important to keep in mind that there are also things you cannot change, these include your age, genetics, and certain medical conditions.
It is true that the number of disqualifying criteria for egg donation might seem overwhelming, however, there’s a good reason for this: the health of the donor is paramount!
After reading this blog post, do you think you’d make a great egg donor? If so, you can learn more about the process for egg donors at Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation on our website, or apply to become an egg donor today!
Written by: David Bull
David Bull is the founder of MySurrogateMom, an online surrogacy community dedicated to everyone considering pursuing a surrogacy process in the US and Canada. He is a passionate advocate of surrogacy education and access for all seeking their third-party path to parenthood.