The Egg Donor Process: What to Expect

A potential egg donor watersome flowers on a balcony.

Becoming an egg donor is a decision that we encourage you to make after gathering as much information as possible. Knowing what to expect provides peace of mind, making the egg donation process a positive experience from the initial application to after you’ve had your eggs retrieved.

At Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation agency locations in California, Massachusetts, and New York City, our Egg Donation team supports you from the moment we receive your application. Once we approve your initial application, you’ll provide additional details about your family’s medical and mental health histories, along with more information about your personality traits, hobbies, talents, and goals. We also ask about your educational background and work experience.

Egg donation candidates in San Francisco, Boston, and NYC actually have a good chance to work with experienced egg donors. Two of the three women on our Egg Donation team have gone through the process themselves.

Starting the Egg Donor Process

If you become an egg donor, you’ll join tens of thousands of women who helped make the dream of parenthood a reality for those who couldn’t conceive on their own. In 2016, for example, the CDC estimated donor eggs were used in 24,300 assisted pregnancies. The process of becoming a donor begins by completing an application that we use to ensure you meet some basic requirements.

If you meet those requirements, we’ll send you a second, more in-depth application. Your answers to this second application provide us with the information in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics need for the screening process. Additionally, we gather details to help us match intended parents with the best possible donors.

The Next Steps

Once we’ve determined that you’re a qualified egg donor and we’ve collected the necessary documentation, one of our Egg Donation team coordinators schedules a phone call with you. This call is to ensure you’re committed to moving forward and ready to be matched with intended parents. That readiness includes being comfortable giving yourself injections to stimulate egg production. We can also answer any questions you may have during this call.

Matching a Donor With Intended Parents

The time needed to match intended parents with an egg donor varies, but the process is the same. It includes:

  • Adding the donor’s profile to our database of all egg donors, allowing Intended Parents to view the details and see a photo
  • Having the Egg Donation coordinator send the donor an email once she’s selected for a match
  • Scheduling a call (often a video call) with the potential Intended Parents
  • Confirming the match

It’s important to note that this is the process for “known donors,” which is an option that isn’t available if someone donates eggs to an egg bank. For many donors, getting to know the Intended Parents—and, if acceptable to all parties, the baby—is highly satisfying emotionally. Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation supports the choice of being a known donor.

Another option is semi-known egg donation, in which the Intended Parents and donor agree to limited contact without exchanging information that identifies any of the individuals involved.

An anonymous egg donation is also an option. There is no contact between the donor and the Intended Parents, and all parties agree to respect each other’s privacy.

What Happens Now?

The next few months after the match becomes official involves physical screenings, completing contracts, and self-injections to stimulate egg production. Specifically, this includes:

  • Completing a screening call with a social worker
  • Taking an online psychological evaluation
  • Traveling to the Intended Parents’ fertility clinic for medical screening
  • Negotiating an egg donor contract with your attorney

This stage takes about 2 months. Once these steps are complete, the fertility clinic creates a cycle schedule to prepare for the egg retrieval procedure. Typically, it takes 2 to 3 weeks of daily hormone injections to complete a donation cycle.

It’s difficult to establish a specific timeline for the egg donor process because of the uncertainty involved with matching donors and Intended Parents. It’s best to plan on committing at least 3 to 4 months to the process.

Even if you’re unsure about becoming an egg donor immediately, we encourage you to fill out an application now. Doing so allows us to move forward more quickly once you make the decision to donate your eggs.

Written by: Rachel Campbell – Egg Donation Manager, LCSW

Rachel earned her Master of Social Work degree from Boston University and worked in both child welfare and adoption before joining the Circle team in 2005. In her time with Circle, Rachel has held a variety of roles, including Intended Parent support, screening and matching surrogates and egg donors, and providing surrogate support. Rachel presently manages the Egg Donation Department, overseeing egg donor intake, prescreening, screening, and matching between egg donors and IPs.