The Top 15 Things to Know About Using an Egg Donor in 2024
Learn everything you need to know about egg donation as an aspiring parent from the leading national egg donor bank in the United States
In the dynamic landscape of assisted reproductive technologies, egg donation stands as one of the most advanced and unique ways for aspiring parents to pursue their family-building journey. If you’re considering using donor eggs to start or grow your family in 2024, know that navigating this path is a deeply personal and intricate process.
For those who are new to the idea of egg donation, the entire process can seem overwhelming and mysterious. However, as the leading network of egg donor banks in the nation, MyEggBank is committed to being your guide through all aspects of egg donation to empower you on your journey. From the nuances of selecting the ideal egg donor to understanding the medical and legal aspects, we’re here to illuminate the landscape of egg donation. Join us as we explore the top 15 things aspiring parents need to know about using an egg donor in 2024.
Egg Donation Basics
1) Egg Donation Help Many Different Types of Families
Egg donation makes it possible for many aspiring parents to achieve their family-building goals. Some of the scenarios that call for donor eggs include:
- Having fertility issues related to egg quality or quantity
- Being of advanced maternal age
- Having premature or poor ovarian failure
- Having a high risk of passing on genetic disorders
- Having repeated IVF failures
- Having a history of recurrent miscarriages
- Having unexplained infertility
- Having hormonal imbalances that impact the ability to produce viable eggs
- Being a same-sex male couple
- Being an aspiring single dad
2) Egg Donation Is Important for LGBTQ+ Family Building
In recent years, LGBTQ+ family-building has become a popular and accessible option for many people. While some families choose adoption, it’s becoming increasingly more common for LGBTQ+ aspiring parents to seek out fertility care and third-party reproduction to have a child with a genetic connection. Egg donation, along with the help of gestational surrogacy, in particular, has helped countless gay male couples create the beautiful families they so strongly desire. Egg donation can also be beneficial for lesbians with fertility issues, as well as aspiring parents who are trans or non-binary.
3) Most Egg Donation Arrangements Are Anonymous
There are a few different types of egg donor arrangements, but they generally fall into one of two categories: known or anonymous. Known egg donation refers to any arrangement in which the egg donor is someone that the intended parents know personally, such as a family member or friend. Anonymous egg donation, on the other hand, is an arrangement in which the egg donor and intended parent's identities are concealed from each other so to protect each party’s privacy.
While there are obvious appealing aspects to receiving donated eggs from someone you’re familiar with, the vast majority of egg donor recipients pursue anonymous arrangements. It may sound counterintuitive, but working with an anonymous egg donor is generally better for several reasons, including:
- Higher levels of privacy and confidentiality
- Reduced emotional complexities
- Legal simplicity
- Avoiding future relationship dynamics
- Access to a broader pool of potential egg donors
- A well-regulated experience guided by standardized procedures.
4) Working With an Egg Donor Agency or Bank Is Crucial
When first embarking on the egg donation journey, some aspiring parents first explore the idea of finding an egg donor on their own without the help of an egg donor agency or egg bank. This typically involves posting ads on social media sites with specific criteria in the hopes of finding that one-in-a-million match.
On the surface, pursuing egg donation independently may seem like a good idea; for example, many aspiring parents think it will be more straightforward and cost-effective than working with an agency. However, independent searches for egg donors often make it more difficult to find a good match who will also pass all screening measures and be cleared for egg donation. Furthermore, while independently handling the legalities of egg donation on your own is theoretically doable, the landscape of third-party reproductive law is often complex and challenging to navigate.
Egg donor agencies play a vital role in egg donation by facilitating and coordinating all aspects of the matching, medical, and legal processes. Working with an egg donor agency means that every egg donor profile you look at will be for a donor who has met the necessary health, genetic, and psychological criteria. The agency also assists in establishing legal arrangements, provides intended parents with vast egg donor databases, coordinates all medical procedures, and offers emotional support.
5) Finding the Best Egg Donor Agency Is as Important as Finding the Ideal Egg Donor
The path to parenthood via egg donation is profoundly influenced by the choice of agency, highlighting the importance of doing thorough research early on in your journey. The best egg donor agencies serve as invaluable guides, offering a comprehensive range of services that extend beyond mere matching. These agencies play a crucial role in ensuring a seamless and well-regulated experience, from rigorous donor screening and meticulous matching based on individual preferences to expert legal guidance and emotional support.
6) Egg Donor Agencies Have Strict Screening Protocols
In any reputable egg donor agency, egg donor candidates undergo a strict vetting process to ensure they are physically and mentally healthy. These screening protocols include a physical exam, personal and family medical histories, educational and work histories, fertility assessments, psychological evaluation, screening for infectious diseases, genetic testing, counseling, and education.
All of these screening measures are in place to ensure that aspiring parents have the best chances of success, as well as to protect the health and wellness of all future egg donors. This is yet another benefit of working with an egg donor agency that manages, facilitates, and coordinates all aspects of egg donor screening.
The Medical Aspects of Egg Donation
7) Egg Donation Is an Advanced Form of Assisted Reproduction
Egg donation works by retrieving eggs from young, healthy donors and fertilizing them through in vitro fertilization (IVF) to create an embryo. Once the embryo is created and has been cultured for about five days, it’s transferred into the womb of the recipient. In most cases, the recipient is the aspiring parent, but in some cases, the recipient is a gestational carrier or surrogate. From egg retrieval to embryo transfer, every medical aspect of egg donation relies on advanced medical technologies and laboratory techniques.
8) You Can Choose Either Fresh or Frozen Donor Eggs
There are two types of egg donation cycles: fresh and frozen. With a fresh donor cycle, the recipient and egg donor’s menstrual cycles are first synchronized. Once the donor eggs have been retrieved, they are fertilized with the aspiring parent’s chosen sperm to create an embryo. Meanwhile, the recipient is prepared for embryo transfer and implantation, which typically happens about five days after fertilization.
With a frozen donor egg cycle, the donor’s eggs are frozen immediately after being retrieved. These eggs are already available and ready for use. There is no need for the egg donor and recipient’s cycles to be synchronized, and aspiring parents can follow their own timeline for when procedures take place.
9) IVF Success Rates Using Donor Eggs Are Varied But Positive
Success rates of IVF using donor eggs vary depending on several factors, including the age and health of the egg donor, the recipient’s age and reproductive health, the quality of the embryos, and the fertility clinic’s expertise. However, for many aspiring parents, using donor eggs yields higher success rates compared to using their own eggs. This includes individuals with diminished ovarian reserve or poor egg quality. For these aspiring parents, the chances of success are much more promising than they would be with their own eggs.
10) Donor Egg Success Depends Heavily on the Clinic’s Expertise
The choice of the fertility clinic significantly influences the success of using donor eggs. Fertility clinics vary in their expertise, resources, and protocols, all of which play pivotal roles in the success rates of donor egg cycles. A reputable clinic with experienced fertility specialists, advanced technologies, and a systematic approach to donor selection and treatment can markedly enhance the chances of a successful pregnancy. From egg retrieval to fertilization to embryo transfer, the fertility clinic’s proficiency and attention to detail are crucial factors in achieving positive outcomes for aspiring parents using donor eggs.
As innovators in reproductive care, MyEggBank exclusively partners with fertility clinics renowned for their advanced technologies and techniques in donor egg IVF. Our commitment is unwavering – we select clinics with a proven track record of excellence in comprehensive, high-quality fertility care. This ensures that our aspiring parents have access to the latest innovations and a supportive environment throughout their reproductive journey.
Finding an Egg Donor
11) You Can Search For Egg Donors by Ethnicity
Aspiring parents often prioritize ethnicity when selecting an egg donor, seeking a physical resemblance as well as a shared cultural heritage. Certain ethnicities, including Jewish, Asian, and Middle Eastern, are particularly in demand due to a limited number of available egg donor candidates.
When choosing an egg donor agency or bank, it's crucial for aspiring parents to select one with a vast and diverse database. MyEggBank stands out as the largest and most diverse donor egg bank network in North America, offering a broad range of donors from across the United States. Our extensive database simplifies the process, making it easier for aspiring parents to find donors of any ethnicity, including those with high demand, such as Jewish, Asian, and Middle Eastern backgrounds.
12) You Can Search for Egg Donors by Specific Traits
Aspiring parents working with MyEggBank can tailor their search for egg donors based on specific traits like blue eyes, blonde hair, and height. As the largest donor egg bank in North America, MyEggBank provides a vast database, offering aspiring parents an extensive selection of donor candidates to choose from.
13) You Can Search for Intelligent or Ivy League Egg Donors
Many egg donor agencies and banks have specific requirements for formal education beyond high school. Donors who have attended college, especially those from Ivy League universities, are highly sought after for their demonstrated intelligence, interests, and talents. Moreover, donors in the age range of 21 to 31, typically college attendees or recent graduates, are considered ideal for egg donation. MyEggBank's database features a majority of donors with higher education backgrounds, including many from prestigious universities.
14) You Can Find Donor Eggs from Any State
Aspiring parents collaborating with an egg donor agency specializing in frozen donor eggs, or an established egg bank like MyEggBank, enjoy the flexibility of selecting an egg donor from anywhere in the United States. Frozen donor eggs can be conveniently shipped to any fertility clinic, whether you're located in California, Texas, New York, or any other state – they can even be shipped to Canada. Accessing frozen donor eggs through an egg bank simplifies the process of finding the ideal donor by expanding the pool of available candidates.
The Legal Aspects of Egg Donation
15) Egg Donors Do Not Have Legal Rights to the Child
A common concern that aspiring parents have about egg donation is that the egg donor may have legal rights to any child born using their eggs. However, reproductive law is very clear on this matter – once the egg donation process is complete, the legal parental rights are transferred solely to the intended parents. This legal framework provides clarity and security to all parties involved, establishing the aspiring parents as the rightful legal guardians of the child born through assisted reproduction.
Find Your Ideal Egg Donor & Start Your Journey Today with MyEggBank
With over 150 affiliated clinics throughout the U.S. and Canada, MyEggBank is America’s leading egg donor database that has matched hundreds of aspiring parents with qualified and thoroughly screened egg donors. If you are ready to search for your perfect egg donor, we invite you to register for access to our vast egg donor database or speak to our industry-leading fertility experts.