How to Choose an Egg Donor?
Conceiving a child through egg donation and medical advances in fertility have enabled couples who would not have been able to do it otherwise to establish families. Many women who struggle with fertility issues and members of the LGBTQ+ community who want to have a baby might find relief for a proven egg donor at the egg bank or clinics.
Finding a suitable donor with healthy donor eggs may be a challenging part of your egg donation and IVF journey. But you will easily make your choice if you know what to pay attention to. So here are 8 factors to consider when selecting your perfect donor.
1. Anonymous or known egg donor?
One of the aspects to consider when choosing an egg donor is the donor's anonymity. Not all countries permit using the materials of egg donors you know, so be sure to discuss this with your egg donor agency or do some research on your country's regulations on egg donation in advance.
There are differences between going for egg donation programs with an anonymous and a known donor. Pros of having a known donor are that you have more information about the person's identity and genetics, hence being able to see the similarities you have. You also get an opportunity to build a relationship with the person, which provides your future child with one more person to share love and support with.
At the same time, anonymity helps avoid conflicts and pressure that can occur between the family and the donor, along with the lack of clarity on what role the donor holds in the child's life. In addition, when you don't meet the donor, there are fewer chances of you or the donor changing their mind before egg donation and stalling the process for you.
2. Fresh or frozen eggs?
Donor choice also depends on the type of donated eggs you will get transferred, particularly fresh or frozen donor eggs. There are some differences between the two since each kind suits certain conditions better when it comes to egg donation.
In detail, if you're hoping for a multiple-birth pregnancy, egg donation of fresh eggs is the choice to be made. This option can lead to a bigger family since it increases your chances of bearing more than one child after implantation. However, you will face a limited number of the right egg donor available for fresh egg donation because fresh material can only be taken if a woman's cycle is synced with yours. This, in turn, requires special preparation with a fertility specialist, such as the ovulation stimulation procedure.
As for the frozen material, you should choose this option if you want to get some extra chances of implantation. Another benefit of using egg donors' frozen eggs is that there's always a wider range of options available. Additionally, the cost of using frozen eggs is usually lower than that of fresh ones.
3. Medical and mental health
The health of your egg donor is crucial for safe pregnancy and the life of your future child. So how to choose an egg donor with a good medical history? Well, it is not something you have to take care of — if you choose a professional donor bank or other reproductive medicine institution, the medical history of all egg donors featured in the catalog has been checked and there’s a guarantee that they meet all the criteria.
For example, at Ovogene, we conduct several screenings before confirming that a person can donate eggs. These include medical history overview, including family medical history, a blood test to eliminate any infectious diseases, and physiological, psychological, and genetic testing.
Additionally, throughout the entire process, the person eager to donate her own eggs consults with a reproductive endocrinologist. So all the donors you see in our catalogs are healthy and suitable for egg donation.
Another point to keep in mind when selecting an egg donor is their blood type. To have a healthy pregnancy after implantation, the blood type of the egg donor and the intended parents have to be compatible. In case they match, you have found a perfect match egg donor.
4. Repeat donor or first-time donor?
It's critical to comprehend the distinctions between recurrent and first-time donors when considering how to select one.
When thinking about how to select an egg donor among first-time and repeat egg donors, it's important to learn the difference between the two. Overall, an egg donor who has successfully gone through the egg donation process is believed to be a better egg donor to select. However, it is a misconception — the quality of the material is more important than the number of egg donations she has made.
In addition, the impact of multiple ovulation stimulations and egg donations on women's health has not been researched enough to state that it doesn't affect the woman's health and the quality of the eggs she produces. With this being said, a repeat donor does not necessarily guarantee increased pregnancy rates, so you should aim for donor eggs of good quality instead.
5. Choosing eye color, hair color, and ethnicity
When choosing an egg donor, her physical characteristics play a huge role for the intended parents. Of course, you may want to choose the person who looks like you and your partner. Or, maybe you would like your preferred egg donors to have particular eye color and hair color and are wondering how to choose an egg donor according to your liking. Many individuals desire to select a donor whose physical appearance ensures that the kid will resemble the genetic offspring of both prospective parents.
In catalogs of egg donors like ours, you can access information about egg donors' looks, including their hair and eye color, ethnicity, height, and other details. Some donor profiles come with photos of the egg donors so that you can see the person's facial features and appearance. So eventually, you can refer to your and your partner's visual preferences when choosing a donor.
6. Education and achievements
Some other characteristics like egg donors' education and personal or professional achievements also help make up your mind when choosing a donor. So depending on your opinions on the matter, pay attention to the donor's academic capabilities and performance, intelligence, career, achievements, and growth.
Of course, the impact of these details about egg donors' lives relies on what is your standard of education and whether you or your partner are goal-oriented people yourselves, along with your views on achievements overall. While this information may not be available from some donor catalogs, make sure to ask your potential egg donors about these if you have the opportunity.
7. Lifestyle and personal background
Besides the physical characteristics and achievements, some other views, values, and beliefs donor eggs hold may help you figure out how to pick an egg donor. Do you share a common interest or religious background? Are they fascinating? Do you want to consider them as a friend? You'll discover a perfect egg donor if you follow your gut instinct. Things like religion or heritage may play a role for you, so ask the candidate about these if you can to make sure your future egg donor's views on the fundamental things in life align with yours.
Another aspect to consider when choosing a donor is the egg donor's lifestyle. Is this person outgoing or rather reserved, do they live an active lifestyle or don't move that much? All these traits and habits help complete the image of your egg donor and decide whether she is the right fit for you.
8. Do you feel emotionally ready to begin the egg donation process?
The choice to utilize donated eggs to have a child would be challenging for anybody to make. Numerous ineffective therapies have thus far been explored, which may be draining on both spouses emotionally and physically. Perhaps you require more time to consider how to choose a donor egg, mull about or even weep. If so, plan time for it and retain the focus on specific criteria before making crucial decisions. On the other hand, some people could be impatient to go to the subsequent stage.
These are the 8 factors to consider when you need to select a donor to get donor eggs for the IVF procedure. In case you still struggle with making your choice, reach out to professionals that have been dealing with donations for years, like Ovogene, to get assistance with narrowing down your choice.