How to Choose an Egg Donor

Eran Amir

CEO and Founder of GoStork

Choosing an egg donor is a personal decision you make as an Intended Parent. Some Intended Parents choose to seek the services of an egg donor agency. In this case, you are presented with a large pool of candidates. Thus, you are also presented with a large amount of information to look through and compare so you can make the right decision. 

The more information the better. You definitely need to decide what characteristics matter to you most and what matters less. Begin with a broad spectrum of characteristics and review every egg donor available within the egg donation program provided by your agency.

Each agency has its own process when it comes to their egg donor pool. But in most cases, you will be presented with pictures and an extensive questionnaire that the egg donor has filled.

Making the tough decision

Factors to Consider When Selecting an Egg Donor

  • Age – Donor must be between the ages of 21 and 30
  • BMI – Donors must have a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) of between 18-27
  • Medical History – Personal health history (Non-smoker, non-drug user and is not alcohol dependent, no Sexually Transmitted Diseases, not undergoing treatment for depression or anxiety), family health history (ie. you would be looking for egg donor profiles with a low risk of passing on a genetic disease, paying attention to the disorders that are of highest concern to you), reproductive history.
  • Appearance – Height, weight, hair color, eye color. Many Intended Parents are interested in donors with similar physical features, while others are interested in dissimilar features.
  • Personal Background – Heritage, religion, characteristics, education, career, criminal record.
  • Compensation: Can range between $2,500 to $30,000

Other things to consider also is the vetting process of the agency you have selected. Visit their website and learn more about how they vetted their egg donors, ask questions and request as much information as you want. Agencies should conduct a medical, psychological, and demographic screening for each egg donor in their database.

Choosing Between Frozen or Fresh Donor Eggs

In a fresh donor egg IVF cycle, donor eggs are retrieved and immediately fertilized with the male partner’s sperm, with the resulting fresh embryos transferred to the recipient. Remaining embryos can be frozen for future frozen embryo transfer procedures. In other words, for future children and future siblings for your family.

If a larger number of eggs is important to you for a larger potential family, then fresh donor eggs might be a better choice. Why? It’s a simple numbers game. Recent research indicates that fresh eggs are more efficient at generating viable embryos. 

However, if you’re tired of delays and you’re not interested in a large number of additional eggs or embryos (and higher costs), frozen donor eggs may be a better choice. You can receive a set number of donor eggs that have already been retrieved from fully tested and screened egg donors, ready to use on your schedule. You don’t have to wait for an egg donor to undergo screening and then synchronize her schedule with yours. There’s also a lower risk of unpleasant last minutes surprises, such as a failed screening test or a less-than-hoped-for number of retrieved eggs from your egg donor.