Egg donors are healthy young women, ideally between the ages of 21 to 29, who have a desire to help others start a family.
Types of Donors
Anonymous Fresh Egg Donors: You and your partner can review the LGBT Fertility egg -donor database for a potential donor or you can use an egg donor agency to find an anonymous egg donor. These young women donate eggs to intended parents and their identity remains anonymous. Anonymous donors are compensated fairly for their time and effort; they are not being paid to “sell” their eggs. LGBT Fertility abides by guidelines established by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) regarding appropriate compensation.
Anonymous Egg Bank Donors: Until recently, only fresh donor eggs were available. Now, however, it is possible to obtain frozen eggs through an egg bank. This option eliminates the requirement of waiting for stimulation and egg retrieval and allows fertility treatment to concentrate only on you, the intended father. Anonymous donors’ physical characteristics such as eye color, hair color and ethnicity are available, as well as photographs of the donor as a child.
Known Donors: Sisters, other relatives, or close friends may donate eggs. For example, your sister could be an egg donor because her genetic pool is the same as yours. In this scenario, the sperm must be provided by your partner. Doing this creates a genetic link to both you and your partner.
Screening for Egg Donors
All egg donors must complete a questionnaire about known familial genetic diseases which will be researched, as much as possible, for at least two generations. There is, of course, a risk that a potential donor may fail to disclose an important detail in her genetic history. The prospective egg donor (and her partner, if applicable) is required to be screened for sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, HIV, hepatitis, gonorrhea and syphilis, consistent with FDA regulations.
Making an Egg Donor Selection
You and your partner will need to make a list of the essential characteristics they are looking for in an egg donor. For example, hair color or eye color. Our third-party coordinator will meet with you during your initial consultation and provide access to our online egg donor database. You will be able to review profiles and look at photos of potential egg donors.
Preparing the Egg Donor
After an egg donor has been selected, either through LGBT Fertility‘s in-house egg donor program or an outside egg donor agency, she will be prepared for an in-vitro fertilization cycle. Hormonal medications will be used to stimulate her ovaries in order to produce a surplus of eggs (approximately 10-20). These hormones are given via subcutaneous injections.
The donor will be regularly monitored in one of the LGBT Fertility offices with a transvaginal ultrasound to measure the size of the developing follicles until they reach a size between 18-20 mm. She will also have routine blood work throughout the cycle to check her estradiol levels.
When the lead follicles reach the 18-20 mm, the egg donor will be given an injection to trigger egg maturity. Exactly 36 hours later her eggs will be retrieved while she is under anesthesia in a procedure known as a transvaginal oocyte retrieval. The retrieved eggs will either be fertilized or frozen and stored until they are ready to be used to create embryos.
After the eggs have been retrieved, the egg donor will have no further involvement. Information, including age, ethnic background, physical appearance and genetic and medical history, is made available to the intended fathers.
Anonymous egg donors are young and fertile, and often produce a dozen or more eggs. Frequently there are a sufficient number of eggs to divide and fertilize with each partner’s sperm. Any excess eggs can be frozen and stored for future use.