Egg Donation And Its Impact on Fertility
Millions of women dream of becoming mothers. Unfortunately, about 10% have difficulty conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to term. Some have access to assisted reproductive technology (ART), which partly entails removing eggs. Sometimes, even ART is not enough, and the option of egg donors is used. Egg donation can help infertile women finally have children. However, donor banks and clinics have strict requirements, with age being the most critical.
Egg donation explained
Egg donation is the process of a woman willingly giving eggs to help another have a baby. Donation is critical for women with a long history of miscarriages, those unable to produce eggs, or same-sex couples. The donor will need to take hormone medication to stimulate the ovaries. Then, a doctor can extract up to 10 eggs, which a clinic then freezes. There are 3 ways to donate eggs: through an agency, a clinic, or direct egg donation. Even though the methods and purposes of donating differ, a potential donor should meet specific guidelines, particularly age.
Am I too old for egg donation?
There is a higher risk of failure with eggs donated from older persons. This results in wasted effort, finances, and disappointment. There is also a higher risk of congenital conditions and other genetic disorders in the resulting offspring. Egg donation also comes with some minor physical and physiological risks to the donor that may be more difficult for an older patient. Therefore, the recommended age for an egg donor is 21-31. Some facilities only go as old as age 29. Potential donors can always contact the agency or clinic to confirm requirements.
The ovarian reserve: why age matters with egg donation
Why so young? As a potential egg donor, ovarian reserve is one of the most critical factors of becoming pregnant. The ovarian reserve is the ovary’s capacity to provide eggs capable of creating a healthy and successful pregnancy. With age, the more these reserves are depleted naturally through menstruation, diseases, and hormonal imbalances. Therefore, younger women make the ideal egg donors due to a healthier ovarian reserve.
Other strict requirements for donating eggs
Similar to organ donation, egg donors have to meet strict requirements. Clinics want to ensure the recipient gets the best, healthiest eggs possible since ART is an expensive, time-consuming process. Some of the basic needs include:
- A BMI below 27.5.
- The donor should have both ovaries, regular menstruation, and no genetic disorders.
- The donor should be a non-smoker for at least 6 months, and have no drug or substance abuse before the process.
- Doctors also require biological and family history health status.
- A college degree or any education beyond high school is preferred.
- The willingness to use injectable medications and undergo medical and psychological screening.
Clinics and agencies may have different requirements. Most aren’t age-specific, but egg donors should be aware of them beforehand.
Are you ready to donate?
Egg donation could be a life-changing experience for the recipient. But to ensure that the hopeful mother has a high success rate, the highest-quality donor eggs are necessary. The highest quality eggs come from women with a healthy ovarian reserve, so age is vital. Women between 21-29 are the ideal candidates. For someone interested in donating eggs, speak with a fertility clinic or donor bank today.