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What Is the Egg Donation Process? A Guide for Prospective Egg Donors

Women who donate their eggs are caring and giving, and want to help others who struggle to get pregnant on their own. Egg donation is a scientific procedure that is relatively painless, and has huge rewards both emotionally and financially.

If you’re considering becoming an egg donor, this blog post will answer basic questions about the egg donation process, what to expect when you donate your eggs, where you can donate your eggs, egg donor pay, and more.

What Is Egg Donation?

Egg donation involves a young, healthy woman who donates her eggs so that others can create embryos to become pregnant and have a baby. Prospective parents who use donor eggs are couples who experienced infertility, intended mothers who have a genetic defect or previous medical condition, and LGBTQ+ individuals or couples.

Once donated, the eggs are fertilized through IVF, and the resulting embryos are transferred into either a gestational surrogate or the intended mother.

What Is a Human Egg?

Let’s start with the basics. The human egg is the female reproductive cell and can also be referred to as an ovum (or ova if plural). When in the womb, it’s estimated that a female fetus can have up to 7 million eggs! At birth, that number goes down to about 1 to 2 million, and by the time of puberty, it’s down to about 300,000.

These are the oocytes, or immature eggs. About 500 of these eggs will generally be released over the course of a woman’s lifetime. During the menstrual cycle, 15 to 20 of the oocytes are matured inside the ovaries and 1 (or 2 in the case of fraternal twins) is released at the time of ovulation. If the egg is not fertilized, it’s released and dissolves, being shed along with the uterine lining—thus continuing the menstrual cycle.

What Are Egg Donor Requirements?

Women considering egg donation must meet certain physical, health, geographic, and educational requirements. These requirements are put in place not to judge you or pry into your life, but instead to ensure that you are the right candidate for egg donation and that it is safe for you.

Here are some basic requirements an egg donor should meet:

  • Be between 21-29 years of age

  • Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) lower than 29

  • Be a U.S. or Canadian citizen

  • Have a healthy personal and family medical history

  • Be comfortable giving herself injections

For a full list of egg donor requirements, you can visit our website.

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