Written by Guest Author, Jennifer “Jay” Palumbo
Jay is an avid Women's Health Advocate. She is a Forbes Women Contributor and has had pieces included in Time magazine, Parents Magazine, Huffington Post, and ScaryMommy. As an infertility subject matter expert, she has been interviewed on news outlets such as CNN, NPR, FOX, NBC, and BBC America. Her blog, “The 2 Week Wait” was awarded the Hope Award for Best Blog from Resolve: The National Infertility Association and was also named the “Best IVF Blog” by Egg Donation Friends.
When you have the support and knowledge of an egg donor agency, their insight can make your fertility journey smoother. You have both an advocate and an experienced advisor on what matters need to be handled - from medical to legal, plus, they can help with the legwork to get you the answers you need.
Family-building can be stressful enough. Below, we provide an overview of pursuing donor eggs to build your family and the benefits of working with an accomplished donor egg agency.
At Donor Nexus, we aim to make the entire egg donation process as easy as possible, including the process of finding an egg donor. As an innovative leader in the industry, we recently launched the first-ever egg donor database app, which is available for free in the Apple and Google app stores.
Whether it's a diagnosis such as Diminished Ovarian Reserve or Premature Ovarian Failure, that you're in a same-sex male relationship, or your age, using an egg donor may be your best path to parenthood.
The majority of women are born with around two million eggs, known as an ovarian reserve. As you get older, your reserve will decrease. If you're a healthy reproductive woman, your reserve will have reduced to approximately 300,000 eggs by your mid-twenties. While it can vary for everyone, the age of 35 is when a woman's egg quality and quantity begin to diminish. Women over the age of 30 have around a 20% chance of conceiving. By age 40, it can decline to a noteworthy 5%. Although the CDC conducted research that showed more women have children in their 30s than in previous decades, options like egg freezing and donor eggs are understandable.
If you didn't freeze your eggs when they were at their most optimum or because the technology wasn't available to you, you could explore using eggs from a younger woman.
Donated eggs are only accepted from women who pass a rigorous screening process and are usually between 19 to 32. As we learned above, because age and fertility are related, that is the age range when eggs will potentially offer higher success rates when undergoing IVF.
Egg donors must be nonsmokers and have no hereditary or genetic illnesses. In addition, they represent a wide range of ethnicities and will provide photos of themselves as children and adults. As part of the agreement, the egg donors travel to the intended parent's fertility clinic for their medical evaluation and the egg retrieval procedure.
Ultimately, there are two types of egg donation: fresh and frozen. Fresh eggs typically cost more than frozen eggs but, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the success rate of fresh eggs is slightly higher than that of frozen eggs (55.3% vs. 46.7% live births).
In terms of cost, according to a 2010 study, the average cost of IVF with donor eggs is around $38,000. However, the price can vary depending on where you go, whether the donor eggs are fresh or frozen, or if the donor is someone you know, like a friend or relative.
With Donor Nexus, we offer several donor cycle options. Below is an overview of different options and their dollar amount:
Not all egg donor agencies are the same. Therefore, you may want to take some time to decide what needs are essential ahead of time when doing your research.
Below are some factors to consider:
For example, do you want a lot of handholding? Constant communication? Once-a-month check-ins? Do you want an agency your clinic knows? Is there any unique circumstance you would like them to know?
At Donor Nexus, our team is easily accessible to patients. We can be reached via text, email, phone call, or video call.
2. Reputation and History:
Make certain your agency has been in business for an acceptable amount of time and that they are financially stable.
Established in 2012, Donor Nexus is a top-rated international agency with a reputation for providing premier services and pushing forward innovative efforts in the industry.
3. Screening Process:
Agencies must perform medical and psychological screening on egg donors. Ask about financial and criminal checks as well as what percentage of egg donor applicants are accepted to know more about their process and how picky they are.
At Donor Nexus, the egg donors' pre-screening evaluations begin immediately upon selection and adhere to the industry’s highest standards. Pre-screenings consist of a psychological evaluation, a genetic consult, a legal consult and a medical evaluation. This process is done before moving forward with the donor to ensure that she is ready for every aspect of the cycle.
4. Costs and Fees:
Ask for a detailed estimate of all of the expenses associated with the process, and compare them to other agencies. Also, compare the level of service you will get within each price range. Learn more about Donor Nexus’ costs and fees on our Financial Breakdown page.
Health plans tend to exclude coverage for paying for donor eggs. Still, it's smart to check on your overall fertility coverage, such as the IVF process, call your insurance company, and request what they do or do not include in writing.
In addition to standard insurance, specialty insurance agencies sometimes provide insurance coverage for assisted reproduction, including egg donation, surrogacy, and egg cryopreservation. This may add some costs to your process, but it will ensure coverage and peace of mind.
When you work with an agency, you can not only save a tremendous amount of time, but you can also avoid common pitfalls only an experienced agency would be able to navigate best. In addition, you'll have the full support and guidance from a professional egg donation team.
Take your time when choosing an agency, and make sure you gather enough data to make an informed decision. Ask questions, and make comparisons. This is a big decision for you and your family, and you want to make the choice that's right for you.
And, of course, we're here to help if you have any questions. So please feel free to contact us at any time!