The 7 Most Common Egg Donation Disqualifiers Mar 31, 2024 | by Lucy Solie-Vilker, Program Director

In this blog, we'll dive into the seven most common egg donation disqualifiers. Whether you're curious about your eligibility or simply want to understand the process better, this guide is a great place to start!

Egg Donation Disqualifiers: What You Need to Know

While it is unfortunate that some of these egg donation disqualifiers may be out of your control, these requirements are in place to keep you safe during the egg donation process and provide the best outcome for the intended parents and donor-conceived child(ren). It's important to be as honest and accurate as possible on your egg donor application and throughout your screening evaluations.

1. Age

First things first, egg donor age limits help ensure high-quality eggs for successful IVF cycles. At Donor Nexus, women aged 19-29 are typically accepted, with occasional exceptions for healthy women in their early thirties. Younger donors tend to produce better results due to higher egg quality, which declines with age. Most clinics do not accept donors over 34. 

2. Medical, Genetic, and Family History

To be an egg donor, you must be in good overall health and free from certain genetic and medical conditions that could affect the quality of your eggs or pose a risk to the recipient and/or the future offspring.

Here are a few examples of medical, genetic, and family history factors which can disqualify you from donating eggs:

  • Genetic Disorders: A history of genetic disorders or inherited diseases can disqualify you from donating eggs, as this can affect the health of the potential child.
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs): Certain infections can affect fertility and the quality of your eggs.
  • Medication Use: In some cases, medications may be stopped during your cycle, but it's important to disclose this during the application and screening process to receive your personalized plan. 
  • Serious Illnesses: A history of certain types of cancer or other serious illnesses can disqualify you. 

Remember, these eligibility requirements are necessary to ensure the safety and success of the procedure. 

3. Fertility

Of course, it's important for an egg donor to have good fertility levels! During your medical screening, you will undergo AMH level testing to determine your ovarian reserve (remaining egg supply). Low AMH levels can lead to disqualification.

4. Lifestyle Factors - Drinking, Smoking, Drug Use

Now, let's talk about what IS in your control! Lifestyle choices can also disqualify you from becoming an egg donor. Habits such as smoking, drug use, and excessive alcohol consumption negatively impact egg quality and increase the risk of complications. Studies have shown that smoking and excessive alcohol use can significantly reduce fertility and harm overall reproductive health.

5. Body Mass Index (BMI)

Next, it's important to have a healthy BMI as an egg donor and follow a healthy diet during your cycle. At Donor Nexus, donors must have a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9*. A BMI outside this range can indicate potential health risks that might compromise the donation process and egg quality. You can use the CDC's online BMI calculator for an estimate.

*Note: Donor Nexus uses BMI as a guide rather than an absolute measure, as we understand that women with a higher muscle mass (i.e., weightlifters and athletes) can have an elevated BMI.

BMI Calculator by the CDC


6. Psychological Factors

As a potential egg donor, you will undergo psychological evaluations during the screening process to ensure you are mentally and emotionally prepared. Disqualifications can include severe mental health conditions, ongoing or recent treatments, emotional instability, or lack of a support system. 

7. Geographic Location

Lastly, although less common, where you live may disqualify you from donating eggs. If you live in a rural area with limited access to medical facilities, it may be challenging to attend the frequent blood draws and monitoring appointments required during the donation process.

Additional "Red Flags" Which May Disqualify an Egg Donor

Beyond the general egg donor requirements, our team is also on the lookout for certain "red flags," including:

  • Those who do not ask questions and are solely focused on the egg donation pay
  • Those who are unable or unwilling to provide academic and health history documentation
  • Those who seem concerned that they will have to abstain from certain activities during the cycle
  • Those who do not have a reliable form of transportation
  • Those who have not told anyone about becoming an egg donor 

Egg Donation Disqualifications: Common Questions

Can You Donate Eggs If You Have Depression?

If you have been diagnosed with depression and are currently taking antidepressants, you must be willing to pause your medication if the IVF physician requires you to. This is because the egg donation process includes injections of hormones that may cause contraindications with antidepressants. Additionally, some clinics may disqualify you as depression can be hereditary.

Can You Donate Eggs While Breastfeeding?

While you can donate eggs after having a baby, you cannot donate eggs if you are still breastfeeding. The hormones and egg donor medications can pass through breast milk to the baby. You must stop breastfeeding and have at least two menstrual cycles before starting pretesting.

Can You Donate Eggs If Your Tubes Are Tied?

Yes, you are still eligible to donate eggs if your tubes are tied. Tubal ligation does not affect ovarian egg production. The egg retrieval is done directly through the follicles, so the state of your tubes is irrelevant.

Can You Donate Eggs With An IUD?

It depends. If you have a hormonal IUD, it will likely need to be removed before medical screening. Non-hormonal IUDs can usually remain in place. Learn more here.

In Conclusion: What Disqualifies You From Donating Eggs?

As an egg donor, you help someone move closer toward their family-building dreams while also earning compensation for your commitment to the process. However, it's important to know that not everyone who wants to become an egg donor will be eligible. Egg donation is a highly regulated process, and several factors can disqualify you from becoming a donor. Age, medical history, genetic history, family history, BMI, fertility levels, lifestyle choices, and psychological factors are among the most common disqualifications. Before filling out an application, it's important to do your research to ensure that you're a good candidate. Kudos to you for doing your homework!

Find Additional Resources on Our Website

We hope you found this blog helpful! Please feel free to click around our website to learn more about the process, read personal experiences from previous donors, and more. 

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