It takes a special woman to consider becoming an egg donor, and we are so grateful for all the generous women who are willing to commit themselves to the process! However, not all women who wish to become egg donors are eligible to do so. It is important to have requirements in place to ensure the safety and success of the procedure. In this blog, we explore 6 common egg donation disqualifiers.
Age is one of the first factors in determining a woman's eligibility to become an egg donor. At Donor Nexus, we welcome women between the ages of 19-29 to apply to our program. Some clinics and agencies welcome women up to age 34. Age requirements are in place because age plays a major role in determining the quality of a woman's eggs, which is important for successful fertilization and pregnancy.
A woman's medical history is another important factor in determining her eligibility to become an egg donor. Donors must be in good overall health and free from certain medical conditions that could affect the quality of their eggs or pose a risk to the recipient. Some common medical disqualifications for egg donors include:
Of course, it is important that egg donors are fertile. During the pre-screening process, potential donors will have their AMH levels tested to determine their ovarian reserve (remaining egg supply). Some women may be disqualified at this point if their AMH levels are too low.
Did you know that lifestyle choices can disqualify you from donating eggs as well? Lifestyle factors such as smoking, drug use, and excessive alcohol consumption can disqualify a woman from becoming an egg donor. These habits can affect the quality of the eggs and increase the risk of complications during the egg donation process. Donors must also have a healthy body mass index (BMI) and be willing to follow a healthy diet.
During the pre-screening process, potential egg donors will undergo a psychological evaluation to determine whether they are ready for the mental and emotional aspects of the process. Some possible psychological disqualifications for donating eggs include severe mental health conditions, current or recent treatment, emotional instability, or lack of support system.
Lastly, where you live can play a role in whether or not you can be an egg donor. Some clinics may have geographic restrictions on egg donors. This is because of the logistical challenges that may arise if you live in a rural area that is not close to medical facilities as you will have several monitoring appointments and blood draws during your cycle.
In addition to our egg donor requirements such as healthy BMI, non-smoker, and female between the ages of 19-29, there are certain red flags we look for during our first meeting with potential egg donors that would warrant us to disqualify a potential egg donor before she is added to our database or completes any further prescreen evaluations. Some signs that a donor may not be an optimal candidate are:
• Those who do not ask questions and are solely focused on when and how much money they are going to be paid
• Those who are unable or unwilling to provide documentation for academic and health history
• Those who seem concerned that they will have to abstain from certain activities when in a cycle
• Those who do not have a reliable form of transportation
• Those who have not told anyone about becoming an egg donor
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.
You can donate your eggs if you just had a baby, but you cannot donate eggs if you are still breastfeeding. The drugs and hormones can pass through the breast milk and to the baby. We ask that you completely stop breastfeeding and have at least two periods. With your second period, you can start pretesting.
A tubal ligation does not affect the ovarian production of eggs. Therefore, women who have had their tubes tied can become egg donors. The retrieval of the eggs is done directly through the follicles. Therefore, the state of the tubes is not important, as the egg won't be released into the body.
If you have a hormonal IUD, you most likely will have to have it removed prior to beginning your medical screening. If you have a non-hormonal IUD, it can be left in place. Learn more in this blog.
In conclusion, egg donation is a highly regulated process, and there are several factors that can disqualify a woman from becoming a donor. Age, medical history, fertility, lifestyle choices, psychological factors, and geographic location are among the most common egg donor disqualifications. If you are interested in becoming an egg donor, it's important to understand the requirements and be honest about your medical history and lifestyle habits.
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.