For couples or individuals undergoing IVF using donor eggs, an important factor to consider is the egg donor’s age. In this blog, we discuss how old you have to be to donate eggs, explain egg donor age limits, and explore the correlation between age and egg quality.
You must be at least 19 years old to donate eggs with Donor Nexus. Ultimately, how old you have to be to donate eggs depends on which egg donor agency or fertility clinic you are applying to. While some agencies and clinics do not accept women under the age of 21, some accept women as young as 18 to become egg donors. However, you will not find an egg donor program that accepts women younger than this as you must be at least 18 years of age to legally enter a contract, which is required of egg donors.
In addition to medical screenings, all egg donors must undergo a psychological evaluation by a qualified mental health professional to ensure they are informed and prepared for what is required of them.
Simply put, younger donors tend to produce more successful IVF cycles for families, and this is because fertility (along with egg quality) declines with age. Healthy, fertile women between the ages of 19 and 32 are typically ideal donors.
At Donor Nexus, we typically accept donors who are in the range of 19-29 years old. However, we will occasionally accept healthy women in their early thirties if they have previously completed a cycle with great results and do not show any decline in their fertility. Additionally, we accept women in their early thirties who have specific rare attributes that intended parents may be seeking and willing to select an older donor for. By allowing this flexibility, we are able to best serve our intended parents while not compromising their high chances of success.
How old is too old to donate your eggs? Although there isn’t a specific age cut off set by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), you will find that most agencies and clinics do not accept women over the age of 34 to be egg donors. The ASRM specifies that if a donor is over the age of 34, the recipient should be informed of cytogenetic risks and the effect of donor age on pregnancy rates.1
With so many women having successfully gotten pregnant far beyond their twenties, some even into their late forties, some may question why donating eggs is limited to younger women. Why is there an age cut off for donating eggs? Mainly, the answer lies in the quality of the eggs these women can donate. By enforcing egg donation age limits, egg donor agencies maintain the highest quality of eggs for intended parents to use.
Women are born with all of the eggs they will ever produce in their lives. However, as women age, their fertility declines. The quality of their eggs goes down as a result. So, while they may still be able to get pregnant on their own past their early thirties, the eggs that they could potentially donate are not going to be as viable as the eggs produced by women much younger than them. Also, women over this age range are more likely to have eggs that carry genetic abnormalities, reducing the chance of a successful IVF cycle.
Thus, to ensure that recipients are getting eggs with the highest possible success rates, it is important that eggs come from young donors.
It’s important to understand that the age range for egg donors is not superficial. Ultimately, donors who are in their early thirties and younger have the best chance of producing the highest quality eggs. On our online database, you will find the egg donor’s age listed on the top right corner of her profile. If you have any additional questions, please contact our team and we will be happy to help.