We take pride in the service we provide to our intended parents and the care we provide to our egg donors. We understand that our intended parents are entrusting us with the very important job of providing honest and accurate information on each egg donor. It is important to us that intended parents feel informed, comfortable and supported throughout their entire journey with Donor Nexus, but especially when making the decision on which egg donor to choose.
We diligently screen and interview the egg donors to ensure the information they provide to Donor Nexus is accurate, truthful, and complete. Below is a brief description of the egg donor screening process each donor undergoes prior to completing a cycle. First, we discuss the process of accepting a donor into our program. Then, we provide a detailed overview of the psychological and medical evaluations the donor will undergo in addition to the legal consultation.
When a potential egg donor is interested in becoming an egg donor, our staff will send the potential egg donor questionnaires to find out detailed information relating to their health, family history, academic history and personality. The questionnaires allow us to prescreen the potential egg donors for any issues that would disqualify them from becoming an egg donor.
Along with the questionnaires, we also request that the potential egg donors send photos that would clearly express their features, so that intended parents can clearly identify physical characteristics that they may be interested in. We also ask each egg donor to provide us with a range of photos so our intended parents can see photos of the egg donors throughout their entire life, not just childhood or adult life. If the egg donor feels comfortable, we also request photos of their family members.
Once the potential donor passes our first set of prescreen evaluations, we schedule either an in person meeting for our local donors or a video conference call with each potential donor. The main purpose of these interviews is to get a better feel for the egg donor’s personality as well as go over the egg donation process in detail.
During the meeting we look for egg donors who are confident in their decision to become an egg donor and understand the expectations required of them throughout the process. We also look for egg donors who understand that being an egg donor is a privilege. It is important they understand that there are hundreds of other egg donors who would love to be chosen. This meeting also allows the egg donor to get to know us and ask questions.
Once a potential egg donor has passed the first set of prescreen evaluations, a profile is put together and uploaded to our database for intended parents to view.
Once intended parents have chosen a potential egg donor, a second set of prescreen evaluations take place. The second set of evaluations consists of a psychological, medical, and legal consult.
In addition to our egg donor requirements such as healthy BMI, non-smoker, 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 cycle
• Those who do not have a reliable form of transportation
• Those who have not told anyone about becoming an egg donor
The medical evaluation is often completed on day 1, 2, or 3 of the egg donor’s menstrual cycle at the intended parent’s designated fertility clinic.*
*If your selected egg donor lives out of state, your physician may require her to fly in for a one-day medical screening. At times, the physician will not require the donor to fly, specifically if the donor has cycled before. We will orchestrate the donor’s travel arrangements and/or any pretesting that needs to be completed at a fertility clinic close to the donor’s home.
The medical evaluation includes:
• An ultrasound assessment of the uterus and ovaries
• Ovarian reserve testing: To ensure that the egg donor is a top producer of eggs, the donor has ovarian reserve testing done which consists of a blood test looking at Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) and an antral follicle count (AFC). The antral follicle count is a special ultrasound where the examiner counts the number of resting eggs the donor has. These three tests allow us to reject any egg donor not likely to have a good response to fertility medication, greatly reducing the risk of poor response or poor egg quality.
• State Mandated Infectious Disease Screening & STI Testing: The egg donor is screened for HIV 1 and 2, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HTLV 1 and 2, syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea as well as other health screening labs.
• Drug Screening: The egg donor is screened for drug use, including: opioids (heroine, morphine, prescription narcotics), cocaine, amphetamines and marijuana.
• Genetic Carrier Panel: The egg donor is interviewed by a certified genetic counselor in order to identify egg donors that may have an increased risk for genetic diseases. The genetic counselor then recommends any specific tests needed for that specific egg donor based on her family history and ethnicity. In addition to these specific tests, the egg donor also is screened for cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy, Fragile-X, and a multitude of other genetic diseases. The results of both the genetic counselor’s report as well as the blood tests are available for review by the intended parents. Learn more.
• Physical Examination: The egg donor will undergo a standard physical examination to ensure that she is healthy. We also perform a pap smear if the donor hasn’t had one done in the last 12 months.
• Consultation with the Physician or Nurse Practitioner: The donor will receive injection training to prepare for injecting medications. The donor will also be interviewed and examined by a board certified Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility subspecialist.
• Comprehensive Medical Questionnaire: The medical questionnaire will be used to determine the family history of the donor.
The donor will have a psychological evaluation with a therapist to ensure the egg donor is emotionally ready to perform what is required of her as a donor.
The donor will have a legal consultation with a designated reproductive law firm gives the egg donor the opportunity to speak with an attorney to review her contract so she understands her rights and responsibilities before, during, and after her cycle.
The prescreening evaluations can take up to 2 months to complete*, depending on the donor’s menstrual cycle. The donor may or may not be put on birth control pills.
*This timeframe is only applicable to fresh egg donor cycles. If you have chosen frozen donor eggs, the screening of the contributing donor has already been completed.
Once the second set of prescreen evaluations are completed. the egg donor can proceed with a cycle. The intended parent(s) can request a copy of the prescreen evaluations with all identifying information removed.
As you can see, it is a fairly complicated and thorough screening process. Approximately 1 in 4 egg donors will be disqualified during the pre-screen process. Although it can be extremely disappointing for an intended parent to have an egg donor “screen out”, it is important that we perform each of these steps to ensure the best possible outcome for both the egg donor and intended parent.
As the intermediary in this process, Donor Nexus is committed to providing both our intended parents and egg donors with the best possible care and experience. We hope this information was helpful! We have additional resources available throughout our website if you're looking for more information. If you have any questions, our team is always here to help.