Find Your Egg Donor

Many couples think the value of their egg donor is the genetic material she provides for your surrogacy procedure. They find an egg donor with specific physical characteristics, such as hair or eye color. In reality, finding your egg donor is a far more crucial component on the success of your procedure.Find Egg Donor


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A good egg donation will mean the difference between a successful IVF procedure or a heartbreaking disappointment. Some couples obsess over finding a donor with a specific “look” or with whom they connect on an emotional level. But a successful egg donation is never measured in terms of the donor’s appearance. Success is only measured in the number and quality of the eggs retrieved — and in the successful pregnancy that results.

Here’s why…

Why your Egg Donor is So Important

The probability of success for any surrogacy procedure ranges from 65% for high-quality fresh embryo transfers to 45% for medium quality embryos. Even among the world’s best clinics, it’s quite likely that your first embryo transfer won’t be successful. A successful pregnancy depends upon being able to repeat your embryo transfer, with multiple high-quality embryos, perhaps several times. The more high-quality embryos you have, the more opportunities you have to repeat the procedure, and the greater your chance of success.

An average egg donation may result in 12 eggs, which become 8 to 10 viable embryos. Of these, perhaps 2 will be high quality (enough for two good embryo transfers). Obviously the goal of any IVF and surrogacy procedure will be to have as many high-quality embryos as possible. For this, you will need to choose an egg donor that will provide the most eggs possible. If fewer eggs are retrieved, you may not have sufficient high-quality embryos to repeat your embryo transfer procedure and ensure a successful surrogacy.

A young and fertile donor with good fertility history and an aggressive stimulation protocol may produce up to 20 or more eggs per donation. This will likely be enough for 4 to 6 transfer attempts, and an excellent likelihood of an eventual successful pregnancy.

When you choose an egg donor, it is important to work closely with your agency, ask questions about the fertility history of each candidate, and pay attention to fertility indicators including age and previous pregnancies. Your agent can help you work with them to find suitable donor candidates.

Among the most critical factors in choosing an egg donor is the woman’s age and her previous fertility history. Young donors (between 20 and 28 years) respond more predictably to fertility treatments, and will provide a greater number of healthy eggs. A proven history of fertility (previous pregnancies and children) shows that the donor not only can provide eggs, but healthy, fertile eggs.

Six Things to Look for When You Choose Your Donor

Choose an egg donor noteHere is the list of criteria to consider as you find an egg donor…

1. Fertility Hormone LevelsThe best indicator of your donor’s fertility are standard blood hormone levels. On day 2 of your cycle, you will need to undergo a blood test to gauge hormone levels and overall fertility. Along with basic information, the scan should include fertility hormones including AMH, LH Hormone, FSH Hormone, Estradiol hormone levels. The AMH score is the best predictor, and the level should be high: most clinics will not accept an AMH score below 1.0, and many prefer a score over 3.0. (As a reference, typical donors fall between 1.8 and 3.0.) FSH levels on day 2 should be less than 10.

2. Inspection of the OvariesAlso on day 2 of your donor’s cycle, you need to do a ‘Baseline Ultrasound’ (also known as a Follicular Scan). This is used to visibly confirm the ovarian volume and an antral follicle count. The number of follicles seen is a strong indicator of the number of eggs to be retrieved. The clinic normally requires a minimum of 6 visible follicles.

Before you get a chance to run the standard medical checkup on your donor, there are some tips on judging if she’s likely to be medically cleared…

3. Has your egg donor been successful before? How often and how many eggs were retrieved each time? Women who have produced lots of mature eggs in the past are likely to do so again and again.

4. Has she donated too recently (or not recently enough)? Be sure your egg donor hasn’t donated in the past 3 to 4 months. Ovarian reserve takes some time to replenish after a good donation. On the other hand, even a donor with a previous donation of 20+ eggs can have her fertility diminish over time. The best bet is to find a donor with a successful donation with many mature eggs retrieved in the past couple of years.

5. Are your donor’s eggs fertile? Does she have children or have her previous donations resulted in pregnancy? Even the best donation has little value if the eggs carry damaged chromosomes than can prevent a pregnancy.

6. What is your egg donor’s age? This is one area where a woman’s age really matters. In general younger is better, and women in their early 20s give the best results. Once past 30, a woman’s fertility drops off quickly and dramatically. (But balance this with the fact that most young women don’t have a fertility history yet, so a very young donor may not have the information to answer questions 1 to 3 above.)

Finally…. don’t choose just one donor candidate. You should make a list of your top 5 and then let the clinic run evaluations as to who is the most fertile at the moment. Women’s fertility fluctuates from month to month, and someone who is the excellent choice today may not be the best choice next month.