What is egg donation?

Egg donation is the process in which someone provides their eggs (oocytes) in order to help another person conceive. Egg donation is a medical process in which an egg or cohort of eggs is retrieved from the egg donor, fertilized in a laboratory setting, and transferred into the recipient’s uterus. Egg donation is commonly used for couples struggling with infertility and LGBT+ couples who do not have eggs to contribute. 

The history of egg donation

Egg donation was first practiced in the 1980’s, with donor eggs leading to successful births in multiple countries. Since then, the egg donation process has evolved into a far more sophisticated and common path to parenthood. Egg donation revolutionized the path to parenthood for women struggling with fertility, single fathers, and gay men. Egg donation and embryo donation now represent 18% of in vitro fertilization births in the U.S. each year. 

The egg donation process

The egg donation process is complex. The egg donation process timeline varies for everyone, and may be longer depending on how long intended parents search for a donor. In general, the egg donation process begins after choosing your donor.

Your egg donor will work with your clinic to undergo a fertility assessment, including a psychological screening, genetic testing, and ovarian reserve testing. Next will come the contract phase – after your donor passes all screenings, the parties involved will sign the legal contracts that dictate your donor’s compensation and any decisions around open donation, future contact, and more.

The stimulation phase will begin next. Your egg donor will begin follicle stimulating hormone injections, and your clinic will monitor to ensure everything is progressing safely. Your egg donor will then undergo the surgical egg retrieval procedure at your clinic, the eggs will be combined with sperm, and after a wait the fertilized embryos will be transferred to the intended mother or frozen. 

Who needs an egg donor?

Every family is different, and pursuing egg donation as a family building option is a personal decision. Intended parents who use egg donation come from all different backgrounds and walks of life: single parents, LGBT+ parents, parents struggling with fertility issues and more. 

You can find more information on who should pursue egg donation here.

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    At the concierge level, our team of expert case managers curate a list of available donors for you and liaise with the agencies on your behalf. We help you find the right match quickly - usually within 2-3 weeks - enabling you to begin your egg donor cycle faster.