See if you qualify for free egg freezing.
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You are at a point in time where you’re thinking carefully about your priorities and goals in life. Doing something altruistic, such as donating your eggs, may sound appealing to you, especially when it involves getting to freeze eggs for yourself too, through our Split program. The only question is whether you fit the profile that egg donor agencies might be looking for. Do you meet the required egg donor qualifications?

It's true; in order to donate eggs, you must meet specific qualifications. But these donor qualifications aren't just up to the agencies. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established eligibility rules to help ensure that any tissue donors are free of infectious disease risk factors. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has also set up guidelines to help protect egg donors and recipients. While it sounds like hoops to jump through now, these qualifications are guardrails that benefit everyone in the longer-term. 

Here’s a peek at the qualifications most egg donor agencies look for before accepting a donor candidate. 

Fertility factors

A donor’s age is the single most important determining factor in your fertility outlook. Most agencies require that you are between the ages of 21 and 34, as ASRM guidelines recommend. 

With Cofertility’s Split program, we accept applicants between the ages of 21 - 33. Because the matching and screening process can take some time, we don’t accept applicants ages 34 or older in order to complete the retrieval before you turn 35. However, other agencies may occasionally accept donors above or below these guidelines. It is worth noting that, the older you are, the more challenging it may be for you to produce more eggs during a cycle. 

In addition to age, programs will also check your ovarian reserve to help ensure you have enough eggs available. They will look at your anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) levels as one indicator of ovarian reserve and how well you might respond to ovary-stimulating medication. This is done with a simple blood test at the time of your physical exam once you’ve matched with a family. 

Genetic screening

All prospective egg donors — including those as part of our Split program — will need to undergo screening for genetic conditions. This is to ensure that you are not a carrier for heritable conditions like cystic fibrosis, thalassemia, and spinal muscular atrophy. If you and the intended parent both carry the same genetic condition, it would be unsafe to create fertilized embryos from your eggs as this could result in children with chronic medical conditions. 

In addition to the above conditions, ASRM recommends that everyone is screened for Fragile X syndrome genes, especially if there are family members with an intellectual disability. You may also be asked to undergo screening for other specific genetic conditions if it is known that the intended parents also carry this gene. 

Don't be surprised if the agency asks you to screen for a condition associated with an ethnicity. Agencies don't want to miss anything and will err on the side of over-collecting. 

Medical and family history

This may sound like a no-brainer, but women must be considered “in good health” to qualify for egg donation. Agencies need to know your medical history and will work with a clinic to perform a thorough physical examination and check for chronic conditions or infectious diseases. 

Not surprisingly, many of these factors are high on the list of egg donor qualifications and even codified in FDA rules. Overall, donor agencies must be diligent and need to ensure that the following factors aren’t missed:

  • Any severe hereditary conditions that could impact the child’s health
  • Any history over the past five years of risky sexual behavior 
  • Any indication that the donor’s significant other is involved in risky behavior
  • Cigarette smoking—even second hand smoke can impact a donation

Physical screening

After these steps, you’ll undergo a physical evaluation to help ensure that you are free of any issues that may complicate the egg donation or retrieval process. If you want to participate in our Split program, your ovaries must be healthy, and you must not have any signs of endometriosis or pelvic disease. This exam will take place either at your local clinic or that of the Intended Parents. 

According to FDA requirements, agencies will look at your medical records. You will also need to undergo laboratory testing to ensure no signs of any contagious diseases. 

More specifically, You will undergo screening for the following:

  • HIV-1
  • HIV-2
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Human transmissible spongiform encephalopathy
  • Treponema pallidum

Psychological screening

Egg donor agencies want to make sure you are interested in donating for the right reasons. They also want to ensure that you are psychologically fit and informed about the potential medical and psychological risks involved with donating your eggs. 

Before donating your eggs, ASRM recommends undergoing an evaluation by a qualified mental health professional. Through our Split program, this takes place after matching with a family and undergoing your physical screening. 

You should come prepared to discuss your educational background, work history, and financial stability. But you should also be prepared to go deep; it may feel quite personal, but you should expect to discuss why you want to donate your eggs and be ready to share your sexual history, substance use, and any mental health issues or psychiatric disorders. They will also talk to you about any mental health issues that may run in your immediate family.

Lastly, and perhaps most important of all, your screening psychologist will want to understand that this is something you really want to do. 

Summing it up

We know. That’s a lot of screening! But we — and the Cofertility community — are here to guide you through every single step. By donating your eggs, you’re doing something amazing for a family in need. We’re here to make the process feel equally amazing for you